Since the coronavirus outbreak earlier this year, child care centers across the country were closed to stop the spread of the disease. Everyone has been strongly encouraged to practice social distancing, and face masks became the new normal. As centers begin to reopen, the top question on every parent’s mind is: Are the centers safe for kids?
The answer is yes.
Read about the ways child care centers — especially Horizon — are making it safe for children to be in the classroom again. Or watch the video on Horizon's reopening procedures below.
Updated Drop-off and Pick-up Procedures
Parents must pull up in front of the center in the designated drop-off area. A staff member wearing PPE will greet you and your child, and your child will get out of the car. They will take your child’s temperature. If there are any other signs of illness, your child will not be permitted in the centers. Otherwise, they will take your child in the building. At this time, parents are not permitted to come in during drop-off and pickup, to limit the number of people children come in contact with.
Increased Cleaning and Sanitization
The Horizon staff has been trained to increase the types of cleaning and the frequency of the sanitizing schedule. As part of their regular training, they are required to complete 6 hours of initial Communicable Disease Prevention Training.
Increased cleaning time does, however, mean that the center hours have been reduced to accommodate this schedule. Cleaning includes all toys used in the classrooms and removing any toys that cannot be easily cleaned. All hard surfaces are disinfected regularly using a bleach solution prescribed by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, and all other surfaces are cleaned with a commercial disinfectant.
Changes to Curriculum
Field trips, swimming and large group activities will not be permitted during this time. Children will stay with their teacher throughout the day, so there is limited contact with others outside of their class. Playgrounds will be open, but there will be a scheduled time for each class to play outside, and a rigorous sanitization process in between classes.
What Parents Can Do
As centers are opening back up, parents can explain how the teachers will be showing kids things that can help them to stay healthy and to prevent the spread of coronavirus. You can also share how Horizon Education Centers is carefully following health guidelines, and how this is the perfect opportunity to care for others by following social distancing rules.
Explain the concept in ways they can relate to and explain that people must follow the rules to keep everyone safe. The virus isn’t going away, parents can tell children, so everybody needs to do their part to handle the situation in a smart way.
This will help children feel good about doing their part in fighting COVID-19 and helping to bring businesses back safely. They will get to see their teachers and friends who they’ve missed while the centers were closed.
It can also help to first review topics with children that you’ve already discussed. For example, you can remind them of the importance of carefully washing their hands. Then, you can let them know that, because of the germs that are going around now, there are extra steps to take—those of social distancing.
Watch the Video on Horizon's Safe Reopening Process