Child Care Resources: How Day Cares are Keeping Kids Safe Upon Reopening
These are the guidelines child care centers are following and child care resources they are utilizing as they reopen in New York.
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Children’s naptime mats must be spaced out as much as possible (ideally 6 feet apart).
Non-essential visitors should be prohibited from visiting the center.
Employees and children will be encouraged to limit the sharing of objects and discourage touching of shared surfaces. When in contact with frequently touched areas, employees will be required to wear gloves or practice hand hygiene before and after contact.
Employees and children must perform hand hygiene regularly throughout the day, including immediately upon arriving, between program activities, after using the restroom, before eating, and before departing.
Centers should routinely clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that are frequently touched, especially toys, games, doorknobs, and floors.
Facilities are advised to limit children’s use of toys that can’t be cleaned or sanitized.
Child Care Resources: How will child care centers keep children younger than 2 safe?
Children ages 2 and younger cannot wear any kind of face covering because of the danger of suffocation. When taking care of infants and toddlers, child care providers should follow the above guidelines in addition to the following:
When diapering a child, staff should wash their and the child’s hands before, wear gloves, and regularly disinfect the diaper-changing area.
Infants, toddlers, and providers should have multiple changes of clothes on hand. Clothes should be changed if they become soiled with any bodily fluids. Contaminated clothes should be placed in a plastic bag until they’re able to be washed.
Child care providers must wash their hands before and after handling infant bottles. Bottles, bottle caps, nipples, and other equipment used for bottle-feeding should be thoroughly cleaned after each use.
Resources for Parents: What should parents do to prepare their kids to return to day care?
In preparing for a return to day care, parents should teach their kids to wash their hands properly before and after every activity, and to refrain from touching their face. Use kid-friendly child care resources like Sesame Street's Caring for Eachother resources and MarMar Land's "Life Skills in the Age of COVID-19," so your kids can better understand the importance of implementing these habits.
“If you can teach and build these two habits...that will go a long way,” Dr. Jan says. She also believes teaching children older than 2 to keep face coverings on would be extremely beneficial and help in protecting themselves and others around them.
She urges parents to monitor their children regularly while home for any signs of illness. Caregivers and parents must be open and honest about any potential illness they, their family, or their children may develop to keep everyone at the child care center safe.
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