Health Guidance [Updated May 13th 2021]
The priority for Early learning and Care (ELC) and School-Age Childcare (SAC) settings in Ireland operating during COVID-19 will be to ensure the health and safety of children, families and staff, while continuing to ensure quality practice to support children's well-being, learning and development. This section provides some helpful documents on health and safety.
Guidance for you and your setting
- Data on Covid-19 cases in services (HSE)- 8th May 2021 [View Here]
- The HSE publish a weekly report on mass testing in ELC/SAC services and schools. The report details the number of facilities which have been subject of mass testing, the number of individuals (adults and children) within those facilities who were referred for testing and, of those referred for testing, the numbers which had Covid-19 detected. Data is provided for the full period in which the Public Health Pathway for services and schools has been in place along with data for the most recent week.
- The HSE Mass Testing Report can be found here - https://www.hse.ie/eng/services/news/newsfeatures/covid19-updates/covid-19-schools-mass-testing-report.html
- Infection Prevention and Control, guidance for settings providing childcare during the COVID-19 Pandemic, (HPSC) [Download here]
- Update on HPSC Health Advice on Symptoms of Covid-19 for Early Learning and Care and School-Age Childcare Settings [Download here]
- Infection Control training, (TUSLA)[Download here]
- HPSC Webinar on Infection Control Guidance for Early Learning and Care and School Age Childcare Settings [View here]
- Dr. Abigail Collins, Consultant in Public Health Medicine, provides advice regarding the safety of ELC and SAC settings for Essential Workers during the current level 5 restrictions in the video links below.
- COVID-19 Infection Prevention and Control Guidance for Childcare Settings; below you will find links to both the webinar recording and the associated slide print out.
- HSE Memo 9th February Re: Face Coverings, Covid Testing and Key Public Health Messages [View here]
Regulatory Guidance [Updated October 22nd 2020]
This section provides guidance and information on regulations for early learning and care and school-aged childcare settings during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Tusla’s Early Years Inspectorate has developed guidance for registered providers of early years services to support and facilitate the safe reopening and operation during the COVID-19 period.
These documents have been prepared in line with public health guidance and regulatory requirements. The guidance document provides detailed information on the steps you need to take before and after you reopen.The self-assessment checklist should be completed in parallel with the guidance document as an aide to help services work through the requirements. As you are aware Covid -19 is included in the list of infectious diseases, in the event of a case in an early years’ service it must be notified to Tusla. A revised notification form for Covid-19 has been developed. Should additional advice be received from HPSC before Phase 3 or thereafter, Tusla will amend the documents accordingly.
The suite of documents includes
- Tusla EY letter to Registered Providers, (TUSLA) [Download here].
- Guidance for Early Years Services managing COVID-19, (Tusla) [Download here].
- COVID-19 Notification form for Early Years services, (Tusla) [Download here].
- Early Years COVID-19 Self-Assessment checklist, (Tusla) [Download here].
- COVID-19 Inspection protocol for registered providers, (TUSLA) [Download here].
- Inspection toolkit, (TUSLA) [Download here].
- Pre-Inspection Documentation Request, (TUSLA) [Download here].
The Department of Education and Skills, Early Years Education Inspectorate has developed guidance for registered providers of early learning and care settings regarding the arrangements for inspection during the 2020/21 academic year.
- Circular 0042/2020, Arrangements for Inspection of Early Learning and Care (ELC) Settings for the 2020/2021 academic year, (DES) [Download here].