New Realities: Altering Best Practices to Fit Evolving Needs
By Michelle H. & Valerie K.
In the face of the coronavirus pandemic, we have all needed to adjust our daily practices a bit. Things are no different for our organization and operating child care facilities. Our priority has always been to provide a safe place to learn in an interactive and play-based way. These days, those priorities are only heightened. Although not always ideal, our organization is working every day to better develop practice sand programming that supports social distancing, as well as the safety of our children and staff. In an effort to continue to provide a safe learning environment for all, there are a few key things that we have implemented at our centers.
Social Distancing at our centers
With only a maximum of 12 students in each classroom, we are able to maintain the following social distancing practices.
- Each child is provided their own individual work station or table, which is the same area each day.
- Providing individual sets of supplies for each child to ensure no cross-contamination through the sharing of daily activity supplies.
- Spreading out during common actives like; homework time, reading hour, nap time, snack time and play time.
- Utilizing outdoor spaces as much as possible to provide open air during distanced play time.
- Playing tag – but with distance by using a pool noodle to ‘tag’ the next person.
- Integrating things like craft time, hands-on building, and game playing while distanced. All materials are sanitized between uses to minimize germs.
- Using our environment to learn up-close about the world, while distanced from one another.
Staying Clean and Healthy
- All children, staff and parents dropping off their children are required to sanitize their hands often at our sanitizing stations.
- Strictly following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.
- Washing hands often throughout the day and between activities.
- Covering our faces and practicing distancing.
- Deep cleaning our centers more often.
- Checking staff and children for symptoms before entering the center.
- Staying up-to-date with emerging knowledge and adjusting practices as needed.
Keeping Connected to our communities – while at a distance
- We send letters and deliver plants to our neighbors and partnering communities.
- Supporting distanced learning to keep our kids on track and engaged with their school work.
- We share news that Child Development Centers is open and remaining safe.
- We create home activities and items to give back to the community.
- Celebrating birthdays while distanced, and partnering with school teachers to come and say ‘hi’ from a distance to our students.
- Collaborating as an organization to help each other where we can, when we can.