Northeastern Child Care Services
Treasure House Child Development Center
(Updated July 17, 2020)
The health and well-being of our families and Teaching Staff are our highest priorities. COVID-19 is a contagious disease that can be transmitted from people who are infected with the virus even if they are asymptomatic or their symptoms are mild, such as a cough. Additionally, exposure is possible by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching one’s mouth, nose or eyes. The COVID-19 Parent Guide has been developed in order to assist children and parents in their understanding of the COVID-19 policies and procedures by which the programs operate. The COVID-19 Health and Safety Policies and Procedures have been adopted to ensure Northeastern Child Care Services, Treasure House Child Development Centers, will follow the CDC Guidance to the best of our ability and implement disease control measures to protect our child care community.
Day 1 of Your Child’s Return
On the first day of your child’s return the following must be completed prior to their re-entry into the program:
- “COVID-19 Public Health Emergency Special Program Attendance Acknowledgment and Disclosure, Family/Child Version” must be signed.
- Update Emergency Contact form.
- Update Fee Agreement.
We will provide a Health Assessment form to any family whose child’s Health Assessment has expired. Families have thirty (30) days to provide current Health Assessment or child care services will be suspended.
Drop Off Protocol
Arrival must occur outside the facility, at entry door. Weather permitting, drop off must occur at the curb-side/sidewalk.
Parents must adhere to the arrival and drop off times they stated during the reopening survey conducted via telephone.
We ask that only one adult come to the entry way to drop off and pick up.
Parents are encouraged to stager arrival and drop off times. If two parents arrive at same time, one should remain in the car until the other is finished dropping off. Parents are to form a line in their cars up to the entry and pull up to drop off children.
Maintain six (6) feet physical distancing. The center will be using signs, tape or traffic cones to mark the appropriate distance.
What to expect:
- A table will be set up.
- A Staff person will be wearing disposable gloves, disposable long sleeve smock, disposable mask and plastic face shield.
- You will be required to stand behind sneeze protector/physical barrier.
- A daily health check will be conducted that includes a visual inspection of your child for signs of illness, including flushed cheeks, rapid breathing, fatigue or fussiness.
- A temperature screening using a non-contact (no touch) thermometer will be conducted by the Staff member reaching around the barrier with gloved hand and the thermometer to take temperature. Temperature must be less than 100.4 F.
- You will be asked health questions.
We will not admit a child with one or more of these symptoms (CDC Guidance):
- Fever of 100.4 F or higher, now or in the preceding 72 hours
- Sore Throat
- Muscle Aches/Pain
- Difficulty Breathing
- Chills and/or repeated shaking with chills
- Loss of taste or smell
After your child has completed screening and meets all Center admission requirements, escorting staff person located inside center door will take your child to their classroom. The Staff person at the drop off entrance will sign your child in. You must bring your child a pair of shoes, preferably sneakers, to the facility that will ONLY be worn inside this facility and will be left here each evening. Your child will remove their shoes at the entrance and put on their “center only shoes” before proceeding to the classroom. When your child arrives in the classroom, they will immediately wash their hands.
Parents and children must be wearing masks. When children and parents/guardians approach the screening table, they must immediately clean their hands before entry. A portable sink with soap and water or hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol will be available.
Ideally, the same parent or designated person should drop off and pick up your child every day.
Do not hug or shake hands at drop off or pick up with the Teaching Staff Member.
If a child or Staff member leaves the center and returns, drop off protocol must be repeated.
- Adults and children over two (2) years of age will wear a cloth face covering or mask that covers nose and mouth to keep everyone safe within the facility.
- Children will not wear masks when napping and eating.
- Children and staff will not wear masks when engaging in vigorous physical activity which causes you to breathe hard enough to limit your ability to speak.
- When masks are not in use, they will be placed in a brown paper bag, marked with the person’s name and stored out of reach. Ideally, cloth face coverings are washed daily, however, our centers do not have access to a washer/dryer. The masks will be left at the center in the labeled brown paper lunch bag overnight to prevent spread of the virus. On the last day of the week, your child’s mask will be sent home in a sealed plastic disposable bag. If you want your child’s mask to be taken home daily to be washed, this will be allowed.
- For children with a developmental disability, the parent/guardian must provide a medical note stating if wearing a mask is feasible for their child.
- Children who cannot wear a mask due to a medical condition, including those with respiratory issues that impede breathing, mental health condition or disability require a medical note confirming the inability to wear a mask.
- Staff can assist children to remove masks; they will avoid touching the eyes, nose and mouth.
- Safe way to handle cloth face coverings or masks:
- Staff assist children to remove masks, touch at edges
- At meals/naps, place mask in brown paper bag, marked with the person’s name and stored out of reach.
