Early Learning Center Families,
I want to reassure you that we will do everything we can to keep our children and their families safe during this uncertain time. We have not laid out the details for this fall because they are continually changing in the early childhood field. We will have it all set by early August.
I have been on weekly calls with area preschools that have remained open during this time. I have also watched several trainings through NAEYC, our national accreditation, to see how preschools are operating across the country.
Here are a few things I can share with you at this point:
1. We will no longer be serving our meals “family style” to avoid all of the children from touching everything.
2. Each class will go outside independently, with bikes, etc. being cleaned between each class.
3. Drop-off and pick-up will be done on the families’ phones so no one has to touch anything. Details to come soon!
4. If parents are allowed inside for drop-off, they will have to wear a mask (Along with any visitors and our art and music teachers, when they come into the room, rather than changing rooms).
5. Temperatures will also need to be taken each day upon arrival to ensure no one is coming in already sick.
6. If any families have knowingly been exposed to COVID, we’ll ask for them to keep their child home until the test results have come back. If they are negative, the child will be allowed back. If they are positive, they’ll need to stay home a minimum of two weeks and/or symptom free for 72 hours.
7. Each classroom will be considered a family. With the exception of going outside, the children will not leave their classroom throughout the day. They’ll remain in their “home.” Having the children wear masks presents more problems…they won’t leave them on, and others can pick up the wrong mask, spreading more germs. However, we may ask them to wear a mask in and out of school. Teachers will be optional because it’s important for children to watch adults’ mouths when they speak to assist in speech development.
8. With respect to social distancing, our rooms are huge for a preschool room. Social distancing already occurs naturally in many situations. There’s not much more we can do for preschoolers who are eager to learn and explore. Social interactions are a big part of the preschool experience. We want to be careful, yet realistic.
9. Although we already have very high standards for our cleaning routine, we will increase the number of times we complete it throughout the day. Rather than cleaning the toys in the rooms weekly, they’ll be cleaned daily. We have always cleaned the tables after every use, now we’ll include the chairs. And at the end of each day, after everything has been cleaned and sanitized, our Facility Care team at Granger Community Church will come in and spray T-360. This is a high-powered cleaning machine from Clorox that cleans every inch of every room. Then no one will be allowed in the room until the following morning. I feel very comfortable with this process.
These are just a few of the things that will be in place at the start of school. I hope this is helpful. I understand there may be concerns. I want you to know that I would not open up if I didn’t feel comfortable with our policies and procedures that we are putting in place. We consider all of our families like our own.
Director of the Early Learning Center