As the six most densely populated counties in California begin to loosen shelter in place, childcare centers have been given the green light to care for all children. This is according to the San Mateo Health Department Website.
With this change comes modifications to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. We want to share with you an overview of how we’re going to keep your family and our staff safe as we adjust to changes and to help parents return to work and children return to preschool.
During the shelter in place, we are now able to support families with childcare for all children. With the guidance of the CDC, SMHD, and Child Care Licensing Dept, we can return to a classroom setting with modifications.
Our program will be offered at all our center sites for everyone beginning May 18, 2020. The program will operate under the health order and as it is modified, we will make changes. These changes will be made by the California Department of Social Services Community Care Licensing (CDSS) regulations for COVID-19, the CDC and the SM County Health Department.
Program hours are 7 a.m. - 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Program spots are limited and will initially be offered to families who were enrolled ahead of the pandemic and have continued to pay their tuition. Should additional spots be available, we will offer them to those on our wait list and then to whomever is seeking full day care. We do not have any half day or partial week slots available at this time. Drop-in childcare will not be offered.
The program will follow social distancing guidelines for childcare programs as explained in the San Mateo County shelter in place order, including:
The program activities will be offered while maintaining as best as possible all social distancing requirements such as maintaining at least a six-foot distance from all individuals; frequently washing hands with soap and water or using hand sanitizer; following proper respiratory etiquette; and excluding children and staff from the program with contagious symptoms such as fever or cough. Please understand that although we will take precautions to limit exposure to COVID-19, we provide no assurances and cannot guarantee that you or your child will not be exposed to the virus or become ill.
Reinforcing social and physical distancing
Practicing healthy hygiene
Implementing procedures to frequently clean all touched surfaces
We will continue to work on our play-based STEAM curriculum with an eye on social distancing and heightened cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting.
Children should not to bring their personal items to school.
Nap: Children will rest with their mats placed foot to head rather than face-to-face to limit exposure while resting. We will provide a mat which will be cleaned daily. Each child should bring a roll up mat or a small sleeping bag.
Outdoor Play: In order to maintain at least 6-feet distance from each other, children will have access to a variety of toys around the yard to encourage social distancing. The play equipment and play structure will be disinfected after each group of children leaves the yard for the next group of children. There will be a 10-minute wait period between each group to allow for the disinfectant to dry.
Lunch/Snack: Should weather permit, we will rotate eating lunch outside while maintaining distance from each other. We will continue to provide snacks and lunch with your child’s dietary restrictions/arrangement in mind.
Regular Handwashing: Throughout the day your child will be required to wash their hands with soap and water or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing 60% alcohol before and after eating, drinking, touching eye/nose/mouth, toileting and physical contact with each other.
Toys and Other Items from Home: Please pack all of your child’s belongings in a clean backpack or grocery bag. Toys from home will not be allowed. All items MUST be labeled with children’s names. To help limit contamination of our facility, you will only be allowed to send your child to our program with limited personal belongings, including:.
Facility and Equipment Daily Cleaning and Sanitizing: The facility will be cleaned throughout the day. High-contact areas and surfaces, including counters, toys, telephones, and doorknobs, will also be frequently cleaned using EPA approved disinfectant.
Our sign-in and sign out procedures will be modified to limit outside adult to student interaction beyond the entrance of the center.
The following procedures will be followed:
Health & Safety Checks: The health and safety check will include taking the temperature of your child and completing a visual inspection of your child for signs of infection.
Please check your child’s temperature before arriving. It is vital that all parents and guardians keep children at home if they are sick or until a fever has been gone for at least 24 hours without the use of medicine. Program staff will plan to check temperatures daily upon check-in. If a child’s temperature is above 100.4F/38C, they will be excluded from participation in the program.
Health Questionnaire at Intake: Staff and parents will be required to respond to the following questionnaire daily upon intake. Should staff or parents respond yes to any of these questions, they or their child will not be allowed to participate in the program.
Signs of Illness During Program: Children will be monitored for signs of illness throughout the day. If your child shows signs of illness, we will immediately separate them from the group. To be eligible to return to the program, you will be required to certify that your child’s symptoms have been gone for at least 24 hours without the use of medicine. By enrolling in this program, you are required to and agree to come pickup your child without delay if they are exhibiting any of the following symptoms:
Child to Staff Ratio: Each classroom of 12 students will have 2 staff members. The same 2 staff members will be with your child throughout the entire day, with the exception of the first and final hours of our program when the number of children are low. We will try to maintain the same group of children with the same staff members for consecutive days. At least one staff member in each room will have completed 12 or more college level Early Childhood Education Units and have 2 or more years of experience working with children. One of the staff members on site will be a fully qualified childcare director. Please note that this is our plan, however, staffing modifications may be required based on staff health and well-being.
Staff Requirements: To help ensure the health and safety of the group, our staff will be required to be:
Other Precautions We Will Take: The following are additional precautions we will take to help limit exposure of children and staff to COVID-19 and other communicable illnesses:
To apply for this program, parents/guardians will first be required to complete an online application.
Upon submitting your application, we will review the information you provide in your application including your child’s health, medical, dietary, and request for special assistance.
Should a spot be offered to you, we will inform you via email. You will then have 24 hours to accept the spot by submitting payment of enrollment fees and first month’s tuition.
We have maintained your child’s file and require you to adhere to the new processes and to sign the updated parent handbook. Tuition is due on the first day of attendance and should be paid online to reduce contact with cash/checks.