- Immediately, after handling a mask, adults and children must wash hands
- Resources to help explain cloth masks to children:
- “Elmo Talks to Dr. Sanjay Gupta About Face Masks”
Mouthed or Handled Toys
Mouthed or handled toys will be put into a sealed bin with disinfectant after a child touches the toy. They will be cleaned by hand by a staff person wearing gloves or in a mechanical dishwasher. We will clean with water and detergent, rinse, sanitize with an EPA-registered disinfectant, rinse again and air-dry. We will be mindful of items more likely to be placed in a child’s mouth, like play food, dishes and utensils.
At nap time, we will ensure that children’s nap time mats, cots, or cribs are spread out as much as possible, ideally six (6) feet apart. We will consider placing children head to toe in order to further reduce the potential for viral spread.
Meals typically served family style will now be plated and served individually so that multiple children are not using the same serving utensils. Children will sit six (6) feet apart if possible, or at a minimum, children can sit in every other chair around the table. Additional child sized tables will be brought into classrooms for meal times to ensure proper social distancing.
For centers that do not provide lunch, children’s lunches must be brought to the center in a plastic zip locked bag that will be discarded after use.
Meticulous hand washing will be practiced by Teaching Staff and children. Handwashing is the single most important line of defense in preventing the transmission of disease-causing organisms.
When Should Hands Be Washed?
- Upon arrival at the child care center, return to center from outdoor play, after breaks, when moving from one child care group to another.
- Immediately before handling food, preparing bottles or feeding children.
- After handling food.
- Before handling clean utensils or equipment.
- After using the toilet, assisting a child in using the toilet or changing diapers.
- After handling of body fluids (e.g., saliva, nasal secretions, vomitus, feces, urine, blood, secretions from sores, pustulant discharge).
- After handling soiled items such as garbage, mops, cloths and clothing.
- Whenever hands are visibly soiled.
- After removing disposable gloves.
- Giving medication or applying a medical ointment or cream in which a break in the skin may be encountered.
- Handling animals or cleaning up animal waste.
- Upon arrival at the child care center.
- After each diaper change or visit to the toilet.
- Immediately before eating meals or snacks.
- Before and after water and sand activity.
- After playing outdoors.
- After handling animals or animal cages.
- Whenever hands are visibly soiled.
HOW TO PROPERLY WASH HANDS:
Wet your hands with running water. Add soap. Wash all surfaces on hands. Rub your hands together for at least twenty (20) seconds. Wash carefully between fingers, around the tops and palms of hands, over wrists, and under fingernails. Rinse your hands well under running water and dry them with a clean, disposable paper towel. Turn off the faucet, using the disposable paper towel, instead of your clean, bare hands.
Staff will assist children with handwashing, including infants who cannot wash hands alone. After assisting children with handwashing, staff must also wash their hands.
To maintain the safest and most healthy environment, visitors are not allowed inside the center. If a parent absolutely must enter the center beyond the designated drop-off and pick-up area, you MUST wash your hands or use hand sanitizer before entering, undergo a health check, remove your shoes or wear disposable shoe coverings, wear a mask, wear disposable gloves and wear a disposable smock. While in the facility you must practice social distancing and remain 6ft from all other people, except for your own child.
Personal items must be left at home, i.e., backpacks, toys, stuffed animals, car seats.
We will limit transferring items back and forth to home and will avoid moving items in and out of rooms.
Items from home permitted in the Center are breastmilk/infant formula, prescription medication that must be administered during the hours your child is in care, seasonably appropriate changes of clothes, diapers, baby wipes and sunscreen. Consent forms will be available in the entry way to the center for medication and sunscreen administration.
If a child has soiled clothing at the center, the staff will place the items in a sealed plastic bag and return to family at pick-up.
School Age Child Care
Full day School Age Care will be provided at Treasure House Centers that regularly host School Age Programs.
School Age staff will work with parents and the school district to implement strategies to continue education and related supports for students. This involves providing time for students to work on school assignments throughout the day through e-learning plans and digital and distance learning options as feasible and appropriate. Laptop computers and tablets will be allowed for school age students to use for continuity of education purposes only. A laptop or tablet is allowed into the center and must be cleaned and disinfected prior to entry. Parents must provide the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning and disinfection procedures. If no manufacturer guidance, the exterior of the laptops and tablets must be sanitized at the entry of the center with an alcohol wipe. Do not touch the monitor with an alcohol wipe or any type of cleaning or sanitizing solution. Parents are strongly urged to consider putting a wipeable cover on electronics. Treasure House Child Development Centers are not responsible for lost or broken laptops or tablets.
The following guidelines will be followed by all Treasure House Child Development Centers that transport School Age students before and after school:
- The van driver will be required to wear the following PPE:
- Mask – Must be worn at all times
- Disposable Smock
- All students must wear a mask in the van at all times.
