Our children are our priority. During this time of uncertainty, we must be extra vigilant to keep them safe. With positive cases of COVID-19 reaching over 1,000 per day in Minnesota recently, we want to reassure our families we are doing our part to protect everyone. With existing daycare safety standards in place, and by following current recommendations by MDH, we’re staying on top of the standards required to keep Casa de Corazón open for children and families like yours.
Current Standards Practiced at Casa de Corazón
Although safety and sanitization have always been a priority at our centers, we have improved our processes to comply with recommendations given by MDH. Our existing standards include sanitizing tables after every meal, diaper changing tables after every change, toys at the end of every day, and more. It also includes:
- Frequent handwashing in our routines multiple times per day (during drop off, before and after meal times, after diaper changes/bathroom use, after playing on the playground).
- Regular deep cleaning of common areas such as the gym.
- Removing toys from a child’s mouth immediately and placing them in a separate area to be sanitized later.
- Sanitizing all classroom surfaces each day after the children have gone home.
- Deep cleaning playgrounds.
We also require face coverings for all staff, though they are not recommended for our children. In a child care setting, children under the age of five are not required to wear a face covering, and children under the age of two should not wear one. While this has been our policy, any parent with a child older than two years can send their child to our daycare with a face covering as long as the child can comply with MDH guidelines on how to wear the mask properly. We will do our best to help your child comply!
Recently, the guidelines by which our staff and providers must abide have changed. For our infant classrooms, we have implemented face shields with our teachers. This is only done when the teachers are in the classroom with a smaller group of students. When teachers are anywhere else in the building or on the property, they are required to wear a mask. We do this so the children who are learning can see expressions, recognize faces, and feel comfortable while learning throughout the day. Seeing a teacher or parent/guardian’s full face is crucial in the development of infants.
We have also recently implemented temperature kiosks. Previously, an administrator took the temperature of every individual who entered the building, but it is now done with the kiosk. Children, parents, and staff should also read through the symptoms we have listed on the front doors. If they tick any of the boxes, they will be asked to remain outside until an administrator can address the issue. We are also now able to test our staff weekly for COVID-19 as part of a pilot program through MN Governor’s Children’s Cabinet. This will allow us to determine who is asymptomatic to help mitigate the spread. We are incredibly excited to offer this great resource to our teachers and to help parents feel more comfortable about bringing their child to daycare as we will have more knowledge about how the pandemic is affecting our centers.*
Extra Measures Recommended By CDC
For businesses in the child care industry, the CDC has some very specific recommendations. To prevent the spread of COVID-19, we are asked and have complied to:
- Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains a minimum of 60% alcohol when soap and water are not available.
- Supervise our children when they wash their hands to ensure it is completed properly.
- Communicate with parents and staff about the importance of social distancing.
- Keep sick children separated from those who are well until a guardian can pick them up.
- Be prepared with adequate supplies so we don’t run out of cleaning and sanitizing products.
- Develop a plan in case our staff experiences a large number of absences due to illness.
- Limit nonessential visitors.
A Note to Parents and Guardians
At Casa de Corazón, we emphasize how important family is to learning and thriving. Our children love their families, and so do we. Unfortunately, during the COVID-19 pandemic, we have had to make some changes regarding parents and guardians entering the building. For example, only one parent or guardian is allowed in the building with the child, and he or she must complete the wellness check and temperature check before entering.
Parents are required, just like everyone else, to wear a mask while in the building, and they are not allowed in any classrooms. We encourage parents to walk their children right to the classroom and ensure the teacher knows they are there, though they nor their children cannot hug or get near the teachers. Remember, social distancing applies to everyone, and we appreciate your cooperation in this.
What to Do If Your Child is Sick
We know parents have other responsibilities as well, and it can be difficult when a child is symptomatic or even sick. If your child is showing symptoms of COVID-19 or is visibly sick, we ask that you keep him or her home. Symptoms include:
- Cough, either new onset or worsening of an existing cough
- Loss of smell or taste
- Difficulty breathing
- Fever over 100⁰F
We also ask that you keep your children home if they experience two or more of the following:
- Sore throat
- Excessive fatigue
- Severe headache
- Vomiting or nausea
- Runny nose or nasal congestion
- Muscle pain
If your child becomes ill while in our center, we will separate him or her from the rest of the children until you are able to pick them up. After a sick child has been picked up, we will perform proper sanitization of all surfaces and areas where the child was present.
If a child or staff member has a confirmed case of COVID-19, as recommended by the MDH, we will take extra precautions to prevent the spread. This includes:
- Opening windows and doors to get fresh air circulating through the areas.
- Waiting at least 24 hours to disinfect so respiratory droplets will have a chance to settle.
- Sanitizing bathrooms, offices, classrooms, common areas, and any other areas where the sick person was.
We’re Here for You
At Casa de Corazón, we are here for you, your child, and your entire family. We realize you depend on our care, and we are doing everything in our power to make this difficult time easier for everyone. Safety is so important to all of us, and even though some of these changes have been difficult, we are grateful for the amazing families we get to serve each day.
For any questions or concerns, we are available to help you understand the measures we’re taking to ensure safety among Casa families and staff. Contact us today to request a tour or learn more about the quality care we provide children throughout the area.
*Temperature devices and weekly testing for staff vary per location.
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