COVID 19 POLICIES & PROCEDURES

New Wonders Discovery Center Covid-19 Preparedness and Response Plan April 2020

 

Introduction

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 of 100 or above
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Change in Smell or Taste
  • Diarrhea/Vomiting

Children

Fever is the key indicator for young children.  Temperature checks will be done each morning upon arrival. 

  • If a child’s temperature is 100.0 degrees or above and they are displaying any of the above symptoms, they will be excluded from care.
  • Our normal sick policies will also be in effect for any other illness the child might display.  We will use ear and thermal thermometers.
  • Temperatures will be recorded each day.
  • Teachers will continue to monitor children throughout the day and check temperatures when children appear ill or “not themselves”.
  • If a child seems ill at any time, they will be isolated near the office and parents will be contacted for an immediate pickup.

Staff

When Staff members arrive:

  • They will wash hands.
  • Perform a temperature check
  • Screened for any COVID symptoms

 

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.

 

Parents/Guardians

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.

 

Reporting Exposure:

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.

  • If a child, staff member, family member, or visitor to NWDC becomes ill with COVID 19 symptoms, the Directors will contact the Kalamazoo Health Department and our Licensing Consultant for guidance.
  • The Staff and Families will be notified if there is a known exposure. The privacy of an individual will be maintained if COVID -19 was present at NWDC.  We will not share health information about a specific person.

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:

  • Has been fever-free for at least 72 hours without the use of medicine that reduces fevers AND
  • Other symptoms have improved AND
  • At least 10 days have passed since your symptoms first appeared.

 

 

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:

  • Maintaining Consistent Groups - Consistent Staff are remaining with groups of children.  Whenever possible, reduce the number of children in a group, spread out play spaces and avoid mixing groups of children.
  • Limit use of Common Spaces - Stagger times for outdoor play, limiting use of water and sensory tables or frequently touched objects.
  • Limiting Visitors – NWDC may restrict non-essential visitors, volunteers, and activities during a pandemic

 

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:

  • When handling food
  • Changing diapers
  • Handling contaminates

 

NWDC will update and modify this plan as needed.

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