Lehman College Child Care Center (Open)

During the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is vital to follow the recommended health and safety guidelines of local regulatory agencies and the recommendations in the CDC Guidance for Child Care Programs that Remain Open to keep the children, staff and families in the child care program safe. The Imagine Health and Safety Plan has been updated as follows:

Child and Family Protocols

Drop Off/Pick Up

  • Child drop off is at the center entrance to reduce outside exposure within the center.
  • Adults and children must wear masks/face coverings when approaching the center for drop off.
  • Postings on the front door remind parents to socially distance by 6 feet while waiting to drop off children at the center entrance.
  • CDC Covid-19 Symptoms and Safety Protocols are posted at Center Entrance.
  • Families will be accepted into the center drop off area one at a time by Center staff.
  • Parents will use their own pen to sign the Daily Attendance Log. If they do not have a pen they will be provided with a disposable glove to use a center pen.
  • Children will remove outside shoes and change to inside shoes.
  • Outside shoes will be stored individually in provided storage containers.
  • No strollers will be accepted into or stored in the center

Daily screening for all families, employees and necessary visitors Screening Questions:

  • Are you or your child exhibiting any symptoms of Covid-19?
  • Have you or your child had any contact with anyone that has or is suspected to have Covid-19?
  • Temperature check to be conducted by staff wearing mask/face covering, gloves and eyewear:
    • 100.0 degrees or more is considered a fever and requires exclusion for 72 hours.
    • Temperature check repeated after lunch time.
    • Temperature is logged in Daily Health Check on Classroom Attendance Log.
    • In order to follow HIPAA rules, we will not be required to note the temperature...just that it was taken and that, by entering a “T”, we acknowledge that the temperature met the threshold for attending the program (under 100.0 degrees).
    • Temperature is taken at drop off and again at lunch. Staff mark the sheet with a “T” and the time each time the temperature is taken.
    • Children developing a temperature or other CV-19 symptoms during attendance at the center will be isolated until an Authorized Escort can pick them up.
  • Children will wash hands for 20 seconds immediately as they enter the program/classroom and at least hourly throughout the day in addition to the otherwise typically required times (Before and after meals, after diaper changing or using the bathroom, after wiping their nose)
  • Any child presenting with fever, who is either isolated and sent home or kept home by family, must remain out of the center for 72 hours until fever free without the use of fever reducing medications.
  • Any child that presents additional symptoms of COVID-19 or who’s parent(s) inform the center that the child has been tested for COVID-19, must provide a doctor’s note to allow the child to return to the program

Staff Protocols

  • Staff will check their own temperature at home before coming to work.
  • 100.0 degrees or more, without having taken any drugs to reduce fever, is considered a fever and requires exclusion for 72 hours. The staff member may be asked for a physician’s note to return to work.
  • Temperature check upon arrival to the center by a designated staff member wearing mask/face covering and gloves. Temperature is logged on the CV-19 Staff Temperature and Symptom Checklist. Social distancing markers or signs will be posted to denote 6 ft. of space between staff.
  • Imagine will provide all staff with two (2) masks for face covering at no cost to the employee and will have an adequate supply of coverings in case of replacement.
  • Staff are trained in CDC guidelines for properly wearing face coverings. Masks/face coverings cannot be shared. Staff must alert their Director when a mask/face covering is damaged or soiled for a replacement. Disposable masks must be discarded in the trash bin.
  • Staff will wear masks/face coverings at all times, traveling to and from work with one covering and another while at work. Staff are provided with, and are responsible for cleaning, two (2) reusable cloth masks. Disposable masks are available as a back-up.
  • Staff will answer daily health screening questions, logged on the CV-19 Staff Temperature and Symptom Certification Record Log.
  • Are you exhibiting any symptoms of Covid-19?
  • Have you had any contact with anyone that has or is suspected to have Covid-19?
  • Staff will use hand sanitizer before clocking in. Hand sanitizing stations are located in common areas throughout the center. Social distancing markers or signs will be posted to denote 6 ft. of space between staff.
  • Staff are provided scrubs and will change into them at the center after clocking in.
  • Staff will remove scrubs if leaving the center for a lunch break and at the end of the day.
  • Staff will launder appropriately scrubs and face masks. Staff will bring a freshly cleaned pair of scrubs to wear daily (Imagine is providing 2 pairs of scrubs).
  • Staff will wear center only shoes or PPE shoe covers (if there are no safety concerns with the flooring).
  • Staff will wash hands for 20 seconds immediately as they enter the program/classroom and at least hourly in addition to the otherwise typically required times (Before and after serving food, after diaper changing or bathroom assistance, after using the bathroom themselves, after wiping their own or a child’s nose)
  • When staff are in contact with shared objects or frequently touched areas, such as in the kitchen area or bathroom, staff may wear gloves that are provided by Imagine or sanitize or wash hands before and after contact.
  • Staff will avoid interactions in shared areas to the greatest extent possible and maintain 6 ft. social distancing rules (e.g. break rooms, kitchen area, meeting areas, etc.

