Updated: Jul 12
This webinar was a follow up to our first "Providing Child Care" webinar. The purpose of both webinars was to engage family childcare providers and center-based care providers in an open conversation about their experience being open throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and what they are doing to maintain program health and safety. In case you missed part I, you can now view the recording (password = 4Q!hK4S9). If you also missed part II, you can view the recording, chat transcript, and PowerPoint now!
During the webinar, we asked currently opened providers about their decision to remain open, changes in their daily routines, how they are handling social distancing, and many other questions. Below is an overview of what was shared during the webinar.
Updates since April
The providers continues to stay abreast of any CDC changes and DECAL policy and procedures, including the 1 teacher to 9 children ratio. Teachers also perform small group activities to model social distancing to the children. Providers are also continuing to perform the daily temperature checks, and refraining from allowing parents to enter the buildings. One new implementation from a provider has been a play garden to facilitate physical movement for the children while still upholding social distancing guidelines. Another implementation has been outside washing stations, so that children may wash hands while they are outdoors. Furthermore, practitioners established strict parent pick up times to prevent overpopulated spaces.
Student Internships/ Practicums
No outsiders, even including parents, have not been allowed in the building to protect workers and children from potentially contacting COVID-19. One practitioner added that although students are not able to complete their hours this summer, they are hoping to bring the students back in the future. Basically, if individuals do not add a direct benefit to the children (teacher, plumber, etc.) they are not allowed on site.
Daily Routines to Protect Against the Pandemic
Providers are cleaning their centers three times a day, everyday. Toys are also removed from the environment if they cannot be cleaned everyday. One provider mandated a 3-day work safety training program for staff that focused on check-in procedures. Check in procedures included a check-in station to get hand sanitizer, a mask, gloves, and a thermometer check. This provider also set acceptable temperature lower than the national safety guidelines, and paid close attention to those students with temperatures in a certain range. One provider also made it a point to get child-sized masks for their children, and clear masks for teachers so that children may be able to see and interpret their facial expressions.
Providers stress the importance of eating healthy to protect the immune system against COVID-19 and to make our bodies whole. Providers also engage children in gardening practices.
Providers verbally discuss child and family health with parents every morning and evening. They also give a rundown of the child's day with the parents everyday. One provider stressed the importance of transparency with parents, and tries to decrease feelings of shame surrounding COVID-19 to increase open communication. Another providers uses an app called "Class Pass" to communicate with parents about activities, needs, and any occurrences throughout the day.
Some of the more tangible needs that providers voiced include: alcohol wipes, face masks, hand sanitizer, diapers, baby wipes, disinfectant, and bleach.
Providers urge others to use their voice and position to provide suggestions and recommendations to DECAL as far as their responsiveness and appreciation of their assistance. Another tip is to