During the time of a pandemic, you will likely have some concerns about your child’s wellbeing if you are preparing to send them back to preschool. The importance of safe preschools, especially during a pandemic, matters now more than ever. The following are safety features that you and your child’s preschool can take to keep everyone happy and healthy.
Drop Off and Pick Up
The school day starts with someone dropping off your child, whether that person is you, another family member, or someone else entirely. Try to minimize the number of people who routinely drop off and pick up your child.
Safe preschools should encourage children to regularly wash their hands, beginning before they even enter the classroom. Upon arrival, children should sanitize their hands either at a sink or with hand sanitizer. An important note: teachers and supervisors should monitor use of hand sanitizer in the classroom and keep it out of reach.
In order to make the drop off and pick up process even safer, the CDC recommends that preschools stagger arrivals to avoid families coming in contact with each other anymore than necessary. The person dropping off your child will likely have to fill out a daily form to confirm that no one in your family has symptoms of COVID, in addition to a possible temperature check on-site.
One of the most important aspects of safe preschools is active supervision.
Teachers and support staff must be vigilant about monitoring children, who may be tempted to take off their mask or personal protection equipment, touch each other, or grab for alcoholic hand sanitizer.
Supervising children is important no matter what, but it’s especially important during a pandemic. If children begin to cough or show visible signs of a fever, teacher supervision can help prevent them from spreading it to other students.
Taking Time Off
If your child or anyone in your family feels ill, it is imperative that they stay home, even at the risk of missing a few days of school. During a time like this, better safe than sorry!
Teachers and other preschool staff members must similarly stay at home if they have symptoms of COVID or have come into contact with someone who has.
Minimizing Contact With Other Students
Ideally, children in each individual classroom will only have contact with the other students in their class. Students should not rotate rooms or mix with students in other classes, if possible.
Playground time, if it happens at all, should be staggered so only one classroom of students is using that space at a time. The same goes for anytime children are outside, whether for eating or learning. For further safety even during non-COVID times, playgrounds should contain largely toxin-free materials, which we proudly do at Providence Children’s Academy.
Eating and Drinking Safely
If meals are regularly served in large dining areas, children should instead eat in their classrooms. Weather permitting, outside spaces are even better for eating as opposed to the enclosed space of a classroom where it may be difficult to adequately space kids who aren’t wearing masks.
If children must eat and drink inside, they should do so at a safe distance without sharing food or drinks, and they should wash their hands both before and after eating.
Children are very tactile learners, and they love to play. With proper sanitation techniques, it is still possible to preserve that aspect of preschool learning.
Safe preschools will implement systems of periodic disinfecting to make sure that shared surfaces such as counters, tables, doorknobs, games, and toys are clean. Separate clean items from items that still need to be disinfected and limit the use of toys and similar items to only the children in that classroom. This may involve hiring extra custodial staff members or paring down the number of plush objects in the room that are more difficult to sanitize.
Look Into Providence Children’s Academy
If you are interested in enrolling your child in a safe, active, and educational preschool program, look no further than Providence Children’s Academy! We’re a curriculum-based preschool operating from two locations in Broward County. Give us a call today at (954) 570-6914 to find out more about what we do.