Each Atlas Camps setting will be running with a reduced capacity, at around 60% of our usual numbers, to allow for social distancing and more indoor/outdoor space per child. Although capacity and policy would allow for more children per setting, we felt that going above and beyond in this area was a necessary step to reassure staff and parents that we are doing all we can with Coronavirus considered.
Atlas Camps will be planning all games, activities and social time at camp with 2m social distancing in mind between children, and 3m for our staff, where at all possible. As I am sure you will appreciate, this may not always be possible during activities, but we will do all we can! During social time, free play and breaks, children will be in 2 "Pods" to further allow for social distancing. More details on this can be found in the section S3 of this document.
Our team have been working around the clock to create a comprehensive list of activities for the children that will allow for social distancing, with adaptions to many activities to ensure we are doing all we can to encourage social distancing where possible. More details can be found in section S4 of this document.
In addition to this, you will see our little friend "Alfie the Atlas Alligator" at each camp. Our 2m inflatable will be on hand to remind our little campers exactly what 2m looks like.
Upon drop off and pick up times, parents will be asked to wait outside, socially distanced. Although this may mean a little wait, we will do all we can to be as quick as possible! Our staggered drop off and collection times stated in the section titled "Arriving and leaving our settings" will further allow for social distancing to be adhered to in all settings. More details of this can be found in section S12 of this document..
Atlas Camps will be adopting a ‘pods' strategy for all break times, social and free-play time, as well as during activities where possible, to minimise the risk of infection at our settings. Further to these measures, by limiting our overall number of children per setting, we feel we have further managed risk and allowed for more consistent, small groups each day.
Our ‘pods’ will be arranged by age groups as a rule of best fit, and will consist of no more than 15 children per ‘pod’. Children will remain in these ‘pods’ for all social time and breaks, and will also be encouraged to remain in these ‘pods’ during activities where possible, but not to the detriment of the child experience at camp. If a child wishes to work with the other ‘pod’ during an activity, they will be able to do so, as long as social distancing can be suitably managed. For example, a child in the ‘red pod’ can do arts and crafts with the ‘blue pod’ if they don’t want to be outside playing football with their ‘pod’, as long as they remain 2m from children in the ‘blue pod’ when inside. When outside, social distancing will be managed by nature of activity and children will be welcome to engage in activities across ‘pods’ where this can be adhered to. During breaks, our camp ‘pods’ will still be able to interact, but from a very sensible social distance, whilst remaining in their allocated ‘pod’ areas.
If a child arriving at camp wants to be in a ‘pod’ with their friend, and are of differing age groups, our staff at camp will manage this suitably.
This step towards limiting the risk of infection is something we feel that we can implement the vast majority of the time, without detracting from the child experience at our camps.
With the child experience still being at the forefront of our attention and planning (alongside Coronavirus – unfortunately!) we have adapted all the Atlas Camps' favourites to make sure the vast majority of games and activities are still on offer, with a large focus on outdoor play; with slight changes where required. This comprehensive list of adapted activities are available electronically for all of our camp managers, and will be highlighted as part of our staff training before any camp. As I am sure you will understand, games such as Twister, face painting and "Tag" based games in their usual guise will not be on offer at camp. However, these have been replaced with some more appropriate, social-distance friendly games. For example, we have even introduced inflatable accessories to allow for tag-based games to take place from a distance. In addition to this, our Atlas Camps team have been busy creating new games and ideas to give your children lots of learning opportunities at camp. It is fair to say, we will definitely not be short of fun-filled sessions.
As mentioned in section S3, we will be keeping children in ‘pods’ where at all possible during games and activities. However, as with all Atlas Camps in previous years, we will absolutely not force activities upon children, and they will still have the freedom of free play and movement between the activities on offer, where it is safe to do so. This said, social time and breaks will be spent in their set pods.
We have, more than ever, adopted a strict approach to putting staff in place to maximise staff consistency at each venue, where possible. The two main reasons behind this are:
For you and your children to have a consistent face at this sensitive time
To limit the risk of infection on all of our sites
Our staff will be working with all children in their settings throughout the day, and not one pod specifically. All staff will adopt a 3m social distancing approach during activities, where possible. In addition to this, each staff member will be assigned to one of the small, consistent pods as their "Pod Leader" each day. Although they will swap between pods for the delivery of activities, they will spend social time, free-play, breaks and all down time with their specific pod, and not the other group at camp, to limit risk of infection. Again, although this is not a stipulation, we have decided this will further reinforce our careful and thorough planning regarding Coronavirus measures.
