The Child Development Associate® (CDA) Credential™ from the Council for Professional Recognition has always included a focus on how to maintain a safe environment for children, which is more important now during the coronavirus pandemic.
First, we want to take a moment to thank our early childhood educators and daycare workers for all the work and dedication during this challenging time. During this time there are legitimate worries and anxieties for early childhood educators and daycare workers; there are fears about infections, especially as children could be asymptomatic carriers of COVID-19.
Childcare educators know how challenging it is to keep children six feet apart and to institute other safety precautions. To date, the Council has called for responsible closures of early childhood centers along with appropriate funding for early childhood educators severely disrupted by the global coronavirus.
If an early childhood setting is still operating, we offer these ideas, suggested from educators and our experts:
- Meet parents at the door; don’t allow anyone but children and staff in the building/setting
- Ask parent(s) about the health of the child as well as the health of everyone in the family; let them know they are encouraged to provide updates via email at any time
- Perform a daily physical health check of children
- Check temperatures
- Upon entering the building take children to the bathroom to wash their hands. It is important to follow the 20 second handwashing rule
- Practice cough and sneeze etiquette, staff members and children should be taught to cover their mouths and noses with a tissue when they cough or sneeze. Staff members and children should also be taught to cough or sneeze into their inner elbow/upper sleeve and to avoid covering the nose or mouth with bare hands
- Don’t let children bring belongings from home into the setting with them (no blankets, backpacks, lunchboxes, etc.) If children bring lunches, transfer them to smaller plastic bags at the front door
- Keep class sizes small
- Hold as many outside activities as possible
- Gloves and masks should be made available to those in direct contact with the children
- Follow a routine schedule of cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting throughout the day to clean shared surfaces and items, toys, books, cots, etc.
- Keeping objects and surfaces in a childcare setting as clean and free of pathogens as possible requires a combination of a). frequent cleaning; and b). when necessary, an application of a sanitizer or disinfectant.
We’ll continue to monitor developments and provide updates as they occur. Please always follow the guidance from local, state and federal officials as well as contact medical professionals for more specific answers to questions.
We have additional information that you may find useful, please visit our blog page.
We want you to know that we are here for you and hope that you will reach out to us if we can help or provide guidance in any way.