Covid-19: Abu Dhabi revises guidelines for nurseries

Abu Dhabi - The rules come into effect from July 1.

By Staff Report

Published: Tue 22 Jun 2021, 1:55 AM

Authorities in Abu Dhabi on Monday updated Covid-19 guidelines for operating children's nurseries in the emirate.

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The rules, which come into effect from July 1, 2021, include:

> Increasing the number of children within each 'bubble', up from 8 to 12 for children aged 45 days to two years, and up from 10 to 16 for children aged 2-4 years.

> Closing a bubble (for 10 days) instead of the entire nursery following a reported positive case.

> An entire nursery will close (for 10 days) when three or more bubbles are affected at the same time.

> Nurseries must continue to ensure a minimum space requirement of 3.5 sq.m per child in each classroom, and 5 sq.m in open areas.

The updated requirements, approved by the Abu Dhabi Emergency, Crisis and Disasters Committee, follow after a consistently low infection rate at the nurseries.

Mariam Al Hallami, Division Director of the Early Childhood Education, the Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge said: "Nurseries play a crucial role in shaping children’s futures, by building their skills and evolving their social and intellectual abilities at the most important stage of character development. Nurseries are also critical in supporting parents’ careers and ability to work by providing this essential service. During the pandemic, parents, their employers, and nursery operators worked closely together to minimise the impact of reducing nurseries’ capacity while also ensuring children receive the important care they need.

“We truly appreciate the continuous support that the Abu Dhabi Emergency, Crisis and Disasters Committee has given to the nursery sector and all parents who require childcare support, especially that nurseries have proven their ability to provide a safe environment for children, and have vaccinated more than 77 per cent of all staff.”

The operating procedures will also continue to include: conducting regular inspections to ensure health procedures are implemented; providing all staff with mandatory virtual training on implementing Covid-19 protocols; appointing a health and safety officer and hiring a nurse in every nursery, who will check the temperature of children, educators and staff on a daily basis, and not admit any person with a potential Covid-19 symptom.

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