Classroom Practices

Reduced Group Sizes/ Face coverings

  • Reduced group Size and teacher-to child ratios will be maintained according to local regulatory authorities.
  • Group size including adults and children in any room will not exceed state and local regulations.
  • Groups will not be combined and staff will remain with the same group whenever and wherever possible.
  • Children over the age of 2 are encouraged to wear a fresh, inside face covering in classrooms (not the one worn walking to school). The face covering must be stored in a Ziploc bag with the child’s name and sent home daily for cleaning.
  • Face coverings should not be placed on children younger than 2 years of age, anyone who has trouble breathing, or anyone who is otherwise unable to remove the face covering without assistance.
  • Children will be reminded not to touch their faces

Recommended Classroom Best Practices Around Social Distancing

Approaches to teaching children about social distancing “Stay in your bubble”

When children sit, ask them to form a bubble extending their arms, and bringing them to their heads. The arms once down cannot come out of the bubble and the bubble only expands once the teachers say to stand up or move.

“Helicopter arms”

Invite children to extend their arms and create a helicopter. If their hands touch each other, they are too close

Using space markers/pods/mats-

Use masking tape, sit upon or mats to create spots on the floor and encourage the children to use the space in the pod to play while communicating with their peers.

Rest Period.

During nap/rest time, children’s cots will be distanced at least 6 ft. apart and children alternated “head-to-toe.” Partitions may be used as necessary.

Areas of Learning and Materials

Art

Individualize materials. Children can have zip lock bags with crayons, a scissor, and even some paper and craft materials. Label with name and refill as needed.

Block play

Limit children participating in the area. Once the children finish, the center should be closed and sanitized. Provide multiple sets of materials to rotate for use for each new group using the area.

Dramatic Play

As suggested in Block Play, use prop boxes to rotate use for each new group.

Manipulatives

Be very purposeful with your choices and planning. 4 year olds can use the smaller Legos while the 3’s use larger ones. Rotate in toys from storage or items not being used in other classrooms. Limit puzzles. Ask the children what THEY want to use that day. Make them part of the decision making process.

Sensory

Don’t avoid it! It’s still a very important part of daily play.
Use individual metal tins or trays for shaving cream, playdough, hair gel, shaving cream and homemade slime and goop. Have every child make their own playdough and keep it in their own container.

Playground Protocol

  • Playgrounds must be used by one class at a time and schedules made to allow for classes to completely exit to their classroom before another class comes out.
  • Playground equipment should be wiped down/sanitized between classes. Cleaning equipment and proper sanitizer should be readily available for playground use.
  • Staff will wear gloves when picking up cleaning materials as other staff will have used the materials prior.

