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Family affairs council prepares guide for reopening of nurseries

By Maram Kayed - Jun 01,2020 - Last updated at Jun 01,2020

The National Council for Family Affairs has outlined preparatory measures for the reopening of nurseries in a new guide drafted in cooperation with the Ministry of Social Development and the Ministry of Health (Photo courtesy of UNICEF Jordan website)

AMMAN — The National Council for Family Affairs has outlined preparatory measures for the reopening of nurseries in a new guide drafted in cooperation with the Ministry of Social Development and the Ministry of Health.

The public has been repeatedly requesting that nurseries be reopened since work resumed for many working mothers in different sectors, including the public sector, with mothers such as Nour Hadi, who works for the Ministry of Education, citing the move as “vital”.

Hadi told The Jordan Times over the phone that although the ministry has exempted working mothers whose children require care and whose husbands have also returned to work, the opening of nurseries is still “essential, as it is the right step to take as the country opens back up”.

However, the date for the reopening of nurseries is yet to be determined.

The guide’s safety and health measures included instructions regarding staff procedures, sterilisation and hygiene of facilities and implementing physical distancing for children.

In a statement, the council noted that nursery workers must show negative coronavirus test results before coming to work. The workers must not be pregnant, currently breastfeeding or suffering from chronic diseases.

In the event of a COVID-19 infection at a nursery, the facility will be closed for a period of 17 days, and the worker or child who tested positive will not be permitted to return without showing a negative test result, the guide stipulated.

Parents are required to sign a written commitment not to bring their children to the nursery if they have been in contact with any COVID-19 patient, and children who have virus symptoms including a high body temperature, a dry cough, vomiting, a runny nose or shortness of breath will not be admitted.

The instructions set the nursery capacity at 50 per cent, noting that thermal sensors will be provided for nurseries to periodically measure the temperatures of children.

The guide also called for designating delivery and pick-up times to prevent overcrowding and maintain social distancing.

Air flow and ventilation should be enhanced as weather conditions permit and waste should be removed continuously.

The council stated that nurseries must take into account the placing of all sterilisation and cleaning materials in dedicated locations out of the reach of children and behind locks.

The guide called for fostering physical separation within nurseries as much as possible by adopting the policy of separating children of different age groups.

Nurseries must also refrain from organising group activities that lead to crowding and excessive contact.

“Caregivers are obligated to sterilise their hands constantly, especially before preparing meals, after feeding children and before and after changing diapers, when accompanying children to the bathroom and before providing care for infants,” the guide concluded.

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