Part 2 - further advice on reopening churches
Part 1 establishes that churches and places of worship must, on the whole, remain closed as set out in law. However, with the recent announcement by the government that early years setting providers may be able to welcome back children by 1 June 2020 at the earliest, some local churches have been seeking advice as to how this affects them, where they have an existing tenancy with a nursery. If or when it is confirmed that nurseries/pre-schools can re-open, local churches affected by this, will need to:
1) Consider whether it is safe to allow use of their church premises for the intended purpose and check the terms of the tenancy that the nursery will be operating under. Further advice or assistance can be sought from the Legal and Trust Officer in relation to any existing tenancy, or if a tenancy agreement is required to be put in place to enable any nursery to resume occupation of the premises.
2) Seek confirmation from the nursery tenant that they have complied with all relevant government guidance and advice issued to their sector, including the following:
(a) Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance for schools and other educational settings (issued by the Department for Education, Cabinet Office and Public Health England) - https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-for-schools-and-other-educational-settings
(b) Actions for early years and childcare providers during the coronavirus outbreak (issued by Department for Education) - https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-early-years-and-childcare-closures/coronavirus-covid-19-early-years-and-childcare-closures
The latter, in particular, sets out what childcare services early years settings, childminders and local authorities need to provide during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
3) Seek confirmation from the nursery tenant that they have complied with all guidelines and requirements of the relevant local authority and Ofsted, including any relating to physical security and safeguarding.
4) Seek confirmation from the nursery tenant that they have their own public liability insurance policy in place.
5) Seek confirmation from the nursery tenant that they have in place a health and safety policy, and a safeguarding policy, which may need to be reviewed and updated.
Simply complete the form below and we’ll aim to respond within one hour (during office hours).