Our goal has always been to provide a clean, safe, nurturing and secure environment where children can explore, develop and grow. Because we are a Keystone Star 4 facility, we already had many of the now recommended practices for health and safety in place long before the pandemic. Health and safety of every staff and family in our center is our primary concern and we continue to take every precaution we can to prevent potential exposure or spread of COVID-19. As we continue to update our policies we review all guidance from the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): CDC Childcare and K-12 Guidance.
We feel that it is very important for the teachers and the parent/guardian to maintain as much contact daily as possible while children are in care. To minimize classroom exposure, teachers will meet families at the classroom door to drop off their children. Parents will not enter the classrooms and staff will practice social distances of 6 feet as much as possible while speaking with families.
Secretary Levine has order that all persons over the age of 2 years wear a mask while at the center. To meet this requirement, we will provide a face shield to every child enrolled over the age of 2 years. These will be at no cost to the family. Shields will be purchased from Duo Protects. While we understand that this may be difficult for some children, we will do our best to have children keep their shields in the event that they can not maintain the 6 feet apart guidance. However, at no time will a child be forced or punished for not keep their shield on. Additionally, as per OCDEL guidance: Parents/ Guardians/ Visitors must wear a mask while picking up and dropping off children. If a Parent/ Guardian or Visitor can not wear a mask for any reason, the staff will meet the Parent/ Guardian or Visitor in the entrance way to pick up or drop off the child/ren.
Each family and staff member will be required to sign a release explaining that in the event they travel to a state that has been deemed "red" by the state of Pennsylvania, they will self quarantine for a period of 14 days after retuning. Tuition will not be waived during this time.
In addition to our current hand washing policies and procedures ALL children must wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds upon entering the center before they are permitted to engage in any activity . Additionally, staff will follow the same policy and wash hands not only when entering the building but anytime they enter a new classroom.
EXPOSURE TO COVID-19 OR ANY CONTAGIOUS ILLNESS
If a child or family member in their household has been exposed to or has a confirmed case of a contagious illness the family is required to notify the center within 24 hours. Failure to do so will result in termination of care.
CLEANING, SANITIZING, DISINFECTING & VENTILATION:
The facility had cleaning procedures in place prior the pandemic which we will continue to use. Sanitizer and disinfectant are made using the EPA recipe for Clorox. These are made fresh daily. Each classroom and restroom have the appropriate soap and water bottle and sanitizer or disinfectant and are used throughout the day to clean and sanitize/disinfect surfaces. Door handles are sprayed with an aerosol disinfectant throughout the day. Additional cleaning procedures include but are not limited to: (all staff are trained on cleaning procedures)
Toys that are mouthed are removed from rotation and place in a “dirty toy” bucket. Toys in this bucket are cleaned and sanitized each day at lunch and close of business before being returned to rotation.
Children and staff wash hands for 20 seconds with soap and water upon entering the building each morning, after using the restrooms, before and after playing with sensory materials, after playing outside and before and after all meals.
Restrooms and changing areas are cleaned and disinfected using a bleach solution after every use. Additionally, gloves are worn when changing diapers and/or pull ups on every child. Gloves are discarded after every use.
Tables are cleaned and sanitized before and after all meals.
The center is cleaned and disinfected each night after closing by a janitor.
Due to the pandemic the following procedures have been added:
Door handles are disinfected after dropping off and pick up times throughout the day.
Parents/ guardians/ Visitors must wear a mask while in the building and may not enter any classroom.
Restrooms and common areas are cleaned and disinfected during nap time in addition to their regularly scheduled times throughout the day.
Signing sheets have been removed and only Tadpoles is used by staff to record children’s attendance.
Sensory items that cannot be disinfected such as playdough is removed from classrooms with younger children for the remainder of the pandemic.
Dramatic play items that must be disinfected after each child’s use such as utensils, food and clothing are removed from classrooms for the remainder of the pandemic
All windows in the classrooms will be opened so fresh air can be circulated when children are outside.
Additionally, anytime weather permits the classroom windows will be open to allow fresh air to circulate.
EXPOSURE OF ILLNESS IN THE FACILITY:
We have cleaning procedures in place for when an illness such as Hand foot & Mouth or Pink Eye has been confirmed in one of our classrooms. The procedure includes the cleaning and disinfecting of the classroom and all its materials. For an exposure of COVID-19, the state requires that we close for a period of 48 hours to disinfect the center. In the event that this happens, tuition is not modified. Additionally, in any event that a contagious illness is confirmed in one of the classrooms, families are notified via email and classroom postings that same day.
