Estonia says parents on kindergarten premises 'not acceptable'

  • 2020-03-17
  • BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN – A new set of guidelines for the organization of the work of kindergartens during the emergency situation, sent by the state to municipalities and kindergartens, says that entry by parents and strangers onto the premises of kindergartens is not accepted and the handover of children must be organized outside the building.

Also, the number of contacts between people inside the building must be kept as low as possible. 

In the interests of the functioning of the state, it is necessary that kindergartens and child care institutions are open as much as is indispensible, and as little as possible, spokespeople for the Ministry of Education and Research said on Tuesday.

The opening hours and the organization of work of municipal kindergartens and child care institutions continue to be decided about by the municipality, and by the manager of the institution in the case of private institutions.  

The ministry said that to prevent the transmission of the virus, several restrictions have to be observed in the organization of the work of kindergartens and child care institutions. No people with whatever symptoms of illness must be allowed into the building, and the provision of hobby education in kindergartens is discontinued.

There must be no movement or contacts between kindergarten groups. Sports premises, halls, swimming pools and other premises in kindergartens must not be in common use. In a kindergarten building the monitoring of all those inside the building for symptoms and the implementation of prevention measures must be ensured.

In the reorganization of the work of kindergartens the recommendations of the Health Board for the organization of the work of workers at higher risk are to be observed. If a person with symptoms of illness is found in the building, they will be immediately quarantined and resolving of the situation organized in a manner that prevents the transmission of the infection, and in conformity with the guidelines of the Health Board.  

Directors of kindergartens are entitled to find, in collaboration with the municipality, the optimal solution for reorganizing the work of the kindergarten, including distance learning for older groups. During the emergency situation the director of a kindergarten is entitled to specify a parent's need for the kindergarten service.

If necessary, municipalities must ensure for the duration of the emergency situation  round-the-clock kindergarten and child care services in their administrative territory for parents working in  vital jobs and in jobs essential for the sustainable functioning of the state in the meaning of the Emergency Act. The provision of such service must be organized as quickly as possible, by March 20 the latest.