Updated 08/03/2022 MR

This risk assessment takes into account guidance from the Department of Education.



Guidance for parents and carers is available below.


Basically the guidance asks us to do what we can to minimise the spread of the virus, both through direct transmission (coughing and sneezing) and indirect transmission (touching contaminated objects).

This will include;

  • minimising contact with unwell individuals
  • regular washing of hands
  • promoting “catch it, bin it, kill it” approach to respiratory hygiene
  • cleaning frequently touched surfaces
  • minimising social contact

Our Approach

We are a caring setting for children to attend, feel safe, and follow their interests. We allow children to lead themselves in their learning and avoid imposing rules on them where possible. We spend our days outdoors in nature, where transmission of coronavirus is less likely than indoors.

Young children are unlikely to be able to socially distance themselves from others and we would not expect them to. For the children the return will seem pretty much the same as before, maybe with a bit more hand washing.

The steps outlined below should enable us to operate with the likelihood of virus transmission reduced as much as is to be reasonably expected.

Unwell Individuals

Anyone who has, or is showing symptoms of, coronavirus (a new continuous cough, or fever, or a loss of, or change in, their normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia)), they should not be in a childcare setting. They should stay at home, in line with the guidance for households with possible coronavirus infection.

Any child or staff member who develops the above symptoms while at Nest in the Woods will be sent home immediately. They will be advised to get tested for Covid-19. While waiting to be collected, a child with symptoms will be moved away from the other children (at least 2m) to wait in a safe place under supervision of an adult.


If somebody tests negative, they can return to our setting, providing they feel well enough to do so.

Clinically Vulnerable People

If a child or a member of staff lives with someone who is clinically vulnerable (but not clinically extremely vulnerable), including those who are pregnant, they can attend Nest in the Woods.

If a child or staff member lives in a household with someone who is extremely clinically vulnerable, as set out in the COVID-19: guidance on shielding and protecting people defined on medical grounds as extremely vulnerable guidance, it is advised they only attend an education or childcare setting if stringent social distancing can be adhered to and, in the case of children, they are able to understand and follow those instructions. We do not feel that this would be possible at Nest in the Woods, so please keep away if someone in your household is extremely clinically vulnerable.

Hand Washing

We will encourage everybody to wash their hands regularly and thoroughly for at least 20 seconds using soap and water. We will also have hand sanitiser available for use. We will sing hand washing songs as we usually do to encourage the children. We will bring water and soap for hand washing in the outdoors using our pump flasks and extra water containers. We will use paper towels for drying hands. Everyone will need to wash their hands on arrival at Nest in the Woods, after using the toilet, before and after eating, and after sneezing or coughing.

Respiratory Hygiene

We will try to encourage the children to avoid touching their face and putting their fingers in their mouths as much as is reasonable. We will have tissues and wipes available to use, and a rubbish bag for them to be disposed of. Hands will be washed after use of tissues.

Cleaning Surfaces

We will regularly clean frequently touched surfaces such as door handles, toys etc. We will not be using toys and equipment which is difficult to regularly clean such as soft toys. As we are outdoors all day, this should not be too much of a large task. We will take extra care to make sure that we regularly clean our camping toilet and tent, hand wash pump, water container, trolley, mud kitchen equipment and toys.

As for things that children bring with them, we would ask that they do not bring toys from home. Also please ensure their things are cleaned each day, lunchbox, drinks bottle, etc. Also please wipe down their waterproofs with soapy water (no need to machine wash), and give their bag a wipe down.

Minimising Social Contact

Early years settings are no longer required to arrange children and staff in small, consistent groups so can return to normal group sizes.

Drop off and collection

Again, during collection time, please wait in the car park area and a member of staff will bring the children to you.

We will complete signing in and out into our register on your behalf.

Limited visitors can come by prior arrangement, but will be maintaining social distancing.


Staff and children will not be wearing face masks as part of our usual routine. Young children are not able to handle face masks in an effective way and their use may inadvertently increase the risk of transmission. Staff may only need to wear PPE if they need to care for a child who becomes unwell with symptoms of coronavirus and are waiting to be collected by their parent or carer.

PPE may be used as part of our normal routine for example dealing with intimate care needs.

How to work safely in specific situations, including where PPE may be required

Reference to PPE in the following situations means:

  • fluid-resistant surgical face masks
  • disposable gloves
  • disposable plastic aprons
  • eye protection (for example a face visor or goggles)

Where PPE is recommended, this means that:

  • a facemask should be worn if a distance of 2 metres cannot be maintained from someone with symptoms of coronavirus
  • if contact is necessary, then gloves, an apron and a facemask should be worn
  • if a risk assessment determines that there is a risk of fluids entering the eye from, for example, coughing, spitting or vomiting, then eye protection should also be worn

When PPE is used, it is essential that it is used properly. This includes scrupulous hand hygiene and following guidance on how to put PPE on and take it off safely in order to reduce self-contamination.

Face masks must:

  • cover both nose and mouth
  • not be allowed to dangle around the neck
  • not be touched once put on, except when carefully removed before disposal
  • be changed when they become moist or damaged
  • be worn once and then discarded – hands must be cleaned after disposal