- Each van will be cleaned and disinfected after each run. Items to be cleaned and disinfected include all handles and handrails, the fronts and backs of seats and all hardware and accessories, windows, window handles, van walls, the interior and exterior surfaces and hardware of the entry doors, as well as, driver controls of the van such as the steering wheel, mirrors, etc.
- Hand sanitizer must be used upon entry into the van by all passengers. Hand sanitizer will be kept out of the reach of children at all times and will be kept in a locked storage box in the van kept near the van driver in the front of the van.
- Signs will be posted indicating the proper method to protect others when coughing or sneezing on the van. Students will be properly educated in these procedures utilizing CDC Guidelines.
- Tissues will be available for students who cough or sneeze. In addition, a trash disposal station will be readily available. Students will be educated in proper disposal of used tissues.
- The trash disposal station will be emptied after each run as part of the disinfecting of the van.
- Students will sit one student per seat, alternating left and right positions.
- If a child shows signs of illness upon pick up at the school, the Children Who Become Sick at the Center section of this plan will then be followed. Every effort will be made by the Van Driver to isolate the child in the van.
Treasure House Child Development Centers do not have laundry capabilities available, therefore, bedding and nap items must be brought to the center your child’s first day of each week in a sealed plastic disposable bag. On the last day of the week, your child’s bedding and nap items will be sent home in a sealed plastic disposable bag. We will continue to keep each child’s bedding separate and store if possible, in individually labeled bins, cubbies or bags.
All group gatherings (parent events, field trips, festivals, holiday events, special performances, open house events) are canceled until further notice.
Children Who Become Sick At the Center
Children that become sick at the center are sent home as soon as possible. A sick child must be picked up within one (1) hour of notification. We will keep sick children, particularly those with symptoms of respiratory illness, separate from well students until they leave. Centers will have an area where these individuals can be isolated from well children until they leave the center.
A child/family enrolled in Treasure House Child Development Centers who travels:
- Internationally or domestically
- Out of State
- To any designated highly infectious area in state;
cannot return to the center for fourteen (14) days once they get back. The child/family does not need to show signs of infection. Tuition will not be charged during this fourteen (14) day time frame. At this time everyone should be staying close to home.
The travel component of the NCCS COVID-19 Policies and Procedures is on-going until deemed unnecessary by the NCCS President/CEO.
All staff and children’s temperatures will be taken every two (2) hours throughout the day while on facility premises. The screening of temperatures will be conducted by the Center Director, or a Staff Member Designee.
A daily communication report will be completed for all children enrolled in the center. Due to the new pick up procedures, staff and families are unable to actively share their child’s daily happenings. Therefore, a daily communication report is necessary. Daily communication reports will be given to parents at pick up.
Throughout the day, staff can communicate with families via phone calls, email, video chat, texts and HiMama.
Outdoor play is very positive and good for the children. All children MUST go outdoors daily, weather permitting. Specific times will be assigned to each group. Programs will not overlap outdoor play time.
Tips for Talking to Children About COVID-19
- Remain calm. Remember that children will react to both what you say and how you say it. They will pick up cues from the conversations you have with them and with others.
- Reassure children that they are safe. Let them know it is okay if they feel upset. Share with them how you deal with your own stress so that they can learn how to cope from you.
- Make yourself available to listen and to talk. Let children know they can come to you when they have questions.
- Avoid language that might blame others and lead to stigma.
- Provide information that is truthful and appropriate for the age and developmental level of the child. Talk to children about how some stories on COVID-19 on the Internet and social media may be based on rumors and inaccurate information. Children may misinterpret what they hear and can be frightened about something they do not understand.
- Teach children everyday actions to reduce the spread of germs. Remind children to wash their hands frequently and stay away from people who are coughing or sneezing or sick. Also, remind them to cough or sneeze into a tissue or their elbow, then throw the tissue into the trash.
- Discuss any new actions that may be taken at the center to help protect children and center staff.
Facts About COVID-19 to Discuss with Children
Try to keep information simple and remind them that health and Center Staff are working hard to keep everyone safe and healthy.
What is COVID-19?
- COVID-19 is the short name for “coronavirus disease 2019.” It is a new virus. Scientists and doctors are still learning about it.
- Recently, this virus has made a lot of people sick. Scientists and doctors are trying to learn more so they can help people who get sick.
- Doctors and health experts are working hard to help people stay healthy.
What can I do so that I don’t get COVID-19?
You can practice healthy habits at home, the center, and play, to help protect against the spread of COVID-19.
What happens if you get sick with COVID-19?
- COVID-19 can look different in different people. For many people, being sick with COVID-19 would be a little bit like having the flu. People can get a fever, cough, or have a hard time taking deep breaths. Most people who have gotten COVID-19 have not gotten very sick. Only a small group of people who get it have had more serious problems.
