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IKEA reopens its Smaland ball pool childcare centre in Innaloo for first time since COVID-19 pandemic

West Aussie parents can breathe a sigh of relief after IKEA revealed it is reopening its childcare centre.

The Swedish furniture giant today reopened its hugely popular “Smaland” in WA, known for its mammoth ball pool, for the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

But, while parents will once again be able to leave their children with the store’s childcare workers while they go shopping, strict rules will now be enforced.

IKEA said it would be temperature checking some children on arrival and would refuse entry to anyone showing signs of sickness.

Parents will be asked a list of virus-related questions and children will be asked to wash their hands before they are allowed to play.

The number of children allowed to enter the facility will also be limited and opening hours will be scaled back to allow for more cleaning.

Smaland play areas across the country were closed in early March due to the virus pandemic and the Innaloo IKEA — WA’s only store —- is the first of the chain’s 10 Australian stores to reopen its play area.

“Our primary focus remains the health and safety of our co-workers, customers and service providers,” a store spokesperson said.

“As we continue to monitor the situation closely, we are taking all actions and precautions throughout our entire business based on frequently updated recommendations from the Australian Government.

“We also will continue to closely monitor all relevant state-based Government guidelines to ensure we meet and operate within the recommendations for childcare or child minding facilities in each state.”

IKEA offers 90 minutes of free childcare in its forest-themed play area to its customers’ children, providing they are potty-trained. The facility is massively popular among families, who are often seen queueing to get their kids a space.

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