Pandemic Policies & Procedures


Providers: Please feel free to take whatever you need/want for your own policies. Suggestions for improvement are appreciated and can be sent via email to littlestarslearning@gmail.com or put into a comment below.

While in a state of pandemic for our country, state, county or city, the following procedures shall apply.

The number one directive of child care is to provide for the health and safety of the children in care. By its very nature, a pandemic places those at risk. It is vital that every single member of our school community do everything they can to limit those risks to the children in care and in turn their families. You may not know that a family is dealing with cancer, a child has a heart problem or is dealing with an otherwise compromised immune system. Keep this in mind. Help keep everyone safe and healthy.

Some of the behaviors I expect from my clients during a pandemic:

  • Social distancing, including from family, friends and co-workers to the greatest extent feasible.
  • Keeping children home as much as possible, especially from public spaces, even once initially open, such as park playgrounds, theaters, amusement parks, inside restaurants, and any group gathering over 10 people, until the pandemic has dramatically decreased to a green level.
  • Utilizing curb-side pick-up, on-line ordering, and any other means to limit exposure and risk for your family.
  • Communicating to me exactly the level of risk you are incurring through your actions and choices so that I am fully capable of responding accordingly in the level of segregation for your child[ren], potentially asking you to wear a mask, and letting the other families properly judge the level of exposure/risk they wish for their own child[ren], up to keeping them at home, based upon what all families are doing.
Since I am probably monitoring the minutia of the situation better than most, it is important that I know where you are going and how you are treating your public interactions. Knowing that there were 20 cases of Covid linked to one Chick-Fil-A, it helped to know which families had begun to use drive-thru so that I knew with whom to discuss the situation.

While it may seem invasive, it truly helps to keep everyone making appropriate decisions as a family and as a group. Each of you would be very upset if a pandemic illness was brought in by a family not taking it seriously and not following policy. If I ask you to wear a mask, it isn’t up for debate. It is also not a punitive measure, but a health and safety one. One of the reasons you chose my care was because of my concern for your child[ren]’s welfare. During a pandemic, it is everyone's job.


RED level: Our area is considered a hot spot, a parent or child is being tested, the area is under lock down, numbers of area cases keep rising

YELLOW level: Numbers are going down, lock down is eased, masks are being worn, care and vigilance is still needing to be taken

GREEN level: Numbers are minimal, normal activity has resumed, concern is negligible 

A complete lock down where we are living in our own little school bubble with no outside contact will be treated more like a YELLOW level.

Drop Off and Pick Up

  • Drop off and pick up shall be done on the porch.
  • No parents shall enter the premises.
  • Text or activate the Ring doorbell with motion when you are ready for your child to enter.
  • Clients shall not speak to provider if within 6 feet of distance.
  • Children old enough to walk shall be sent across the porch.
  • Clients will be required to wear masks to hand off infants.
  • All children will require a temperature check before entry.
  • All children will immediately have their hands sanitized.
Items from home shall be limited to those required for care, such as breast milk and cloth diapers.

Upon entry, these items shall be sanitized. Note that by the nature of sanitizers, this may cause discoloration or fading of fabrics. Provider will not be held responsible for damage caused by sanitation practices.

Please respect social distancing and remain in your car if another family is doing drop-off or pick-up, until the other client is back in their vehicle. This will also allow me the time to settle the first child at drop-off or collect your child for pick-up.

Exclusion

Children shall be excluded from care for an additional period of 72 hours, after issue resolves, WITHOUT the use of medication, when showing ANY signs or symptoms of illness, beyond those that normally require exclusion.

These include but are not exclusive to:

  • Fever over 100 degrees
  • Runny nose
  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • General malaise or sleepiness
  • Watery eyes
  • Rash
  • Headache
  • Stomach ache
  • One diarrhea movement
As always, I retain the right to exclude any child for any health or safety concern I may have. 

If ANYONE in the household is running a fever, the child{ren] need to remain out of care until the fever is resolved and the person has been off medication with no fever for 72 hours.