All teachers conduct health checks for each child as they arrive. This is a simple procedure that includes looking for any visible signs that the child is not feeling well.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, temperatures for children and teachers will be taken 3 times throughout the day and recorded. Temperatures will be taken for all staff and children 3 times per day and recorded. This will include at drop off, before lunch and 1 hour after nap. Any staff or child with a temperature 100.4 or above will be sent home and may not return the following day.
Children with a fever of 100.4 or above will be sent home. A child sent home with a fever may not return the following day and must be fever free for 24 hours without the use of medicine before they may return. If a child is sent for a fever and the fever returns on the day they come back to the center, they will be again sent home but will not be able to return until 48 hours have passed, and they are again fever free.
If a child has a temperature twice within the same week the child will be sent home and must see their family physician to be tested for COVID-19. The child may not return to care until they have been tested for COVID-19 and the results are submitted to the office. If for any reason the child is not tested, the slot for care will be closed.
If a child has been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 they will be required to be tested before they may return to care. If the test is negative and the child shows symptoms in the following weeks, they will be required to be retested before returning to care. This policy will be the same for all staff members.
If a child test positive for COVID-19 they will not be permitted to return to care for 14 days from the date of the positive test. Extended illness tuition policy will be applied in this event.
ISOLATING/ QUARANTINE: (children, staff, or visitors if they become sick or demonstrate a history of exposure)
Staff who have a temperature will be sent home. Children who have a temperature or who are showing signs of other illness will be removed from the classroom and will sit with a staff in the parent area until they are picked up. Parents will be called to pick up. While waiting for a sick child to be picked up, have a caregiver stay with the child in a place isolated from others. If the child has symptoms of COVID-19, the caregiver should remain as far away as safely possible from the child (preferably 6 feet) while maintaining supervision. For confirmed positive COVID 19-cases: Endless Mountain Learning Center, INC. (EMLC) will close for a period of 48 hours following the confirmed positive COVID-19 case so that the facility can be cleaned and disinfected properly. The families will be notified when there is a suspected outbreak of a communicable disease (An outbreak is defined as a single positive COVID-19 case.) EMLC will report positive COVID-19 cases to the Department of Health (DOH) as per 55 Pa. Code §3270.136(d), §3280.136(d), and §3290.136(d). The facility will also report positive COVID-19 cases to the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS). Exposure to a person who tests positive for COVID-19:
Exposure is defined as being within 6 feet of the individual who tests positive for COVID-19 for a period of 15 minutes or more. It also means coming into direct contact with droplets from a COVID-19 positive individual. Persons who test positive are considered infectious 48 hours before the onset of symptoms. Persons testing positive but do not have symptoms are considered infectious 2 days after exposure (if known) or starting 2 days before test date (if exposure is unknown).
If a staff person, household member, or a child is exposed to an individual who tests positive for COVID- 19:
The individual will self-quarantine for a period of 14 days based on the CDC guidance.
EMLC will inform parents of enrolled children when there is a suspected outbreak of a communicable disease or an outbreak of an unusual illness that represents a public health emergency in the opinion of the Department of Health as per 55 Pa. Code §3270.136(b), §3280.136(b), and §3290.136(b).
EMLC will report when a staff person, child, or household member is exposed to a positive COVID-19 case to the DHS and DOH.
For Persons Who Tested Positive but have NOT had COVID-19 Symptoms in Home Isolation: Persons with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 who have not had any symptoms and were directed to care for themselves at home may discontinue isolation under the following conditions:
At least 10 days have passed since the date of their first positive COVID-19 diagnostic test assuming they have not subsequently developed symptoms since their positive test.
If they develop symptoms: Persons with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 who have not had any symptoms and were directed to care for themselves at home may discontinue isolation under the following conditions:
Negative COVID-19 results from at least two consecutive respiratory specimens collected 24 hours or more apart (total of two negative specimens).
RETURNING (isolated or quarantined staff, children, or visitors to the facility)
Individuals who have COVID-19 who have symptoms and were directed to care for themselves at home may discontinue isolation under the following conditions:
Resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and Improvement in respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath), and
Negative COVID-19 test results from at least two consecutive respiratory specimens collected 24 hours or more apart (total of two negative specimens).