New Wonders Discovery Center Covid-19 Preparedness and Response Plan April 2020
New Wonders Discovery Center has always prioritized the health and safety of the children in our care. With the spread of COVID-19, new health and safety protocols are necessary to ensure children, families, and staff members are as safe as possible. This document is to help guide in an emergency pandemic. These policies and procedures are very fluid. These policies and procedures address only those areas which we have measurable control over. They may be adjusted based on the pandemic and emergency needs of the Center. This is written to help guide families and staff with open communication. New Wonders will adjust this plan as needed due to State of Michigan Licensing and Regulatory Affairs for Child Care Centers and Federal and Local Health Department Guidelines.
Dropping Off and Picking up of Students
Parents will drop off and pick up students at the check in/out area (middle door). We request that parents stay in that area while the pandemic is active. NWDC will announce when parents can again accompany their children to their classroom. We appreciate the use of masks for the few minutes’ parents are in the building. Please use the hand sanitizer upon entering. Your child can use the hand sanitizer or go directly to a sink and wash their hands for 20 seconds.
Monitor Symptoms of COVID-19
New Wonders is required to check for COVID-19 symptoms when children and staff arrive. A check in station is set up in the entryway to assess each child and staff member upon arrival. The following guidelines have been created to monitor symptoms:
Symptoms of COVID-19:
Fever is the key indicator for young children. Temperature checks will be done each morning upon arrival.
When Staff members arrive:
Staff should report to the Directors immediately if they have had contact with anyone outside of work who has had a documented case of COVID-19. Staff will self-quarantine if they have been exposed.
To help with social distancing, one parent per family can enter the building to drop off/pickup.
Staff members will take children and their things to and from their classroom.
Parents will be encouraged to communicate any concerns or questions with Directors.
Families will report to the Directors by phone, email or text if anyone in their family has had a possible or confirmed case of COVID-19 (see Communication Protocol later in this document).
Response and Communication Protocols for Possible or Confirmed Cases of Covid-19 (or communicable illness)
Our staff will be monitoring each child’s health throughout the day. The following steps will be taken to limit the spread of the virus:
If anyone becomes symptomatic, they will be sent home immediately. Parents should have a plan in place to be able to pick up their child as soon as possible. If a staff person becomes ill, a replacement will be arranged quickly so that they may leave immediately.
We will isolate a child who becomes ill near the office.
Staff and Families of children at NWDC are required to report to Connie or Heather immediately if they become symptomatic, are being tested or receive a positive COVID-19 test result.
Determination for closing the Center:
NWDC will contact the Kalamazoo Health Department and discuss the steps to take depending on the level of exposure.The determination to close for cleaning for 24 hours or quarantine for 14 days will be made from their recommendation and guidance. Families and Staff will be notified immediately through the Family Facebook page, text, posted at check in area or other means available.
Guidelines for Returning to Care or Work
Staff members, children and family members should stay home (not enter the Center) and self-isolate if they show symptoms of COVID-19.
If a staff member or child has a fever or a cough, New Wonders will follow our Illness Policy. At this time, it is recommended that children be fever free for 72 hours before returning to care (even if other symptoms are not present).
A Staff member or child that exhibit multiple symptoms of COVID-19, suspected of possible exposure, or have tested positive must stay home until:
Additional Guidelines during the COVID-19 Pandemic or any major epidemic:
Practicing Social Distancing – Social Distancing is very challenging with children. We are not only concerned about the health of each child but also the social and emotional well-being of each one. New Wonders has made some adjustments in the following areas within the building:
Reinforcing Best Practices
Frequent Hand Washing – Staff and children will wash hands when entering the classroom, before meals, snacks, or food preparation, after toileting or diapering, handling bodily fluids, and whenever hands are dirty!
Cleaning and Disinfecting – We continue to use robust cleaning protocols several times a day. Common areas such as sinks, bathrooms, doorknobs, tabletops, and share items are cleaned frequently. Toys that have been in a child’s mouth are cleaned each time after use. Toys are cleaned or sprayed with a bleach solution on a daily basis.
Items from Home – please limit the items brought from home. Only those things needed for naptime and one comfort item aside from lunch and water bottles and sippy cups should be brought.
Face Coverings – NWDC provides all of our staff with masks.
Gloves – It is recommended that providers wear gloves in a manner consistent with existing Licensing rules:
NWDC will update and modify this plan as needed.