Are nursery educators and children expected to wear a mask in nursery?

Nursery educators within the building, not working directly with children will wear a face covering to reduce the risk of transmission.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) published a new statement on the 21 August on when children should wear face coverings. They now advise that “children aged 12 and over should wear a mask under the same conditions as adults, in particular when they cannot guarantee at least a 1-metre distance from others and there is widespread transmission in the area.” This update does not affect early years as Public Health England advises that for safety reasons, face masks should not be used for children under three. In addition, misuse may inadvertently increase the risk of transmission and there may also be negative effects on communication and thus children’s development. The majority of staff in early years settings will not require PPE beyond what they would normally need for their work. PPE is only needed in a very small number of cases. Children whose care routinely already involves the use of PPE due to their intimate care needs will continue to receive their care in accordance with our policy. A face mask will be worn by a member of staff if a distance of 2 metres cannot be maintained with a child who becomes unwell with symptoms of coronavirus while at nursery until they can return home. For example, if they need personal care.