The following travel issues will require 14 days, or current pandemic incubation period, out of care for the child[ren]:

  • Any travel by any person in the immediate family to a known hot spot, whether country, state, county or city,
  • Any contact with visitors from a hot spot.
  • Any travel via public transportation: airplane, train or bus.
  • Any contact with visitors who have traveled by the above public transportation
So if grandpa flies in and visits during a pandemic, it will be an automatic exclusion for the child[ren] in care. If he drives in from a hot spot, it will be an automatic exclusion for the child[ren].

Failure to notify and comply will be grounds for immediate termination.



Care Hours and Closing

During a pandemic care hours will be reduced by ½ hour in the morning and ½ hour in the evening to accommodate the extensive cleaning schedule that must be followed. Regular care hours shall be returned to once the state mandated cleaning is relaxed and office attendance becomes required.

Daycare in this state is considered an essential service and is unlikely to be closed by the state, especially home daycares. If state should mandate childcare closing, then of course I will comply.

I retain the option of closing the child care for a period of time if I feel I can not keep the children safe, if parents are not complying with health and safety measures, or if I feel that my health is compromised. I will remain closed for the minimum time I feel is necessary.

A reminder that payment is always 52 weeks a year for a spot. If you choose not to pay while I am closed, then you may submit and pay your contracted termination notice and concede your spot. When I reopen, or you choose to return your child to care, your child will be welcome back if I have a spot available. This is in no manner guaranteed. If I am open and you choose not to return, I will be filling the conceded spot as soon as I feel it is safe to do so.

I reserve the right to exclude any child that I feel is a higher risk to the others in care. This is most likely an older toddler who will not manage social distancing. Infants and young toddlers can be segregated, older preschoolers and school age children understand and can assist with separation. Older toddlers/young preschoolers are often not willing and able to be segregated. This will be determined on a case by case basis.


If a parent or child requires testing, I will close for 24 hours to do a deep cleanse: removal and/or sanitizing of all toys and bedding; sanitize all surfaces and hardware to 5 feet including walls, doors, surfaces, cabinet fronts, inside cabinets if needed, cubbies inside and out, cubby baskets, appliances and fixtures. While some of this is done daily, or more, segregation usually doesn't require the entire space to be sanitized to this level each day. Additional sanitation will occur daily until we are cleared of direct threat via testing.

Pandemic Illness in Care

If a client family or my family becomes infected, state will require that I shut down for the incubation period of the illness and/or until testing comes back negative. They will also require all exposed children and families tested.

If a client family is infected, ALL members of the family must have verifiable negative tests prior to the child[ren] returning to care. Any contact by a client family with an infected person, or a chain of known exposure, must be communicated with me. Even if the exposure is negligible, I can increase segregation and sanitation until the extent of the exposure is known for certain, protecting as much as possible everyone else.

If ANYONE in the immediate family [including everyone the family is in regular contact with] has had expoure to a person known to be positive AND/OR is required to test, the child[ren] must be kept out of care until 14 days past last exposure by the family member to the infected individual AND the results come back negative for all required family members. Note that even now during Covid19, testing is ramping up and it can take several days for results to return. While it may be an inconvenience, the child[ren] must remain out of care until all results are received negative. In short, ANY direct contact with a known carrier will require 14 day quarantine. With COVID it has been found that 
23% of people testing negative via respiratory testing, tested positive when a fecal test was done. Respiratory testing is not 100%, so the 14 day quarantine must be placed. At this time, it is required, even with a negative test, in this county.

If anyone in your general office building, church, etc. is found to be positive, even if you are not required to test, please let me know so that I can up the level of concern.

Many providers are requiring testing results for any level of fever, persistent cough, or level of exposure. I am not at this time, but retain the right to require testing on a case-by-case basis.

If I get sick, I will need to close for however long it takes for me to overcome the illness. During a pandemic, back-up care is NOT available. I shall do everything in my power to ensure I do not get ill. Just as with the children, I will be taking my own temperature regularly and assessing myself for any indications of illness.

