​4 June 2021

Dear Parents / Guardians

Keeping Our Preschools COVID-19 Safe Together

1     With the increased incidence of household transmission observed with the new COVID-19 strains, the Multi-Ministry Taskforce recently announced added precautions to support the early ringfencing of infected cases in the community.

2     In line with this, we will be enhancing safe management measures in preschools. We recognise that this may inconvenient families and preschools but we seek your understanding that it is important we step up upstream precautions given the increased transmissibility of the new variants and there is currently no vaccine available for young children. As preschool premises are relatively more compact and children/ staff are in close contact for a prolonged period, the impact of any transmission on preschools and families is significant.

Reducing Risks of Exposure Upstream

3     Today, preschools are already required to undertake several measures to reduce risks of exposure to the preschool upstream. These include issuing Leave of Absence (LOA) to child/staff1 staying with a household member on Home Quarantine Order (HQO) or Stay-Home Notice (SHN). To better safeguard the wellbeing of the preschool community in view of the increased transmissibility of the new variants, the following added precautions will be introduced with effect from Tuesday, 8 June 2021:

     a. A child/staff is staying with a household member placed on QO or SHN.
     •    Household member(s) is serving quarantine or SHN at home. The preschool will issue a LOA for the affected child/staff2. The child/staff can return to the preschool after the household member has completed serving his/her quarantine or SHN. (existing)

     •   Household member(s) is still at home while waiting for conveyance to a Government Quarantine Facility (GQF); or already at GQF but pending test results.The preschool will issue a LOA for the affected child/staff. The child/staff can return to the preschool only after the household member has been conveyed to the GQF and has a negative COVID-19 PCR test result at entry into quarantine. (new)

     b. A child/staff is placed on quarantine and recently in preschool3.

•   If the child/staff was recently unwell before the start of quarantine or becomes unwell soon during quarantine. The preschool will issue a LOA for the class. The class may return to preschool once the child/staff who is on quarantine receives a negative COVID-19 PCR test result at entry into quarantine (this may take a few days). The preschool will keep parents updated of developments and when the class can return to preschool.

•    If child/staff was generally well.The preschool will inform parents of such cases. Parents are strongly encouraged to keep children who are in the same class at home, if possible. The child from the same class may return to preschool once the child/staff who is on quarantine receives a negative COVID-19 PCR test result at his/her entry into quarantine (this may take a few days).

     c. A child/staff or household member is undergoing mandatory COVID-19 tests
(e.g. due to potential exposure to COVID-19 cases such as the testing for all residents of a particular HDB block or workplace cluster).
•   If child/staff is undergoing mandatory test.The preschool will issue a LOA for the child/staff. The child/staff can return to preschool after receiving a negative COVID-19 PCR test result.

•   If child/staff’s household member is undergoing mandatory test.Parents are strongly encouraged to keep your child at home, if possible. Your child may return to preschool once the household member has a negative COVID-19 PCR test result4.

Support from Parents

4     The fight against COVID-19 requires the collective effort of every single person in the preschool community. We seek the support of parents to work together with your child’s preschool in the implementation of the enhanced safety measures. Parents should:

 Inform your child’s preschool immediately once your child or any household member:
•    Has been issued with Quarantine Order
•    Has been issued with Stay-Home Notice;
•    Has been placed on Leave of Absence or phone surveillance
•    Is undergoing mandatory COVID-19 tests;

 Monitor your child’s health regularly and look out for symptoms such as fever (e.g. body temperature more than 37.5°C) and/or respiratory symptoms such as sore throat, runny nose, cough and breathlessness.

 Keep your child at home if your child is unwell and see a doctor immediately. Refrain from self-medicating. Inform your preschool if your child is unwell and only send your child back when your child’s medical leave period is over, and your child has fully recovered.

 Encourage your child (aged 2 years and older) to wear a mask or face shield for their protection and in the interest of other children/ staff. We understand that some children may have difficulties wearing a mask, for example, children with special needs and younger children. Face shields may be used as an alternative and preschools will exercise flexibility for these children.

5     We seek parents’ understanding if some of these measures cause inconvenience. They are necessary safety precautions during these exceptional times, and we thank everyone for their cooperation. These enhanced measures complement existing safe management measures to ensure that our preschools remain a safe environment for all children and staff. We will continue to review and adjust the measures in line with the national posture for the health and well-being of everyone in the preschool.

​6     For information on COVID-19, please call the MOH Hotline: 1800-333 9999 or visit MOH’s website at www.moh.gov.sg/.​

Thank you.

Early Childhood Development Agency​​​


 

1For staff, an alternative is to redeploy staff to backend administrative tasks.
2For staff, preschools may choose to lift the LOA and redeploy the staff to backend administrative duties (with no interactions with other staff and children) after the staff’s household member who is on HQO has a negative COVID-19 PCR test result at his/her entry into quarantine.
3This applies when the affected child/ staff was in preschool at any point in time within 14 days before the start of quarantine.
4For staff, preschools will be advised to redeploy the staff to backend administrative tasks (with no interactions with other staff and children) until the household member has a negative COVID-19 PCR test result.

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