As stipulated in the document titled 'Actions for early years and childcare providers during the Coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak', as a provider of holiday childcare, we must "clean hands thoroughly, more often than normal". With this in mind, our policy on hand washing is, as a minimum:
Hand washing will take place:
On arrival after dropping bags
Before and after lunch and any snack breaks
End of the day
After using the toilets
Hand sanitizing will take place:
Entering/exiting a new section of the venue
Cleaning of areas
We have devised a comprehensive guide to cleaning areas of our settings to limit the risk of infection. All areas and surfaces will be cleaned after each activity, and before another group uses the area. All surfaces will also be cleaned before and after each snack or lunch break. After each clean, a record will be kept to evidence that it has been done.
Toilets will be cleaned a minimum of 3 times per day. Each venue will have a "record of cleaning" sheet outside toilet areas, and this record will be signed and sent to our senior leadership team each day.
All equipment used by the children will be cleaned after each use, using antibacterial spray and wipes. Small plastic games, such as marble run and lego will be cleaned by placing it in a tub of disinfectant, and left to soak. Most importantly, all staff are aware that the use of equipment is limited to one group at a time, and cleaned between uses.
Children and staff clothing
Children and staff must wear clean and fresh clothing each day. This is to limit the risk of infection in our settings.
A full record of cleaning will be kept for each venue and sent to area managers. Further to all of the above, a thorough clean of the venue will take place each Friday of camp.
Atlas Camps area managers have worked closely with their venues this term to ensure venue specific information is clear for our camps staff. These documents will be provided to camp managers, and will contain information including: key contacts, use of specific areas for pods, how to limit group contact in the specific venue, where bags and lunch boxes are kept, and lots more. These documents are specifically for our staff use during camp.
Risk assessments specific to Coronavirus Covid-19, as well as venue specific risk assessments have been completed, and will remain working documents throughout each school holiday. Our risk assessments have been created using the template provided by local authority, and have been completed using guidance provided by our school settings. These are documents for internal use, but we felt it good practice to keep you in the loop of our steps taken in this area.
All staff working for Atlas Camps will attend a virtual staff training evening in the run up to any given school holiday. Our training evening will contain both our usual staff training updates to make camps super safe and fun, as well as a section specific to Coronavirus Covid-19. This will ensure consistency across all Atlas Camps settings. This full policy will be shared at this event.
Children, staff and parents are not to come to any setting if they, or anyone in their household, are showing any signs or symptoms, and must immediately return home if they develop symptoms when at camp, and self isolate for 10 days, or until tested, with the result returning negative. In short…
IF A CHILD OR FAMILY MEMBER HAS ANY OF THE BELOW SYMPTOMS, PUBLISHED BY THE NHS OR OTHER BODIES, THEY ARE NOT TO COME TO ANY ATLAS CAMPS SETTING, UNTIL A TEST HAS BEEN CARRIED OUT AND RETURNED A NEGATIVE RESULT
Please act responsibly on this point, and work with us to limit the risk of infection for yourselves and others. Any doubt, stay at home.
NHS guidance stipulates that symptoms include:
A high temperature
A new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot, for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours
A loss or change to sense of smell or taste – this means they cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal
Other symptoms may include:
Shortness of breath / difficulty breathing
Congestion or runny nose
Nausea or vomiting
When home, children, staff or parents displaying symptoms are required to book a test. If the test returns positive, Atlas Camps will contact all families of children that had close contact with the child in question within 48 hours of the symptoms starting.
All children and families contacted, that had interaction with the person that returned a positive test will be required to self isolate for 10 days..
In the event that the children that are required to self isolate are an entirely different group to those set to be attending the camp 48 hours following the positive test, following a deep clean, our camp will remain open to those children who were not in contact with the child in question, with 2 new staff members. This will be subject to review and viability of running with the number of children attending in mind. All families will be contacted individually in this instance.
Atlas Camps will only close their setting if the test returns positive, and not for symptoms. If a test returns negative, it is business as usual. We will only contact families in the case of a positive test, and not in an instance of symptoms being shown.
