We are sharing these Frequently Asked Questions with you based on the most updated information we have as of June 19, 2020. EEC regulations seem to be changing weekly, and we will update these FAQ’s and continue to communicate with you as information and changes are released.
The intention of the new guidelines is to minimize the number of individuals with whom any potentially exposed individual is in close contact by limiting contact between groups (e.g., minimal adults moving in between classrooms or comingling of groups); and to minimize prolonged close contacts between individuals within a group to the degree possible.
We understand that it is difficult to make decisions regarding returning to childcare without a clear roadmap. We hope you trust that, despite the image these regulations may imply, we are committed as always to creating a safe and engaging environment for your children to spend their days.
What date does Summer Session 2 start?
August 3 is our official reopening date.
Will you open before August 3rd if you are able?
No. We will use this time to train staff, rewrite policies, communicate with parents, prepare curriculum and generally get ready for our reopening on August 3.
When will my deposit for SY 19-20 (June tuition) be refunded?
When will my SY 19-20 prepaid tuition be refunded?
Week of June 15
What will happen to my tuition if you are forced to close again?
If all child care programs are forced to close again due to Covid-19, tuition will not be charged until we reopen. Partial months will not be refunded. Tuition will not be affected if your classroom is required to shut down for 24 hours due to potential exposure. Tuition will not be affected if your child is absent due to a required Covid-19 diagnosis or quarantine.
How much will the additional monthly fee be for next school year?
At this point we anticipate the fee will be 10% of your monthly rate. The fee will be assessed and charged monthly and will be reassessed as the conditions and regulations change throughout the school year.
The following questions will address the actual school day.
What will your hours be in August?
Our hours will be 8:00 am – 5:30 pm so that the staff have time to clean and prep for the following day. We may need to keep these hours as we begin the school year and adjust to regulations once again. We will make this decision in August.
Will my child have to wear a mask?
Children under 2 are not required to wear a mask
Children over 2 are encouraged to wear a mask but not required to unless we are unable to socially distance at 6 feet.
Will teachers be wearing masks?
Yes, likely the staff will all be wearing masks. This (as well as constant hand washing and cleaning) is our best defense against the virus. We will help to prepare the children to recognize their teachers in masks before school resumes. We will have Zoom calls with teachers and practice putting on and taking off masks so that the children are familiar. We will also have the teachers wear buttons with their smiling faces so that the children can recognize them.
How will you stagger drop off and pick up?
Drop off will take place between 8:00 am and 9:00 am. These times will be scheduled between you and your director as we move towards reopening. Our 3:30 pickup will be scheduled out by family as will the rest of the afternoon pick up times. We will schedule as close to 5:30 as possible for those that need it. These schedules will be developed with your director and teachers.
What will drop off and screenings look like?
- Each school entrance area will have a screening station with an assigned staff member wearing appropriate PPE.
- Each family will be asked to complete a personal screening checklist in the morning before you arrive at school to save time. Screening questions will include confirmation that you and your child are symptom free. Symptoms include fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath, muscle or body aches, headache, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting and diarrhea.
- The station will have hand sanitizer (out of reach of children), gloves, masks and a log book/folder.
- We will have extra copies of screening checklists.
- A staff member, Director or other staff person will be assigned to conduct screening.
- Screenings will be conducted individually as people arrive per their previously agreed upon schedule and will be documented and collated in our daily log folder.
Will I be allowed in the school?
Yes. After you complete your screening you will be allowed to enter the building to drop your child in his or her classroom. You will be required to wear a mask at all times while you are in the building. We will ask that you help us to minimize contact by being mindful that we do not want more than one family in the common areas at the same time. We will also designate a separate exit for all families to leave the building after drop off.
How will children be kept socially distant in the small classrooms? Will my child be in the same seat for the entire school day?
Absolutely not. Children will be free to move about and we will redirect if necessary to encourage them to work/play in small groups. We will also work on reducing the number of children in any given area by increasing the number of learning areas and providing materials that are easily disinfected.
