Abu Dhabi updates operating protocols for children's nurseries
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Abu Dhabi updates operating protocols for children’s nurseries

Abu Dhabi updates operating protocols for children’s nurseries

Updated guidelines include increasing the number of children within ‘bubbles’

The Abu Dhabi Emergency, Crisis and Disasters Committee has approved updated operating guidelines for children’s nurseries in the capital emirate, effective from July 1, 2021.

Updated procedures call for continuing to operate with a lower capacity and caring for children in small groups or ‘bubbles’. However, bubbles now can include more children – for those aged between 45 days to two years, a bubble can include 12 children, up from a previous figure of eight, while for the age group of 2-4 years, a bubble can include 16 children, up from 10.

Nurseries must continue to ensure a minimum space requirement of 3.5 square metres per child in each classroom, and 5 square metres in open areas, Abu Dhabi Government Media Office reported.

Closure procedures have also been updated. Any bubble in which a positive case is detected will be closed for 10 days and if three or more bubbles are affected, then the entire nursery will close down for 10 days, based on specific measures.

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 and staff on a daily basis and not admit any person with a potential Covid-19 symptoms.

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. 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.”

The decision follows a review of statistics related to Covid-19 cases in children’s nurseries in Abu Dhabi, and a consultation with nursery operators and parents. A total of 77 per cent of the nursery staff has been vaccinated.

The committee also approved the physical return of students to schools for the upcoming 2021-2022 academic year.

Read: Abu Dhabi school students to return to campus in upcoming academic year

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