Here’s a summary of what we have done, and are doing, to comply with the new COVID rules and recommendations:
* Everyone is required to wash their hands on arrival at the center, before leaving and when entering the classrooms. Hand sanitizer is available at entrances and exits.
* Parents must always wear masks in the building. Staff must wear masks in the classrooms whenever there is a parent or other adult in the classroom When teachers are in the classrooms with just their teaching partner, they can decide when it is appropriate to wear masks.
In the classrooms
* we FINALLY have our new sinks in the Busy Bee bathroom (but also accessible to Wobblies). There are two child sized hand-washing sinks, and an adult height utility sink!
* we have removed some tables and furniture to make play areas bigger and give children more options to play further apart
* food is now plated by one person in each classroom and served by that same teacher.
* Children are no longer serving themselves, but they are still cleaning up after themselves.
* children are seated in smaller groups, and further apart for meals, snacks and table activities
* children’s extra clothes are now stored in individual backpack style bags, with their names on them. We have lots of extras if needed. (the same that busy bees was doing)
* kids cubbies are now outside of the classroom (except for babies) and if their boxes are still inside, they have lids
* more toys and materials are in closed storage, outside of the classroom, so that toys on the shelves and in kids reach can be more easily swapped out and sanitized,
* The library and puzzle storage has also been expanded so that more of it is kept out of the classrooms
On the playground
* there is a portable sink, for outdoor hand washing for adults and children
* hand sanitizer is in a few places on the playground, but out of reach of the children
* we have portable partitions that can be used, if needed to separate the groups a bit more, particularly if babies and bigger kids are outside at the same time
* more outdoor storage has been added so that toys can be brought out for a specific group of children, instead of all the balls/hoops/care, being accessible to everyone
* we now have an outdoor water dispenser and paper cups, as well as individual labeled kid water bottles.
Group sizes and staffing
* each group is 14 or fewer kids for the majority of the time (its possible that during a transition week or a specific day, there could be 15)
* groups are no longer mixed, at any point in the day, you drop off and pick up from the same classroom
* each group has the same primary teachers (at least two for each group, 3 for babies)
* while the group sizes are smaller, and the groups can not be mixed, we have reduced our hours to 8-5:30. As families return and the CCL/CDC rules change, we will hopefully be able to add back the additional time, but at this time, we cannot predict when that might be able to happen without raising tuition. We will adjust bills for families who have a longer day usually scheduled.
Policy Reminders – extra details about Covid changes that have been clarified over the last few months
Toys from home
As we’ve all gotten back into school routines, new classrooms and new schedules, there seems to have been a bit of confusion about the rules that CCL and public health put into place back in May about toys and other items from home. Since late April/early May we are no longer able to have children bring items from home into the classroom, except for lovies/stuffies for nap and transitioning in. Anything brought from home must stay in their outside the classroom cubbies during the day. If your child needs an item to help with the transition to school, you can still do that – but it cannot be in the classroom during the day nor played with on the playground. It either needs to stay in the car, or in the stroller, or in your child’s outside cubby in their cloth bag, when you get here. If it’s too big to fit in the cloth bag, then it’s too big to stay at school and must go back to the car.
The only exception is special blankets or stuffies for sleeping, or special stuffies being used during transition times and those need to be kept in each child’s bag or cubby unless they are being used/held. If you need a separate cloth bag for a sleeping stuffie or blanket, just let us know, there are more in the office.
Illness Policy Clarification
Sadly, cold and flu season is arriving on time, despite all the extra toy washing, social distancing and mask wearing.
We know that all of the staff, parents and kids really appreciate that we are all doing our best to keep the whole community healthy and able to attend the center.
Thank you for doing your part and keeping everyone home, if anyone feels unwell. We have had a few kids with congestion or sniffles, and negative Covid tests – but it feels like a good time to clarify what the illness policy is right now. Please note that it keeps changing…. but as of now.
1) if anyone is unwell, everyone stays home
2) if you are symptom free for 72 hrs (used to be 24 hrs) you can return to the center OR, if you are seen by a doctor/pediatrician who determines that it is safe for your child to return to care. Depending on timing and symptoms, you may wish to seek medical advice, or you may wish to wait out the symptoms. Everyone will continue to get ear infections, or react badly to teething, or have a funny food rash – but a medical professional is unlikely to say you need to stay home from childcare for any of those type of things.
3) If anyone in your household has a Covid test due to symptoms or exposure to someone with Covid (so not routine testing by employers), everyone must stay home until negative results are obtained
4) If anyone in your household tests positive for Covid, please call or email Celeste immediately
Quick drop offs & Pick ups
Please do your best to really limit the time that you spend in your child’s classroom. Even though adults are wearing masks and remembering to keep socially distant, the children still want to interact with almost every parent they see. Limiting the time that you are in the classroom also enables families who are transitioning in new kids, or touring to decide about care, being able to be in the classroom.
If you want to catch up with another parent please step out to the garage, or upstairs to the picnic table or make arrangements to meet for a walking coffee chat.
Thanks for taking the time to do your health check at home each day, wearing masks, washing/sanitizing hands in both directions & dropping off/picking up without hanging out in the classrooms. We miss having parents spend time in the classrooms but we’re all trying to follow the new regulations and keep everyone healthy!! Thanks for your help. Please keep washing all the tiny hands!
The complete compilation of updates sent to SJCC staff and family members relating to the COVID 19 pandemic can be accessed at the link below