Staying Safe at the Center
What a year it's been! What we know about COVID-19 is constantly evolving, and we want you to know that we are in frequent contact with health and education resources at the county and state level to get updated guidance on how to keep all of us safe in these uncertain times. Read our Health and Safety Plan.
- Every child must pass the daily health screening before being permitted into care. Children’s temperatures will be taken. The following will not be permitted into care:
- Any child with a fever of 100.4
- Any child with a cough or cold-like symptoms
- Any child who has just returned from a hot spot state
If you have questions about what states are “hot spots” please ask the office. The Pennsylvania Department of Health keeps a list on their site: COVID-19 Information for Travelers
- Staggered drop-off times to minimize traffic flow.
- Utilizing all outdoor classroom doors for children and drop offs using the front and back parking lots.
- Rolling drop-offs are only available when the Center has been notified before 9 a.m. Arrivals up to 11 a.m. can be accommodated.
- Parent expectations: You can e-sign the Parent Agreement Acknowledgement and Disclosure.
Know that our teachers and staff wear masks the entire time they are at the Center. Here’s a few other things that we’re focusing on at the Center - it’s easy, the word to remember is M-A-S-K:
- M is for Mask Up
- The guidance: State child care center regulations mandate that all children over the age of 2 should wear a mask / face covering, circumstances permitting.
- Why? While children seem to be at low risk of contracting COVID-19, all of us who work with or have children know that even common colds can gallop through a class in a school setting. My mask protects you, your mask protects me. We want to send you home with fun art projects, not worries about infectious diseases.
- What we're doing at the Center: All children over the age of two are wearing masks daily. Sometimes it's difficult to maintain a social distance of six feet from people outside the child's household; masks can help make that safer.
- How you can help: Please send in a few masks that your child can wear marked with their name. We will launder them at the Center. There are lots of fun, fabric face coverings for kids - it’s more fun to wear a mask if it dresses your face up like your favorite superhero! Practice wearing it when you go out for a walk or to a store. Wear your own mask: your kids are looking to you for guidance. It’s just a thing we have to do to be out and about, like wear pants. If you have questions or concerns, or need assistance obtaining masks, please call the office. Let’s talk!
- A is for Avoid Touching Your Face
- The guidance: Keep hands clean, and away from eyes, mouth, and nose.
- Why? Viruses are most commonly transmitted when we touch a surface and then absently touch our faces. Proper handwashing technique coupled with reminders to avoid touching our faces reduces transmission.
- What we're doing at the Center: Our staff will be making sure to remind the children not to touch their faces – and we'll be asking the children to remind us! More frequent handwashing is part of every day.
- How you can help: Help your kids find a fun song to sing while they wash their hands. It's hard for kids to have a feeling of how long 20 seconds is; a song they love can help. Remember to moisturize – all that handwashing can result in dry skin. Remind your child to not touch their face. And get them to remind you too!
- S is for Sanitize Surfaces
- The guidance: Clean and disinfect "high touch" surfaces often.
- Why? Common (and safe for kids) disinfectants can kill the virus on surfaces before people can touch those surfaces and get contaminated hands.
- What we're doing at the Center: Ever do a craft with glitter? If one person in the group is using glitter, it's pretty likely there will be some "glitter overlap." Cleaning surfaces helps us stay ahead of it. Your children will be seeing a lot more of teachers wiping things down.
- How you can help: Stay alert for changes in pickup and dropoff procedures; this is an evolving situation and we may need to make modifications in the ways we always used to do things. Have you spotted a great sale on disinfecting wipes? Let us know! Try to touch as few surfaces as possible, and help your child remember that too.
- K is for Keep Your Distance
- The guidance:Keep your social circle small and limit travel. Small groups are better than large groups, outside is better than inside.
- Why? The fewer people that you have concentrated contact with on a daily basis, the less likely it is that one of those people has been exposed to the virus.
- What we're doing at the Center: We do our best to keep the children's "circles" small. Each class is spending time outdoors whenever possible – outdoors is better than indoors. We aren't combining classes or doing Center-wide activities. The teachers stay together so that they're keeping their "circle" small too. If a child or staff member should test positive, we'll be able to focus on that single classroom.
- How you can help: Please let us know if you or someone in your immediate family has recently traveled to a "hot spot." Please choose to self-isolate when returning to Pennsylvania and do not bring your child into the Center. Our team members are not permitted to immediately return to work if they travel to any of these "hot spot" states. We ask that you do the same. The Pennsylvania Department of Health keeps a list of "hot spots" on their website: COVID-19 Information for Travelers
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is “exposure to a person who tests positive for COVID-19”?
- Exposure is defined as being within 6 feet of the individual who tests positive for COVID-19 for a period of 15 minutes or more. It also means coming into direct contact with droplets from a COVID-19 positive individual. (When we cough or sneeze, when we talk or shout or sing, we release tiny droplets into the air.Think about when you breathe out on a cold day: that puff of fog on a wintry day? Droplets. Breathing in those droplets is one way people contract the virus.) Persons who test positive are considered infectious 48 hours before the onset of symptoms. Persons testing positive but do not have symptoms are considered infectious 2 days after exposure (if known) or starting 2 days before test date (if exposure is unknown).
- What if I’ve tested positive for COVID-19? What if I think I might have COVID-19?
- If you have – or think you have – COVID-19, it is important to stay home, and to distance yourself from other people. Staying away from others helps stop the spread!
- I think (or know) I had COVID-19 - I had the symptoms...when is it safe for me to be with others?
- You can be with others after:
Get your healthcare provider's advice: you may be eligible for testing to see if you still have COVID-19.
- 3 days with no fever, and
- Respiratory symptoms like cough or shortness of breath have improved, and
- 10 days since symptoms first appeared
- I tested positive for COVID-19 but I feel fine! Is it safe for me to be with others?
- If you continue to have no symptoms, you can be with others after:
Depending on your healthcare provider's advice and availability of testing, you might get tested to see if you still have COVID-19.
If you do develop symptoms, follow the guidance above for “I think (or know) I had COVID-19 - I had the symptoms”.
- 10 days have passed since your positive test
- I don't have COVID-19, but I've been around someone who did, what do I do?
- Anyone who has had close contact with someone with COVID-19 should self-isolate and stay home for 14 days after the exposure. It can take as long as 14 days to develop the illness. Contact your healthcare provider for further advice on testing.
Have more questions? Call or email. Let’s talk.