MS. CLAUDIA’S VILLAGE ACADEMY COVID-19 SAFETY STANDARDS:
During COVID-19, child care centers have been classified as an essential business in Miami-Dade Countyand the State of Florida. We recognize that ‘quality and safe’ childcare is necessary to helping parents and guardians return to work – and we, at Ms. Claudia’s Village Academy, continue to take this responsibility seriously. As an essential business, we were only closed for a week. Since March 23, 2020, we have been safely taking care of the children of first responders and healthcare workers.
As a result, Ms. Claudia’s Village Academy’s ownership and staff already has significant experience in implementing and sustaining additional COVID-19 safety measures. For months now, Ms. Claudia’s Village Academy has used the Centers for Disease Control (CDC’s) Interim Guidance for Administrators of Child Care Programs that Remain Open as a baseline standard, and have added additional safety and compliance steps to ensure your children are safe while in our care.
In addition, from day one–I, Ms. Claudia, as the Mayor of the Village of El Portal and as the President of the Miami-Dade County League of Cities have had the personal benefit of collaborating with health officials and local government to help ensure other child care programs: to include summer camps reopens using specific guidelines, so parents may return to work with a peace of mind knowing their children are safe! As such, we believe other than the safety of your own homes, your children will be in the best hands possible, county-wide, while being cared for at Ms. Claudia’s Village Academy!
- Phase 0: Ms. Claudia’s Village Academy adhered to the CDC guidance of restricting its care to children of essential workers. Strict protocols were adhered to include: questions were asked before entry–no sick children or staff were allowed on the premises; temperature checks were taken before entry and throughout the day; the wearing of masks by all staff and children 3-years and older; maintaining social distancing; limiting teacher/student ratios; strict and frequent hand washing and sanitizing; and parents always remaining in their cars during pick-up and drop-off.
- Phase 1: Ms. Claudia’s continues its care for more children while following the established and specific measures above and providing additional trained staff.
- Phase 2: After a successful Phase 1, we will continue caring for children while always adhering and maintaining all necessary safety measures in place and that are posted throughout the facility
- Phase 3: TBD
MS. CLAUDIA’S IS OPEN:
- Actions In all Phases:
- Ms. Claudia continues to communicate with local and Miami-Dade County authorities; she herself participates in weekly calls with them.
- We are committed to protecting and supporting staff, children, and their family members who are at higher risk for severe illness.
- Ms. Claudia’s was only closed for 1-week and strictly adhered to ‘CDC’s supplemental Guidance for Child Care Programs that Remain Open,’ as well as implemented additional and stricter guidelines, to include terminally cleaning the facility, prior to reopening.
MONITORING AND PREPARING:
- Ms. Claudia’s staff is checking for signs and symptoms (Phases 0-2)
- Again, just as the CDC recommends, at Ms. Claudia’s we are screening children upon arrival. We have established a routine of daily health checks on arrival to include temperature screening of both staff and children. Anyone that records a temperature of over 99.2 degrees Fahrenheit is not permitted in the facility and is sent home.
- We have also implemented health checks (e.g. temperature checks and symptom screening) screenings safely throughout the day, and respectfully, and we have measures in place to ensure confidentiality as well as in accordance with any applicable privacy laws or regulations. Confidentiality is being maintained, but if an issue ever arises (and after 7 weeks none have so far) that child or staff member is sequestered and then arrangements are made for them to leave the premises.
- Lastly, for everyone’s safety, staff are required to stay home if they are sick, and parents must keep their sick children home–no exceptions.
- Ms. Claudia’s staff is trained(Phase 0-2)
- Training is essential! We have trained all staff on-site in the above safety actions. And, as additional staff return to work, we will conduct safety training and meetings.
- We mandate healthy hygiene practices (Phases 0-2)
- Our daily morning routine at Ms. Claudia’s will teach and reinforce washing and sanitizing hands. New signs have been posted by every sink.
- At Ms. Claudia’s, our staff and children over three-years shall wear face coverings. Face coverings are most essential at times when social distancing is not possible. Staff and children are trained not to touch the face covering and to wash their hands every hour. Information has been provided to all staff on proper use, removal, and washing of cloth face coverings.
