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Restrictions on daycare and preschool will be lifted on May 14

On April 29, the Government has decided, based on the assessment of the health authorities, to lift the restrictions placed on early childhood education (daycare) and on preschool and primary education. The recommendation by the Council of State to retain children younger than school age at home will expire on May 13, 2020. The health authorities inform us reopening the early childhood education services will be safe for both children and staff. It is possible for children to return to daycare or preschool in stages, or with a “soft landing”, should you as their families see a need or an opportunity to do so.

The Institute for Health and Welfare and the Ministry of Education and Culture have issued safety instructions for as long as the coronavirus epidemic persists. These instructions will be observed in Oulu as elsewhere. 

Never attend daycare or family day care when sick

It is strictly forbidden to attend daycare or preschool when sick. A child may not be dropped off at a daycare facility if they exhibit any symptoms of illness. The person dropping off or picking up the child must also be healthy.

If a child is at a high risk from coronavirus, a doctor will evaluate whether it is safe for them to return to daycare or preschool.

The early education services must be notified of any non-attendance from preschool, as before. The pre-primary education teacher of the preschool group may sign off on absences between one to five days; absences of more than five days must be approved by the daycare centre manager. A permission to not attend may be applied for through an informal message over Wilma or e-mail. The preschool year ends on May 29, 2020.

Non-essential physical contact will be avoided in daycare. We recommend designating a single person to drop off and pick up the child to cut down on the number of contacts. Please use the closest door to enter your daycare group as directly as possible.

The presence of people other than children and daycare personnel at daycare centres will be curtailed. The daycare units will instruct the families on this matter separately.

As a rule, personnel will not move between daycare units, but spend as much time as possible with their designated group of children. We will practice distancing in the daycare groups and outdoor spaces as much as is practicable, and spend as much time as possible outside.

No large gatherings will take place at daycare centres during the spring and the summer.

As for future preschool students, their orientation will take place in the first week of August. More information on this will be provided at a later date.

Good hygiene habits will prevent infection

Both children and adults will wash their hands both on arrival to daycare and before going home. We’ll also wash hands before a meal, when coming indoors, whenever a sneeze or a cough happens, or whenever hands are visibly dirty. After washing, disposable paper towels will be used for drying.

The use of face masks in daycare and preschool is not recommended. We’ll be particularly mindful of good hygiene practices during meals, with staff distributing meals to children. Enhanced cleaning practices continue at daycare centres.

We hope a separate change of clothes is available for children in use in the daycare centre / child minding. You may not bring your own toys to daycare. If you have a bedtime toy, we recommend you keep it in the daycare’s bed or your backpack during the week and not involve it in play. Over the weekend, clean it at home.

In spite of these enhanced hygiene practices, we will guarantee children the closeness, safety and adult interaction they need, in ways as familiar to them as at all possible.

If a coronavirus infection is detected in a daycare centre or in a family day care, the guardians and personnel in that daycare unit will be informed immediately.

With cooperation and attention to instructions, we can ensure the children’s safe return to daycare and preschool together!

Most daycare mergers will take place starting June 1

In our plans for the summer season, we’ve tried to merge daycare units as little as possible, while being able to carry out staff holidays and planned renovations.

The original plan to begin daycare mergers from May 18, 2020 will not be carried out. Owing to government guidance, the early childhood education services have changed their plans for action for the summer and most unit mergers will take place only from June 1 onwards. Altogether half of all daycare centres will merge their operations for the summer (starting no earlier than May 25) between June 1 and July 31. Childminding will continue to operate with limited resources during the carers’ holidays.

Daycare centres will inform guardians of the merger schedule for their area/unit.

See which daycare centres are open in the summer and read up on the effect of non-attendance on summertime client fees: https://www.ouka.fi/oulu/paivahoito-ja-esiopetus/aukiolopoikkeukset

In order to plan for our personnel, operations and meals, we need you to inform us of your child’s holiday times and need for daycare services as soon as possible. Please notify us of any non-attendance either via the electronic system: www.ouka.fi/ph-asiointi  or by e-mail to the daycare manager:

  • Non-attendance in June by May 15, non-attendance in July by June 5, non-attendance in August by July 10.

For more information, contact the early childhood education services coordination team:
Tel. 08 558 45300 (weekdays 9–12), educare[at]ouka.fi

 

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If you suspect you have coronavirus, read the information