COVID Health and Safety
The policies in this handbook were created to align with CDC guidelines and recommendations, as well as regulations of the OEC and the State of Connecticut. They are intended to protect the health and wellbeing of our children, families and staff.
The policies in this handbook are subject to change based on these same guidelines and regulations. All families and staff will be notified in the event of any additions or changes to these policies.
- All Bodel teachers and other staff will be required to wear masks when in the hallways or classrooms. Office staff may remove masks when alone in their office but must wear a mask when meeting with someone in their office.
- All family members, nannies, or others bringing or picking up children will be required to wear masks at drop off and pick up, or if coming to nurse a child (see below).
- Children over the age of two can wear masks if requested and provided by parents, if they can be properly placed and secured (not too big or small) and do not cause the child any additional stressors.
Arrival and Departure
- Children may be dropped off at their classroom doors. No one but teachers and children may enter the classroom. Adults dropping off children must remain at the door.
- A staff member will be there to greet families, take temperatures of children and parents, and conduct a daily health check.
- Staff members will also have their temperatures taken on arrival.
- Results of the check-in will be logged for each child, adult, and staff member.
- If the child or person bringing the child presents with a temperature over 99.9, cough, shortness of breath and/or sore throat, the child will not be allowed to attend that day. They will be instructed to go home and contact their health care provider. Regardless of what the health provider says, the child must stay home and be fever free without fever reducer for 72 hours.
- The screening questionnaires will be stored in the office when completed each day.
- If a Staff Member presents with a fever over 99.9, cough, shortness of breath and/or sore throat, they will be instructed to go home and contact their health care provider. Regardless of what the health provider says, the staff member must stay home and be fever free without fever reducer for 72 hours.
- If the check-in goes well, with no fevers or questionable symptoms, the adult will sign the child in.
- At pick up, the adult picking up the child will stay at the doorway to wait for the child.
- Temperatures will be taken on arrival, at noon, and in the afternoon before departure
- Staff will wash hands, wear gloves, take temperature, disinfect thermometer, throw out gloves. This will be repeated for each child. Hand sanitizer can be used in the event that handwashing is not feasible.
- Temperatures must be below 100 F.
- If a child’s or staff member’s temperature during the day is nearing 100 F, the temperature will be checked every two hours.
- If a child’s temperature during the day is over 99.9 F, the parent will be called and will have to arrive at the center within an hour. The child will be brought to the Resting Room and made comfortable (see below).
- If a temperature is above 99.9, the child or staff member must stay home and be fever free without fever reducer for 72 hours.
Supplies from Home
- Infants should have extra burp cloths and blankets, clearly labelled
- Infant burp cloths and blankets will be sent home daily for cleaning.
- Older children’s blankets, sheets, pillow cases, etc. will be sent home for cleaning weekly unless they are soiled with mucus or other bodily fluids, in which case they will be sent home that day
- Lunch boxes must be sanitized on arrival
- Infants: If all infants are napping at once, cribs and cots need to be spread out as follows:
- 4 in crib room
- 3 or 4 on carpet play area
- South - 1 cot on tiled area outside nap room
- Toddlers and Preschool: Cots will be placed as far apart as possible, and children will lie head to foot.
- Cots and cribs should not be placed under air vents. Be aware of this as you are placing the cots. Teachers should check the direction that air vents push the air, since it may not be straight down.
- Snacks will no longer be served family style. All food must be plated and given to children.
- Children should be seated as far apart as possible. Tables can be separated and moved apart.
- Teachers can take quick drinks of water during the day by pulling the face mask down or to the side and then putting it back in place immediately. They must then wash their hands or use hand sanitizer before doing anything else.
- Nursing will not be allowed in the classrooms
- At South: The mother will come to the door of the child’s classroom where the teacher will hand the child to her. The Mother’s Room will be used for breast feeding.
- At North: The mother will come to the door of the child’s classroom where the teacher will hand the child to her. There is a lactation room in Café Med.
- Lactation Rooms must be sanitized after each use.
Toys and Materials
- All toys remaining in classrooms must be able to be cleaned and sanitized easily
- No soft toys
- No dramatic play clothes, including hard hats
- If the teacher wants the children to use sensory materials, they must be individualized, so that each child has his or her own container.
- Each child will have his/her own plastic container with crayons, markers, glue, scissors, and other age-appropriate materials so that there will be no sharing of these items.
- Each child will have his/her own plastic container of play dough that can be reused only by that child.
- When playing with “shared” toys such as Legos, the teacher should give each child their own pile to play with. Children can play side by side, but not directly share pieces.
- Children cannot work together creating murals, building puzzles, etc.
- No water or sand tables will be used.
- Collage materials must be individualized
- Toys such as Legos and other plastic toys should be sprayed with bleach solution at the end of each day.
- Only a small selection of books will be set aside each day. Children will be required to wash their hands before and after handling books. Once a child has finished reading a book, the child can place the book in a special bin. At the end of the day, this bin will be set aside for 3 days OR The teacher will wipe down books with a bleach solution
- Naptime can be a useful time to clean any toys and other materials that the children have been using during the day.
Playground and Big Rooms
- All outdoor play equipment and toys (e.g., balls, etc.) will be sanitized as each group leaves to go inside
- Bikes and riding toys will be sanitized between each child’s use
- Classrooms will not combine in outside play areas or in Big Room – even with dividers, this is not allowed.
- There will be no outdoor water play in tubs. Sprinklers may be used.
- Big rooms and all toys used for indoor gross motor must be sanitized between groups.
- Teachers and children can take their masks off while outside.
General Health and Safety
- If a parent has symptoms of COVID and requires testing, the child will not be able to attend the center until the test results are received.
- If a household member has tested positive for COVID-19, the child will not be able to attend the child care center for 10 days. The child must test 5 to 7 days after the household members’ symptoms appeared.
- Teachers will be asked to bring a 2nd set of clothes so that they can change if a child contaminates them with any saliva, etc.
- Teachers can bring a smock or shirt to wear over their clothes
- Burp cloths/blankets for young infants- should go home daily
- Teachers will be educated to wash clothes at end of day
- All teachers and children ages 3 and up need to wear masks while in classrooms
- Teachers will be reminded of use of gloves
- Wiping noses
- When cleaning injuries and putting on bandaids
- Diapering or helping in the bathroom
- Preparing food
- Touchpoints in all bathrooms (children’s and adults’) will be sanitized after each use
- There will be no visiting of other rooms by Teachers or children. Floating Teachers will be assigned to one or two specific classrooms each day.
- Spray bleach only after children have left the classroom for the day, not while they are present.
- Classroom windows should be left open when weather permits to allow fresh air to flow through the room.
- Fans will not be used in classrooms due to safety concerns as well as the forceful way in which they push air.
- ALL children will be closely supervised when washing hands to ensure the correct methods are used.
- Groups of children cannot pass in the hallway. You must wait for a group to return to their classroom before coming out.
- North: Closed for breaks. No more than one person at a time will be allowed in there to find supplies or to use the computer. A notice will be placed on the door when the room is in use. Breaks can be taken in Med Café, outside in the Mezzanine.
- South: Only 4 people allowed at a time. No sharing of tables. If there are 4 people in there, one staff member can go into the conference room. One person can use the outdoor table. Otherwise, you can use the cafeteria upstairs or the park.
In the Event of Classroom Exposure
If a child or teacher is diagnosed with COVID, the classroom will be quarantined ten days following exposure. All children and staff members who were in contact with the diagnosed child or teacher will be required to have a COVID test 5 to 7 days after exposure. Negative test results are required for a child or teacher to return.