- If you do get sick, it doesn’t mean you have COVID-19. People can get sick from all kinds of germs. What’s important to remember is that if you do get sick, the adults at home will help get you any help that you need.
Exclusion Criteria and Return to Care Guidance
Symptoms of COVID-19
- Fever of 100.4 F or higher
- Sore Throat
- Muscle Aches/Pain
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Chills and/or repeated shaking with chills
- Loss of taste or smell
Before staff or children enter the center, exclude with one or more of the above symptoms listed.
We will use routine daily health check tools for excluding children with signs/symptoms of illness (regardless of whether or not child shows signs or symptoms of COVID-19).
Not every fever and cough are an automatic diagnosis for COVID-19. Children who have been excluded for fever, or respiratory symptoms AND fever are allowed to return once fever has resolved for twenty-four hours with no fever reducing medications. Very commonly, a child might arrive with a cough and/or runny nose (mild respiratory symptoms). If the child is behaving normally and has no fever, testing for COVID-19 or exclusion is not recommended. This is consistent with the PA Code and Caring for Our Children.
CDC Guidance for a child or staff who has been tested
If a person has had a test to determine if they are still contagious; they can leave home after these three things have happened:
- They no longer have a fever (without the use of medicine that reduces fevers) AND
- Other symptoms have improved (for example, when they cough or shortness of breath have improved) AND
- They received two negative tests in a row, at least twenty-four (24) hours apart. Doctor will follow CDC guidelines.
How to Discontinue Home Isolation
If a person has not had a test to determine if they are still contagious, they can leave home after three things have happened:
- They have no fever for at least seventy-two (72) hours (that is three full days of no fever without the use of medicine that reduces fevers) AND
- Other symptoms have improved (for example, when their cough or shortness of breath have improved) AND
- At least ten (10) days have passed since their symptoms first appeared.
There are only three places the Coronavirus enters the body:
You cannot get COVID-19 if you protect your:
DON’T TOUCH YOUR EYES, NOSE OR MOUTH!!
Person-to-person spread of COVID-19 appears to be mainly by respiratory droplets generated when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) Associated with COVID-19
There have been reports of Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children associated with COVID-19. Symptoms of MIS-C vary from case to case:
- Conjunctivitis (redness of the white part of the eye)
- Stomachache, vomiting and/or diarrhea
- Tongue is redder than usual and looks like a strawberry
- Swollen hands and/or feet, lymph nodes
- Irritability and/or unusual sleepiness or weakness
We will immediately notify parents if a child shows any symptoms of MIS-C. The child cannot return to the center without a physician’s note stating the child is not contagious and can return to child care.
The following social distancing practices will be implemented:
- Maintain groups of children together throughout the day.
- Keep siblings together when practicable.
- Keep Teaching Staff consistent with group of children.
- Teaching Staff cannot float throughout center.
- Children and staff will not change groups or mix groups.
- All children will be assigned their own room for the entire day with the same caregivers for each group.
- Provide as much open space as possible to meet six (6) feet.
- Arrival and departure times will be staggered. This approach can limit the amount of close contact between children and families in high-traffic situations and times.
- Maintain larger distances between children during nap time.
Pick up must occur outside the facility. Upon arrival, parents must notify the center they are there to pick up their child(ren) by sounding the security system buzzer. Once they are acknowledged by a staff member parents are to return to their car and wait for the arrival of their child who will be escorted out of the center and to the car by an assigned staff member. At pick up, Staff will remove your child’s “center only shoes” and your child’s outside shoes will be put on prior to leaving the facility. The assigned staff member is responsible to sign your child out for the day and provide parents with their child’s daily report. At the last day of your child’s enrollment for the week the staff member must ensure all items required to be sent home to be laundered are given to parents in a sealed plastic bag.
Parents are encouraged to stager pick up times. If two parents arrive at same time, one should remain in the car until the other is finished picking up. Parents are to form a line in their cars up to the entry and pull up to pick up children.
Maintain six (6) feet physical distancing. The center will use signs, tape or traffic cones to mark the appropriate distance.
When a Confirmed Case Has Entered a Center, Regardless of Community Transmission
If there is a positive case of COVID-19 in a child or adult who has been present in the center, the Center Director will call the PA Department of Health and will inform OCDEL by contacting the appropriate Regional Office of Certification. These officials will help Administrators determine a course of action for the child care center. Northeastern Child Care Services, Treasure House Child Development Centers will abide by requirements and recommendations of the PA Department of Health and OCDEL.
NCCS Administration will communicate with staff and parents. The President/CEO will coordinate with local health officials to communicate closure decisions and the possible COVID-19 exposure.
If you have any questions, you can contact your facility’s Center Director, call the NCCS Administrative Office at 570-341-0811 or contact us through our website, www.nechildcare.org.