Meals

  • Adults and children must wash hands for 20 seconds before and after meals.
  • No sharing of food. Centers participating in lunch programs will have individual lunches/portions served.
  • No food served family style. This includes birthday celebrations. During this crisis, centers will not make birthday cakes for sharing but birthdays will be acknowledged and celebrated in creative ways.
  • Staff and children will be distanced as per CDC guidelines while sitting for meals.
  • Children and staff will not share utensils, using only disposable utensils or those bought from home.
  • All shared food preparation equipment (microwave, coffeemaker, and refrigerator) must be cleaned with disinfectant before and after each use.

Adult Bathroom Facilities

  • Bathroom areas will be cleaned as per requirements.
  • Only one adult in the bathroom at a time
  • Wash hands after using bathroom for 20 seconds
  • Faucets shut off with a clean paper towel
  • Door opened with a clean paper towel discarded in a garbage receptacle outside the bathroom.

Office Protocols

  • Masks/face coverings must be worn and 6 feet of distance maintained if more than one person is in the office.
  • Wipe down desks, and keyboards, phones, printers, door release buttons, radios, walkie talkies after each use.

Director / Supervisor Protocols and Responsibilities

  • Imagine will adhere to hygiene and sanitation requirements from the CDC and the Department of Health and maintain cleaning logs on site that document date, time, and scope of cleaning. Directors are responsible for maintaining the cleaning log in the COVID-19 Safety Plan Binder.
  • Directors will ensure that all cleaning and disinfection occurs as per the CV-19 Safety Checklist and this Safety Plan. Frequent daily cleaning and disinfection of shared objects, surfaces and high transit areas is required.
  • Directors are responsible for monitoring all COVID-19 safety protocols and will designate staff members to assist as Safety Coordinators and ensure they are trained.
  • Directors will ensure that the COVID-19 Safety Plan is maintained current with all checklists, posters and other relevant documents, kept onsite in a COVID-19 Safety Plan Binder.
  • Video-conferencing meetings will be held as needed. Essential in-person meetings will be held in open, well-ventilated spaces with appropriate social distancing among participants.
  • Directors will prohibit non-essential visitors on site to the extent possible. Designated areas for “pick-ups” or “deliveries” will be established to limit interactions to the extent possible.
  • Directors (or their designees in their absence) are the point of contact for reviewing screening requirements and for the reporting of symptoms, exposure and testing results by staff and families.

Communication

  • Imagine will keep lines of communication open to all staff and parents.
  • All staff must discuss immediately with their supervisor or Director any questions, suggestions or concerns. Staff can also reach out to:
  • Imagine will post signage throughout the child care centers to remind staff to adhere to proper hygiene, social distancing rules, appropriate use of PPE (masks/face coverings, scrubs, gloves), and cleaning and disinfecting protocols.
  • Imagine has a communication plan in place and will utilize email, in addition to verbal communication from Directors to update staff and families.
  • Imagine will maintain a continuous log of every person, including staff, children, and essential visitors, including cleaning personnel, who may have close contact with other individuals at the child care center or area. This is critical to comply with contact tracing requirements in the event of a positive case. These logs include timecard clock in/out records in ADP, Classroom In/Out Logs and the Essential Visitors Log. Directors and site supervisors are responsible for maintaining these logs and ensure they are placed in the COVID-19 Safety Plan Binder. Cleaning personnel who enter the center after hours will be asked to sign in/out on the essential visitor log as well.
  • If a staff member tests positive for COVID-19, Imagine will immediately notify state and local health departments and cooperate with contact tracing efforts, including notification to potential contacts, such as staff, families, and essential visitors who had close contact with the individual. Imagine will provide the COVID-19 Infection in the Workplace Communication, while maintaining confidentiality required by state and federal law and regulations. The Director, Executive Director or Vice President are responsible for notifying the state and local health departments. The Director will notify the center sponsor, where applicable, of any CV-19 exposures or positive cases in staff.
  • If a child or child’s family member, test positive for COVID-19, Imagine will follow similar procedures of notifying the appropriate local health departments. Families of children in the child’s immediate class will be called to inform them, keeping confidential the name of the family involved. The rest of the center population will be informed as well via written/email communication. The Director will notify the center sponsor, where applicable, of any CV-19 exposures or positive cases in children or family members.
  • If staff of children have a fever or affirmative answers to the screening questions, or have been exposed to, or are displaying symptoms of COVID -19, they will not be allowed to enter the facility/required to isolate and then leave the facility and required to see a health care provider for assessment and testing. Upon request, staff and families will be provided with healthcare and testing resources.