- Centers will be designed to limit the number of children (2) in any area at a given time.
- We will reduce the amount of materials and furniture in the classroom to create additional space.
- We will work in small groups for activities and all adults will wear face coverings.
- We will stagger mealtimes and/or separate children into small groups.
- We will increase outdoor time and outdoor activities.
- All children will have an individual container for art supplies (Crayons, markers, scissors, paint brushes etc.)
- Children will be discouraged to bring any toys from home with the exclusion of Lovies.
Will my child play with other children?
Yes. It is our firm belief that while we need to minimize close contact, children in the same classroom will play together. As mentioned above, we will do our best to ensure that the children stay in small groups of 2 when playing in classrooms. When we are outside, children will use open spaces/the playgrounds one group at a time. We will do our best to stay outdoors as much as possible as this minimizes risk.
What will monitoring of teachers and students look like?
We will follow the guidelines proposed by EEC for checks before entering the school daily. All staff will also be required to complete the screening before entering the school. We will assess staff wellness throughout the day, just as we do children.
How will you account for asymptomatic transmission?
We will follow all the protocols for tracing children and staff. Our attendance records will allow us to manage which children are exposed to which staff each day and week. The intention of having the children stay with their teacher for the day and minimize contact with other groups will allow us to better trace contact.
Will there be routine testing for teachers?
We have protocols in place for monitoring staff and children. Should staff or a child display symptoms of Covid-19 they will be immediately isolated and sent home. They will also be asked to contact their medical professional for advice on testing, etc. before being allowed to return to PVP.
If a student or teacher tests positive will the school be on lockdown for a period of time?
The classroom affected will need to be closed for 24 hours and disinfected. We are required to notify our local board of health in each community and they will ultimately decide on what merits a shutdown. The protocols include notification to both EEC and DOH in the case of a positive test result. All of this information will also be communicated to each family.
What is the protocol for screening contacts of teachers and students?
This question is addressed in the self reporting checklist that every staff and parent will be required to fill out before entering the school each day. We will provide these forms to parents and teachers to fill out daily before coming to school and we will also have additional copies at our Screening Station in the entrance to each school. These are kept in a log at the school and parents and teachers are not permitted to enter the school if not submitted.
What process should I follow if a child is sick?
If a child presents at childcare with the above symptoms, they should be sent home immediately. If the child has been exposed to an individual who is COVID positive or presumed to be COVID positive, then they may not return to childcare for 14 days. If the child has symptoms but not otherwise exposed, they may not return to childcare until the symptoms abate. If a child begins showing symptoms while already at childcare, they will be isolated, with a teacher, as quickly as possible into a previously-designated area, away from close contact with other children and adults, until they can be picked up.
Do sick children always have to quarantine for 14 days?
If we have questions about closure or quarantine in the event of a sick child or a positive COVID-19 case, we will consult with our local Board of Health. If we are unable to reach our local Health Board for any reason, we will consult with our licensor for more information. For additional questions related to child care settings, please contact the state’s dedicated epidemiologist for child care: Dr. Katherine Hsu at Katherine.email@example.com or 617-983-6948.
How will restricted drop off and pickup times be implemented?
Parents will be given a drop-off and pick up time to reduce interactions and allow us to screen everyone before entering the building. We will do everything we can to work with schedules and impact you as little as possible but please be patient and understand that we are doing everything possible to keep everyone and comply with make these regulations. workable for everyone.
How will you ensure that all areas, materials, furniture, and equipment used for child care are safely and properly cleaned, sanitized, or disinfected, including a schedule for cleaning all areas of the building?
- Our cleaning company will perform a deep cleaning and disinfecting before we reopen.
- The schools will be cleaned by designated staff throughout the day and get a thorough cleaning by our cleaning company nightly
- We will review our protocols with the cleaning company and put everything in writing for them.
- A cleaning schedule will be posted in each classroom and bathroom with areas specified and a person identified as responsible for each area.
- We have a cleaning schedule template that specifies, date, time, areas cleaned and signature of person completing task.