Considerations before opening
The Government is encouraging pre-school facilities to open possibly as early as the 1st June and this will affect some churches which are used for playgroups and nurseries. Guidance is available online at:
Where playgroups or nurseries are run by the church or under Licence (i.e. the playgroup is an outside organisation or person which shares the church buildings with other hirers) the Elders will need to carefully consider how users or hirers can use the buildings safely, taking into account:
- Elders need to understand that they share a duty of care with the playgroup or nursery leaders/management.
- social distancing needs to be maintained.
- a risk assessment needs to be undertaken.
- advice should be sought from the church insurers.
- decisions need to be local and contextual.
- an appropriate cleaning regime needs to be in place.
- soft toys/fabrics need to be excluded.
Where a playgroup or nursery has a Lease (or statutory tenancy) of church property and occupy ‘exclusive space’, they have a right to open and use that space without consulting the Elders provided they do so according to the terms of their lease, and comply with Government and HSE regulations.