All Atlas Camps staff will be expected to adhere to strict guidelines around how they spend their social time. We have the health and safety of your children and families at the top of our priority list, and our staff actions across all camps will echo this sentiment. This information will be contained in our staff training evenings.
In short, the opening of schools and childcare settings as a whole is a wonderful step towards normality resuming, and we are aware of the importance of childcare, and staff will be asked to consider this carefully when making decisions on how to spend their social time.
Getting to and from camp
We strongly encourage families to walk or cycle to and from camp where at all possible. If this is not possible, we ask that families attending camps refrain from car sharing or using public transport to get to and from our camp settings if at all possible. Whilst this is a far cry from our usual promotion of car sharing, this is to limit the risk of transmission of Coronavirus Covid-19.
No adults inside our settings
No parents, carers, contractors or any other individuals will be allowed into the indoor areas of our setting, aside from in the case of an emergency. All meet and greet times, and dismissing of children, will take place outside, or in the entrance to our settings. If for any reason a parent, carer or any other adult is required to enter our settings, they will need to provide their details for our records.
Waiting to drop off or collect
All venues will have a social distance queue system upon drop off and collection of children. We ask that all parents wear a mask during drop off and pick up, and keep a generous 2m distance between them and others. Please see below for timing specific guidance on this matter.
Timings for drop off and collection of children
We ask that, where at all possible you follow the guidance below when dropping off or collecting your children. We are doing all we can to limit queues and unnecessary large volumes of footfall at any one time:
All children: 8:15am
Standard day drop off
Children aged 7 and under: 8:50am – 9:05am
Children aged 8 and over: 9:00am – 9:15am
Standard day collection
Children aged 7 and under: 3:45pm – 4:00pm
Children aged 8 and over: 4:00pm – 4:15pm
All children: 4:45pm
We have allowed a 15-minute window at the start and end of the day to allow for a thorough cleaning process, and a hygienic set up of camps to take place. All administration currently takes a little longer than usual, and as a result we ask that you all stick to as close to the guide times above as possible. We appreciate that these may not be ideal, and may not work perfectly all the time for you, but all we ask is you work with us on this to further limit the risk of infection at all Atlas Camps settings.
We are very aware that the timings may be a little short of the booked times, and we are grateful for your cooperation where possible. These timings are a guide, and you will not be subject to late collection charges in line with these, and will only be charged late fees in line with usual Atlas Camps policy.
All Atlas Camps settings are open to all children. Due to the guidance set out in the document 'Actions for early years and childcare providers during the Coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak', and the eradication of the need for weekly "bubbles", we have also been able to retain the flexibility of day bookings, and not only week long bookings for our families.
As stated in section S1 of this document, places are limited to around 60% of our usual capacity to allow for social distancing and small groups across all settings.
*due to national lockdown restrictions for February half-term 2021, Atlas Camps will only be open to children of critical workers and vulnerable children.
PPE will be provided at all camps for staff carrying out first aid. There will be no requirement for staff to wear face masks or any other PPE outside the remit of first aid. They will stay safe and limit risk of infection by keeping a 3m social distance between themselves and the children, where possible.
In a change to the above, as per our February guidance, staff will be required to wear masks upon drop off and collection and indoors where space is limited.
Our staff have been busy creating a fun-packed schedule of games and activities, with a huge focus on keeping the children outdoors where at all possible. We now know that the risk of infection is less outdoors, and this has been at the forefront of our planning of a super active, safe and fun experience for all children across all Atlas Camps venues.
Atlas Camps staff will not be accepting any cash or cheque payments at camps for the time being. Payments need to have been made by your chosen means before attending camp. This is, again, to limit the risk of infection spreading in our settings.
As parents and families of Atlas Camps, we ask that you all consider the health and safety of all children, staff and families at our settings. We do not feel we can tell anyone how to live their lives, but we do have a huge focus on keeping camps safe, and this starts at the homes of our families at this sensitive time. So, please can we ask that you do all you can at your end, to help keep you, your children and our staff arriving at Atlas Camps safe from infection. Further to this, as noted in section S10, please do not attend camp if anyone in your household shows symptoms at any time. We want to keep all Atlas settings open for childcare to support you all at this tricky time, and your support with this would be greatly appreciated.
*This is a working document that will be reviewed regularly by our senior leadership team and camp managers.