Training

  • All staff taking temperatures will be required to take HIPAA training and will maintain confidentiality. As child-care professionals, all staff have been trained to take temperatures.
  • Directors are required to conduct training with all staff on the COVID-19 Safety Plan, including the appropriate use and disposal of PPE, social distancing rules, proper hygiene and cleaning and disinfecting protocols.
  • It is recommended that Directors attend CV-19 training made available through industry contacts and share feedback with supervisors and colleagues.

Essential Visitors

  • Directors will conduct the following:
  • Directors or on-site supervisors are required to take the temperature of all essential visitors, including cleaning personnel.
  • Directors or on-site supervisors are required to ask essential visitors: Are you exhibiting any symptoms of Covid-19?
  • Have you had any contact with anyone that has or is suspected to have Covid-19?
  • Directors or on-site supervisors will record the temperature and COVID-19 symptom and exposure question on the Essential Visitors Log.

In the Event a Staff Member or Child Becomes Sick at the Center we will follow our current Health Policies and:

  • Identify an area to separate anyone who exhibits COVID-like symptoms during hours of operation, and ensure that children are not left without adult supervision.
  • Notify local health officials, staff, and families immediately of any possible case of COVID-19 while maintaining confidentiality consistent with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and other applicable federal and state privacy laws.
  • Areas used by any sick person will be disinfected immediately. Ensure safe and correct application of disinfectants, and keep disinfectant products away from children
  • Advise sick staff members or children not to return until they have met CDC criteria to discontinue home isolation, and have a doctor’s note to return:
    • 3 days with no fever and
    • Symptoms improved and
    • 10 days since symptoms first appeared
  • If a child or employee in the work environment… DOH… Inform those who have had close contact with a person diagnosed with COVID-19 to stay home and self-monitor for symptoms for 14 days, and to follow CDC guidance if symptoms develop. If a person does not have symptoms follow appropriate CDC guidance for home isolation.
  • Any person who has been in close contact with a staff member or child at the center that has tested positive will be informed verbally and in writing.

Travel Exclusion

  • Continuing safety for Imagine staff and families is our priority. Staff and families returning to Imagine Child Care Centers after personal travel are required to follow all Executive Orders, licensing agencies and CDC Guidelines.
  • Effective June 25, 2020, staff and families are required to quarantine for a 14-day period from the time of last contact within the identified state during the time of travel.
  • All staff and families are required to notify their Director with their personal domestic vacation destinations to determine if their travel to a state will necessitate a quarantine period after their return.
  • Staff and families may be required to submit a doctor’s note and proof of a negative COVID-19 test. Imagine will follow all agency regulations.
  • Staff and families are reminded that if they are traveling by plane, they should abide by all social distancing and hygiene recommendations, including wearing a mask and maintaining 6 ft. distance.
  • Staff and families returning from a personal trip to any state or location must notify their Director if they have been in close contact with someone with COVID-19 or if they are experiencing symptoms consistent with COVID19.
  • If a staff member or family is returning from a cruise and/or international travel, they will need to quarantine until 14 days have passed from the date of their return.

Testing Sites in NY State

Staff and families can use this link to find testing sites closest to home.

This Safety Plan will be updated as additional recommendations are provided by regulatory agencies.