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Information for schools, after school programmes and childcare centres

Published Updated

Transmission is prevented by sick people staying at home, good hygiene and reduced contact frequency between people.

Transmission is prevented by sick people staying at home, good hygiene and reduced contact frequency between people.


This page will be updated shortly according to changes announced in the Government's press conference 25 October 2020.

The Government has issued the follow decisions and advice to childcare centres and schools: 

  • 12th March 2020, the Norwegian Directorate of Health decided to close childcare centres/nurseries and educational institutions.
  • 7th April 2020, the Government decided to introduce a gradual reopening of childcare centres and schools, and from the 11th May, all schools can re-open.
  • May and September: infection control guidelines for childcare centres and schools  updated.

Childcare centres and schools play a crucial role in children's learning, care and development. Children and adolescents have the right and duty to attend primary school education in accordance with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and Norwegian law.

Children appear to have mild symptoms from COVID-19 and few have had a severe disease course. The current assessment shows that the overall negative effects of keeping childcare centres and schools closed outweigh the potential benefit of limiting the transmission.

There is a major focus on infection control to take care of the health of the children, adolescents and staff. The three main pillars to limit transmission are: 

Guidelines for childcare centres, schools and after school programmes

The Norwegian Institute of Public Health and the Norwegian Directorate for Education and Training have prepared guidelines for infection control in childcare centres, schools and after school clubs. the guidelines describe in detail the practical implications of measures to reduce transmission and to give advice and support to ensure good infection control for staff, children and adolescents. 

In the guideline published on 29th May 2020, the advice is graded by three different levels - green, yellow and red action levels - so that operations can be adapted to the appropriate infection situation. The health authorities decide which level the schools shall follow. The guidelines were updated 28 september 2020. 

See the advice and updates at the Directorate for Education and Training: 

In consultation with the Norwegian Pediatric Association, the National Institute of Public Health considers that the vast majority of children and young people with chronic diseases and conditions can go to childcare and school as usual. The Norwegian Pediatric Association has more detailed information on its website, which was updated on 25 September 2020.

Advice about hand hygiene in childcare centres and schools

Good hand hygiene is an important infection control measure. Childcare centres and schools must ensure that children and staff can perform hand hygiene as required, in the correct way and with products that are effective and not irritating to the skin on the hands.

Closing ceremonies and other events in schools and childcare centres

Tailored advice for end-of-school year ceremonies and other events:

  • No-one who is sick should attend.
  • Good hygiene is important and there must be adequate facilities for hand washing / hand disinfection.
  • Organise ceremonies for up to the number of people allowed (for example, by department in childcare centre or by classroom in schools). Currently, this is 200 people. See updated advice about events, gatherings and summer activities.
  • Children who attend the same cohort / class can socialise as normal. This also applies to people within the same household / family. Those who are not normally close contacts should stay one metre away from other children and adults.
  • Food and drinks should be organised as normal, with a focus on good hand hygiene and general good food hygiene. 

A teacher or guardian can be the organiser and should be familiar with the current advice for events.

Ceremonies in schools and childcare centres are traditionally a family event. There is a wide span from kindergarten to upper high school and there will be differences in how they are marked; for example, whether to gather relatively many children / pupils with few family members, or small groups of children / pupils with their whole family.

Talking to children

Childcare centres and schools should also follow their current routines in case of illness among children. It is important to talk to children / pupils about coronavirus disease to avoid fear and to create security around the situation.

This film is made by the Norwegian Directorate of Health and is intended for children and adolescents. The sound is only in Norwegian but subtitles are available in several languages:

  • Click on the cogwheel symbol at the bottom when you open the film
  • Remove "autoplay" if it shows red
  • Choose "settings" 
  • Click "subtitles"
  • Choose "automatic translation"
  • Choose language

(We cannot guarantee that the autotranslation for some of the languages is completely correct).

 

History

28.9.2010: Removed advice for children with chronic diseases and children living with persons with increased risk. Sentence added stating that the vast majority of children and young people with chronic diseases and conditions can go to kindergarten and school as usual.

14.09.2020: Main content not changed but minor adjustments to text made. 

04.06.2020: Added information about end-of-school year ceremonies

29.05.2020: Added information about updated advice and traffic light model. Removed text about hand washing, linked to article about hand washing instead.

26.05.2020: Added hand washing advice as per Norwegian version.

08.05.2020
General updates as per Norwegian version.

16.03.2020
Updated prior to reopening of childcare centres and schools. Added link to infection control guide published on website of Directorate of Education and Training

25.03.2020

Updated dates for school closures

13.03.2020
Added paragraphs about closure of schools and childcare centres. Removed a duplicate sentence about having paper tissues available.

12.03.2020
Updated as per changes to Norwegian text - general changes throughout

12.03.2020

Created English version

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