Care During Pandemic

While these policies & procedures are being addressed during Covid19, which is a fairly mild pandemic illness compared to other possible ones, note that in a more severe illness additional measures may need to be taken. Most likely in a more severe illness, care will be closed. But additional measures such as all children separated 6 feet or more, masks worn all day, etc. could be taken.

The children were all separated 6 feet for the first few weeks of pandemic care with only half the children returned. This will be the case in any RED LEVEL situation. During this level, I will wear a mask while interacting with the children in less than 6 feet of distance. I will wear clothing covering that will be changed for each child I need to hold, such as feeding infants.


Once every child returned, 6 foot segregation for all was no longer deemed necessary. However, I have kept the age groups segregated with one another. The toddlers are in a gated area where was once the dramatic play area, the young preschoolers are segregated across the room in what was formerly the block area and the kindergartners have access to both the art room and front room. This allows for distance separation throughout the day and less exposure for individual children. This is our YELLOW LEVEL.

Any child that has been exposed to a chain exposure of more than two degrees, such as family-grandparent-friend-co-worker who tested positive, will be allowed into care but will be entirely segregated physically from the other children. They will still be in view, but distanced physically. I will wear a mask and clothing cover when providing direct care to that child until tests return negative or the incubation period from exposure date has passed.

Sanitation procedures are normally pretty high here, but during a pandemic additional cleaning of any touched surface, mouthed toys or surfaces, etc. shall receive additional attention. The bathroom will be sprayed with sanitizer between uses. The number of toys and activities will be at a daily minimum during this time with rotation in and out for sanitizing. Floors, lower walls, and other contact surfaces will be sanitized and/or steam cleaned daily. The age groups will have lunch separated by group at their own tables.

As much time as possible will be spent outside, where distancing, fresh air and sunshine can help to keep the children healthy in mind and body during a very stressful time.


SCHOOL AGERS

School age children who are currently in care will be allowed to remain in care. If positions are available, graduates of my program will also be allowed to return. Only school agers from my program will be allowed. Exposure of parents will also be a determining factor of who is and who is not allowed. I, as always, reserve the right to refuse care for any family or child for any reason. 

Due to the exposure school environments pose, school agers will be segregated at all times to the front room and art room. If additional study space is needed, especially for quiet for zoom meetings, the upstairs conference room may be utilized as well. Students will need to maintain 6 feet of distance from one another and everyone else, unless parents give permission for unfettered contact with friends. If this is not possible, they will wear masks while here. 

This is a teaching program, I homeschooled my sons, and you know the level at which I can teach your children. I also know the level of autonomy each one can handle for learning. I will be happy to ASSIST in their schooling and to keep them challenged and entertained. Any school work not able to be accomplished while here will need to be addressed at home by the parents. While I offer my ASSISTANCE, as you know, we have bad days: babies teething, full moon [seriously!], changes in the atmospheric pressure [research supports this]. So if we have a bad day and my attention needs to be focused elsewhere, parents will have to step up their game in the evening. 

If I am teaching and supporting students, I will be paid my regular care rate as a daily fee. Tuition will be change from position, weekly tuition due every week, to time-in-care, tuition of a daily rate for only days in care.  If school agers need to just be here on days off hanging out, and parents will be teaching ALL school-related activities at home, then my school-age discount rate will apply. 

CONCLUSION

Please note that as careful as we are being, there is still the possibility of Covid being transmitted within this facility. By having your child here, you acknowledge and hold harmless this business for any infection contracted.

As with all policies and procedures, this is a working document and may be changed or updated at any time for any reason. Notification will be given to all current clients when changes are made. Agreement to all policy and procedure changes are agreed to within your contract. childcare, child care, daycare, preschool, pre-k, center, pandemic, covid, covid19, covid-19, infant, toddler, pandemic, corona, coronavirus, virus, policies, procedures



1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for creating this crucial document for use in the DayCare and Preschool programs. Safety should be everyone's number one priority.

    ReplyDelete