Reimagining Childcare and Education after COVID-19

Reimagining your early care and education program after COVID-19 takes thoughtful planning. This document offers considerations to guide you through the planning process. These considerations are secondary to directives from the Governor, State and County Health Officers.

Reopening After COVID-19.pdf

HEALTH AND SAFETY

CONSIDERATIONS FOR DROP OFF/PICK UP PROCEDURES FOR CHILDREN

  • Families could send a text, call or ring the doorbell
  • Consider staggering drop off and pick up times to ensure social distancing
  • Families could be given a separate time frame, asking families to submit a weekly schedule
  • Plan for adequate staffing and determine drop off location (I.e. the car or front door)
  • Determine which staff member will greet families and children
  • Consider using sidewalk chalk to show social distancing measures
  • Consider using more than one entrance
  • Determine the process for signing children in and select the staff member assigned to this responsibility
  • Consider limiting items brought back and forth by children; a blanket or jacket that stays at the program
  • Require children and staff to wash their hands upon arrival and departure

    CONSIDERATIONS FOR SOCIAL DISTANCING MEASURES

  •  Always keep children in the same classroom and small groups
  • Consider changing the format of school events to digital (such as graduation and end of year
  • celebrations)
  • Avoid use of shared spaces or create a schedule where classes do not cross over
  • At rest time put children’s heads next to feet

    CONSIDERATIONS FOR SCREENING PROCEDURES

  • The CDC offers three examples for screening procedures. Most programs will want to do the following:
    • Have parents check and report temperatures before arrival to childcare
    • Ask questions of the person dropping off related to general health and well-being
    • Observe children for signs of illness or malaise
  • Create a system to document screening results
  • Identify and acquire need supplies for screening (i.e. thermometer, thermometer covers, masks, gloves
  • and cleaning products)
  • If a child, staff member or family has a suspected case of coronavirus, close your facility and consult with
  • your County Health Officer

    CONSIDERATIONS FOR THE USE OF MASKS

  • Determine your policy on masks
    • Children under age 2 should not wear masks because of the risk of suffocation
    • Consult with families to determine feasibility
  • If masks are used determine and communicate who will provide masks (families, programs)
  • If masks are used determine how you will support children emotionally if they experience stress
  • Identify local organizations and businesses that can help you obtain needed health and
  • safety supplies

     

  • CLEANING

CONSIDERATIONS FOR CLEANING, SANITIZING, AND DISINFECTING

  • CDC cleaning and disinfecting recommendations website
  • Organize the logistics and documentation
  • Determine how you communicate cleaning policies with staff and families
  • Consider providing open ended materials for children’s play
  • Sanitize the staff clock-in area after each use
  • Require regular hand washing, review your procedures and share this in writing
  • Staff should consider clothing changes and bringing extra clothing to use during the day. Encourage
  • staff to change clothing when arriving home

    CONSIDERATIONS FOR FOOD HANDLING (SNACK AND MEALTIME)

  • Follow CDC food prep recommendations
  • Consider staggering mealtimes for children or eating in separate rooms
  • Discontinue family-style mealtimes
  • Consider encouraging families who pack a lunch to use disposable containers
  • Dispose of all food and containers after each mealtime
  • Disinfect supply orders or deliveries upon arrival at the program
  • Consider installing no-touch bathroom or kitchen equipment

 

STAFFING

CONSIDERATIONS FOR SCREENING STAFF

  • The CDC offers three examples for screening procedures. Most programs will want to do the following:
    • Check and document temperatures of staff upon arrival
    • Ask staff screening questions related to general health and wellbeing and document results
    • Observe and encourage staff to report signs of illness or malaise

CONSIDERATIONS FOR STAFF SCHEDULING

  • Consider limiting breaks to on-sight only
  • Develop staff schedules that minimize contact and limit staff transitions
  • Plan additional time for cleaning and sanitizing

CONSIDERATIONS FOR SUPPORTING STAFF

  • Allow staff time to interact with each other following guidelines
  • Support educators who are working alone all day
  • Support staff transitions back to work
  • Identify and use self-care tools for you and your staff

 

CHILDREN AND FAMILIES

CONSIDERATIONS FOR SUPPORTING FAMILIES

  • Clearly communicate changes in policies and expectations
  • Establish new communication routines with families in response to changes in drop off and pick up
  • Increase opportunities to ask and receive input from families

CONSIDERATIONS FOR SUPPORTING CHILDREN


 

POLICIES AND TIMELINES

CONSIDERATIONS FOR PROGRAM POLICIES

  • Include changes in program policy documents
  • Communicate new policies in writing to families and staff

CONSIDERATIONS FOR ENROLLMENT

  • Align and prioritize attendance in response to the needs of families
  • Identify the needs for school-aged care and your capacity to support it
  • Before reopening be sure you can answer the following questions
    • What is your emotional and physical health status? Do you have the capacity to reopen?
    • Do you have the necessary policies and procedures in place?
    • What is the impact of reopening?
    • Do you have adequate staff who are ready and willing to come back?
    • What are the costs of doing business?
    • What is the revenue available?
    • Have you communicated with your local County Health and Licensor?

These considerations can be used to guide your conversation with your County Health Official and DFS licensor.
Consider your own unique program needs as well as guidance from your accountant, attorney, insurance agent, and local fire marshal.


 

RESOURCES

Guidance from the Governor and Wyoming Department of Health
The Wyoming Early Childhood Professional Learning Collaborative Website
County Health Official Contacts
CDC Website


RESOURCES FOR TALKING ABOUT COVID-19 WITH CHILDREN

https://www.naeyc.org/resources/blog/power-storytelling-helping-children-process-crisis
https://zerotothrive.org/covid-19/


RESOURCES FOR FAMILIES AND EDUCATORS

https://info.childcareaware.org/coronavirus-updates
https://www.naeyc.org/resources/topics/covid-19
Harvard Center on the Developing Child