- At Ms. Claudia’s we have always prided ourselves in keeping our facility clean, as such we always have adequate supplies to support healthy hygiene behaviors, including plenty of soap, hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol (for staff and older children who can safely use hand sanitizer), paper towels, and tissues.
- Signs have been posted throughout Ms. Claudia’s facility on how to stop the spread of COVID-19, properly wash hands, promote everyday protective measures, and properly wear a face covering.
- We are intensely cleaning, disinfecting, and ventilating Ms. Claudia’s facility (Phases 0-2)
- At Ms. Claudia’s we clean, sanitize, and disinfect frequently high-touched surfaces (for example, our playground equipment, door handles, sink handles, etc.) every hour and shared objects (we are NOT sharing objects in Phase 0 or 1) between use.
- NO use of items (for example, soft or plush toys) that are not easily cleaned, sanitized, or disinfected. We do not project the return of these toys until Phase 3.
- We ensure the safe and correct application of disinfectants and always keep products away from children.
- We have ensured that ventilation systems operate properly, have had the air conditioners serviced recently, and we are increasing the circulation of outdoor air as much as possible by opening windows and doors, using fans, and other methods.
- We have also been conducting more outdoor activities in small groups (no more than 10 per group – includes teacher); sunshine kills the COVID-19 virus and outside activities better enable social-distancing.
- At Ms. Claudia’s we limit sharing (Phase 0-2)
- We at Ms. Claudia’s keeps each child’s belongings separate and in individually labeled storage containers, or cubbies. But it is also our parent’s responsibility to ensure that these items are labeled with their child’s name and when taken home each day they are cleaned.
- We are ensuring adequate supplies to minimize the sharing of high-touch materials (art supplies, equipment etc. assigned to each group of 10) As such, we are limiting the use of supplies and equipment to be used only within their group and cleaning and disinfecting them between use.
- We have worked with our caterer to provide to the greatest extent possible to have pre-packaged boxes or bags for each child instead of group-style meals. As always we avoid the sharing of foods and utensils. We are avoiding the sharing of electronic devices, toys, books, other games, and learning aids.
- We are reducing the risk of transmitting COVID-19 by avoiding immediate contact such as shaking or holding hands and hugging, the children. (with the exception of young children who do not walk yet.)
- At Ms. Claudia’s we ensuring social distancing
- During Phase 0-2:
- We will ensure that every classroom includes the same group of children each day, and that the same child care provider will remain with the same group each day!
- We will restrict mixing between groups to the greatest extent possible.
- All field trips, inter-group events, and extracurricular activities are cancelled until further notice.
- Since we reopened soon after the COVID-19 emergency was declared, at Ms. Claudia’s we have restricted nonessential visitors, volunteers, and activities involving other groups.
- Since we reopened, Ms. Claudia’s has also spaced out seating and bedding (head-to-toe positioning) to six feet apart.
- We have closed communal-use spaces are or are staggering their use and ensuring they are disinfected in between uses.
- Every child’s meal is on a disposable plate, and disposable serving utensils are used.
- An arrival and departure protocol is in place to limit direct contact with parents as much as possible. However, to ensure the safety of the children and staff, parents must strictly comply with drop-off and pick-up times.
- Looking ahead to Phase 3: (contingent upon the success of Phase 1 and 2)
- We will consider keeping classes together to include the same group of children each day, and consider keeping the same child care providers with the same group each day.
- We are likely to keep minimal mixing between groups. We may continue to limit gatherings, events, and extracurricular activities to those that can maintain social distancing, and support proper hand hygiene.
- We are likely to continue to space out seating and bedding (head-to-toe positioning) to six feet apart.
- We will consider keeping communal use spaces closed, such as game rooms, playgrounds, or dining halls, if possible; If this is not possible, we will stagger use and disinfect in between uses.
- We will consider continuing to plate each child’s meal, to limit the use of shared serving utensils.
- We will continue to consider limiting nonessential visitors, volunteers, and activities involving other groups.
- We may consider staggering arrival and drop-off times or put in place other protocols to limit direct contact with parents as much as possible.
- During Phase 0-2: