Since the outbreak of COVID-19, we’ve stayed in, limited our social interactions, revised our entire routines, and kept our fingers crossed. It’s completely normal to have lost control here and there, at work, at home, with loved ones, etc. As a parent, you might be concerned for your child’s education, their social lives, their possibly chaotic routines, and many other little or big things. Sending your child to a great daycare might solve a lot of problems, but make sure to take these three matters into account.
1. Screening, Cleaning, and Isolation
Does this daycare strictly follow COVID-19 safety protocols?
Safety comes first. The government of Canada has strict protocols for COVID-19; which must necessarily be observed in every institution throughout the country. Ask the daycare about these three procedures: screening, cleaning, and isolation.
The daycare must screen staff and children every day, outside of its premises. That is to say, everyone’s temperatures are taken before they are allowed in the building, and anyone with a temperature above normal or symptoms of COVID-19 will not be allowed in.
There are two sides to staying clean; one is the cleaning of surfaces and items, and another is each individual’s adherence to good hygiene practices.
All surfaces, tools, toys, and items must be disinfected between sessions. It is generally agreed upon that alcohol-based disinfectants are quicker and more effective in eliminating viruses. It is also good practice to minimize human contact in cleaning processes; we at Clever Daycare use cutting-edge technology to do just that.
All staff and children must follow good hygiene practices. (For example, using standard face masks, maintaining social distancing, washing hands, etc.) The staff, who should have received special training in the matter, can teach children such practices and observe their adherence. (It could actually be a fun activity!)
Even with all the above protocols in place, isolation remains an issue. Keep these items into account, all of which minimize contact:
The daycare must keep group sizes to a minimum, for obvious reasons.
The daycare must maintain best efforts to assign each child to a specific group and keep that child within the group. This is called cohorting; and it means children of one group will never have contact with people outside of that particular group.
The daycare must arrange for each group to use classes and amenities at staggered different times. This ensures one group will not be in contact with another, and also allows for disinfection processes between groups.
2. Outdoor Access, Indoor Ventilation
Can children go outdoors? Are roofed areas well-ventilated?
How to combat a virus that travels in the air? Stop the air from entering your lungs! Using masks is one solution, and another is ventilation.
Outdoors are even more important during the pandemic because they are usually vaster and feature great natural ventilation. People aren’t required to keep close to each other, and there’s a greater chance of a possible virus to just circulate away from people. Many daycares have outside play areas that must be used with due staggered timetables and disinfection processes.
Children should also spend time indoors, and that wouldn’t be an issue as long as the air is constantly ventilated. Do make sure to ask about ventilating conditions in your daycare of choice. (Clever Daycare, for example, has rooftop play areas and premium air filtration systems.)
3. COVID-Specific Mental Health Considerations
Are children mentally supported for the pandemic?
We all have problems in our lives, children and adults alike. The pandemic, however, has put us in a unique situation where each of these problems has room to get worse and all of them have the opportunity to team up against us.
There are ways for you to tackle the effects of COVID-19 at home, but if you’re sending your child to a daycare, make sure mental health is important for the daycare as well.
Ask the daycare about actions they take to promote mental health with special regards to the pandemic. These could include group discussions of each child’s opinion on health matters, child therapy on-site, personal hygiene education, and of course, fun games to take children’s minds completely off the health crisis.
Sending your child to a daycare, although a bit worrying, can have its unique benefits and provide your child with much-needed social interactions. You need to pay attention to three things the daycare must have in terms of COVID-19 safety:
- The daycare must strictly adhere to safety protocols. They must screen people before entrance,disinfect areas and items between sessions, and keep groups small, fixed, and away from each other
- It’d be great for the daycare to have an outside play area for children since this reduces the risk of contracting the disease. Adequate ventilation for indoor areas must be maintained at all times.
- The daycare should be aware of the mental issues the pandemic can cause, and address such issues adequately.
Have a question about our own services at Clever Daycare? Don’t hesitate to contact us!