Nursery stands by tougher Covid-19 rules
A nursery has defended its decision to impose stricter Covid-19 travel rules than those recommended by the government.
Victoria Cunningham, owner of Bright Beginnings Nursery and Preschool in Pembroke, defended the nursery’s travel policy requiring children to quarantine for 14 days following travel – after a parent contacted The Royal Gazette to complain.
Ms Cunningham said she is acting in an abundance of caution in the best interests of the children and the nursery - while the parent feels the nursery is overstepping its authority.
Current government guidelines state that non-immunised children should remain at home for eight days before returning physically to school.
Bright Beginnings, which enrols children aged from three months to five years of age, states in its policy that it also requires a negative day 14 test where government guidelines call for a day eight negative test from the traveller.
The parent, who wished not to be named, said: “The government policy is based on what the science is saying and I trust what government is saying.
“I am extremely disappointed with the current position. It is more money out of my pocket to find a nanny for those extra days.
“They'll take my money but not allow my child to go to daycare because they feel it's the safest approach. It's a complete overstep of their authority. If the government felt that way it's one thing. It's a completely different ball game when a key service provider is making things up and denying service.”
Ms Cunningham said: “We chose that policy because the government has stated that non-immunised travellers must quarantine, after June 6, for 14 days.
“Children under 12 can not be immunised and when travelling the potential for exposure is high. Even if they are travelling with immunised parents they may still be exposed to non-immunised people.”
Ms Cunningham said only one parent had complained to the nursery about the policy. She added: “If a child has been exposed and is in the nursery, we will then be forced to close which affects not only that one parent, but 38 sets of parents and their children, siblings, staff members, their children etc.
“We understand it may be an inconvenience but I would rather inconvenience one parent than be forced to close the entire nursery. It is not just a financial decision, we honestly care about the children and their health.”
A spokeswoman for the Ministry of Health said: "The Ministry sets the minimum standard. However, each business is entitled to establish its own policy to manage risk in a manner that suits its business. That policy may be more rigorous than the Ministry’s. Also, best practice would indicate it should be in writing and properly communicated to the relevant parties."