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Should I keep my child at home?

A child appearing to be unwell can be difficult for a parent to deal with.

This information aims to help you make a decision as to whether your child should be kept away from his or her childminder, pre-school or nursery.

We recognise that it can be difficult to take time off if you are a working parent to look after your child; however, childcare providers have a duty to protect other children in their care from infection.

Ofsted's standard for health states that all childcare providers "promote the good health of children" and that they "take positive steps to prevent the spread of infection".

Parents support is vital if childcare providers are to control the spread of unpleasant illnesses.

Poorly children are often miserable children which can cause additional difficulties for a childcare provider and distress for the child.

Five golden rules

  1. A child must not attend a childminder, pre-school or nursery if they are vomiting or have diarrhoea. They should not be in a childcare setting until 48 hours after diarrhoea and/or vomiting has ceased.
  2. A child known to be unwell and with a temperature must not attend their childminder, pre-school or nursery. A child who becomes ill during the day should be collected by their parent or carer.
  3. Colds are infectious. A mild cold will cause little distress; however, a child with a heavy cold or flu who has a temperature should be nursed at home.
  4. Children with open sores, for example, impetigo must not attend a childminder, pre-school or nursery until the lesions are crusted or healed. A child with chicken pox must be kept at home for five days from the onset of a rash.
  5. A child with conjunctivitis may attend a childminder, pre-school or nursery. Good hand hygiene and discouraging close facial contact will prevent the spread of infection.

Other considerations

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