Increases in ‘bubble’ size and phased closing (rather than full) of affected nurseries…

The Abu Dhabi Emergency, Crisis and Disasters Committee has announced updated requirements for running nurseries in the capital, effective from July 1.

These policy changes can be broadly grouped as a relaxation of rules and regulations. Easing that has been made possible by “a consistently low infection rate in the emirate’s nurseries and the vaccination of 77 per cent of staff consistently low infection rate in the emirate’s nurseries and the vaccination of 77 per cent of staff”. The decision followed consultation with parents and key personal.

What has changed?

Probably the biggest development has been the increase in bubble sizes. ‘Bubbles’ of course being those in-class divisions, essentially creating smaller form sizes, and allowing for better containment of any potential infections.

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For the age group of 45 days to two years — bubbles can include up to 12 children, (was previously eight); for the age group of two to four years, bubble sizes have increased from 10 to a max of now 16 children.

The other important development is a shift to a ‘gradual close’ rather than immediate closing. With this update only potentially affected bubbles will be closed for positive cases (rather than the full nursery) over a period of 10 days. However if three or more bubbles become affected, the full nursery will close for 10 days.

What is staying the same?

A minimum spacing of 3.5 metres (or over five metres in open spaces) must still be maintained between students; regular inspections will be carried out by the relevant authorities; all staff must have mandatory virtual training on protocol; every nursery must have a nurse and a health and safety officer capable of conducting screenings.

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.”

“Nurseries are also critical in supporting parents’ careers and ability to work by providing this essential service.”

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