Sure Start Projects in Northern Ireland are working hard to continue to provide support to families in their communities during the COVID 19 crisis. While they have ceased providing normal services for now, they are exploring whatever innovative means they can to support families. This includes maximising the use of phone calls and on line support – including social media, podcasts, YouTube videos & email resources. They are determined to join the community effort to make a difference. #SURESTARTWORKS for children, families and communities. Facing COVID 19 with community solidarity instead of fear.
Minister outlines initial support for Community and Voluntary Groups as they pull together to respond to COVID-19 – Please click here for more information.
The PHA has made available two videos in British and Irish Sign Language, covering the key public health information regarding COVID19. Please click links below:
The situation in relation to COVID-19 is a changing one and the Public Health Agency (PHA) advice is updated frequently to reflect that. Therefore I would urge all providers of registered childcare to check the PHA website on a daily basis.
If you have any specific queries you can contact the PHA on their helpline number 0300 200 7885 for advice in relation to specific queries, or visit their website for general updated information. https://www.publichealth.hscni.net/news/covid-19-coronavirus
The section on Guidance to Educational Settings is particularly relevant and will also be updated to reflect changes in the situation.
You can also contact NHS 111 helpline, and https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/
This website provides good advice about the measures you can take to avoid infection, so I would advise all providers to visit it, read the information carefully and implement with all staff.
The Health and Social Care Board works closely with our public health colleagues in the Public Health Agency and NHS 111, who are the best placed to provide updated advice through their helpline in relation to any recommended actions that a provider of registered childcare should take in response to COVID-19.
This is naturally a worrying time for both staff and families and we appreciate your support in ensuring that we follow the advice of public health professionals in ensuring an effective and proportionate response to a changing situation.
In addition providers of Registered Childcare should note the following:
Please review it against your own policies and procedures governing “Infection, prevention and Control” and/or “Exclusion of Children from the setting.” You are also advised to review your equipment and resources to ensure they are sufficient for good hygiene and infection control.