COVID-19 Preparedness Plan
All Seasons Preschool will offer safe opportunities for children to play and explore the natural world in a social setting. All Seasons has always spent large blocks of time outdoors and that will continue. Additionally, many of our indoor activities will be moved outdoors, weather permitting. We anticipate being indoors more as the weather changes in the fall and into winter. 1. Frequent Handwashing
2. Cleaning and Disinfecting
- Children and staff will wash their hands frequently throughout the day, including upon arrival, after using the bathroom and before eating.
- Outdoor hand washing stations will be set up and be available throughout the day, with fresh water and foam or liquid soap. Indoor handwashing sinks will also be available as always.
- Children will be supervised when handwashing and instructed on proper procedures.
- When soap and water are not readily available, such as when out on a hike, teachers will carry hand sanitizer in their backpacks and help children to use it.
3. Arrival and Departure
- Staff will follow protocols from the MN Department of Health and CDC guidance for cleaning and disinfecting.
- Cleaning refers to washing items with soap and water to remove dirt. Disinfecting will be done using sanitizing spray, alcohol wipes (70% alcohol or more) and/or a bleach water solution (5 Tbsp. bleach to a gallon of water). Frequently touched surfaces and objects will be sanitized after a group of children has used them.
- After use by a child or group of children, toys will be collected, sanitized and left to air dry before use by another child or group of children. Items that cannot be easily sanitized will be isolated for at least three days before being used again.
- Toys and materials (such as art supplies) will be used by only one group of children per day.
- After any child uses a toilet, a staff person will disinfect the toilet and the handwashing sink area.
- If a person in the program is suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19, additional cleaning and disinfecting will happen in any indoor spaces where that person was.
4. Plans For Sick Children and Staff
- Parents will pick up and drop off children to their assigned teacher at a designated spot outdoors and keep a social distance of at least six feet between families. No parents will be allowed inside the building.
- Teachers will greet families, take children’s temperatures upon arrival and ask parents about any possible exposures or symptoms of illness in the child or the family. If a child has a temperature of 100 degrees or any symptoms of illness, they will be excluded from the program.
- Parents must apply sunscreen and insect repellent before the child arrives at camp.
- Each child will bring a backpack containing: a complete change of clothes, head to toe, rain gear, a nutritious snack, a packed lunch, and a towel to sit on at lunch time.
- We will ensure that children and staff stay home when they have any symptoms of illness, including fever, cough, fatigue, flu-like symptoms, etc. We will maintain a list of qualified substitute teachers who know the program and have been trained on our COVID-19 procedures.
- Any child or staff person who becomes sick with COVID-like symptoms will be sent home.
- Parents must be available to pick up their children right away if they show symptoms. Multiple children attending the program from the same family must stay home if a family member tests positive.
- Each family will provide a “best phone number” for the teachers to use for immediate pick-up (in addition to their usual completed emergency card).
- Ill children will be isolated from other children and will be supervised while waiting to be picked up.
- The MN Department of Health Decision Tree will be used in determining any COVID-19-related exclusion.
5. Social Distancing Throughout the Day
- If a child or household member tests positive for COVID-19 or has been in close contact with someone who has tested positive, families must contact the preschool immediately.
- We will provide social distancing primarily by grouping the children in small pods. Each pod will remain with the same teacher, limiting everyone’s interactions to a small number of people. When possible, siblings will be assigned to the same pod to limit the number of households in each group.
- The Minnesota Department of Health recommends capping group sizes at 10 for safety. Our maximum pod size includes 8 children.
- The small groups will spread out throughout the grounds, making use of all the indoor and outdoor areas at All Seasons.
- When indoors, each pod will be in its own classroom space separate from other pods.
- Teachers will have the important role of observing and anticipating the children’s play in order to facilitate social distancing within play groups.
- Teachers will use visual cues to help define spaces to promote distancing, such as spreading out children’s individual towels for spots to sit to eat lunch or listen to a story. Indoors, teachers will encourage distancing for group activities like morning meeting or story time by using marks on the floor or carpet and chairs spread out at different tables.
- If children stay for the full day, they will have rest time on cots that are spread out, keeping a distance of six feet between cots and placed head to toe rather than head to head. As always, all children will have an individual cot and bring individual nap time blankets, pillows, etc. from home, and use only their own bedding.
6. Face Coverings
- All staff will wear cloth face masks when they are closer than six feet to any child, such as when comforting a child or attending to a scraped knee, etc. When observing play from a distance or outdoors, staff will keep their face masks handy in case they need to approach a child.
- Staff who work with multiple groups of children, such as the art studio teacher, people who cover classes for teacher breaks or rest time, etc. will wear a cloth face mask whenever they are around children, to avoid possible virus transfer from one group to another.
- When indoors, preschool children will be offered child-sized cloth face masks to wear, but will not be required to wear them. Children will wear masks only if they can reliably wear, remove and handle the mask themselves. Teachers and school-age children will wear masks when they are indoors. When used, masks will be washed daily in hot water.
8. Playground Use
- All Seasons will maximize our time outdoors, as weather allows.
- When children are indoors, we will maximize the circulation of fresh air by opening windows, weather permitting.
- The HVAC system in the preschool does a complete air exchange 2.56 times per hour.
9. Meals and Snacks
- Groups will take turns using the playground on a rotating schedule. Teachers will communicate via walkie-talkie about which outdoor areas they are using.
- Children and staff will wash hands before and after using the playground.
10. Communications and Training
- Families will send nutritious snacks and a packed lunch (for children eating lunch at school) with their child each day.
- Families will be reminded to send snacks and lunches that meet the Minnesota Department of Education child meal pattern guidelines, and will be provided with a chart showing the guidelines. All Seasons Preschool will supplement snacks and lunches from home if they are inadequate to meet the guidelines.
- Snacks and lunches will be eaten outdoors with children seated (weather permitting), or in individual classrooms, separated by group.
- Staff will review guidance from the Minnesota Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control for child care providers on health and safety practices that prevent the spread of COVID-19 in a child care environment.
- We will make decisions about the program in light of the guidance.
- Our plan will be communicated to families in writing and updated as the pandemic situation changes.
- Staff will be trained to ensure that everyone follows the plan and will be updated about any changes to the plan. The plan will be posted in a prominent place in the preschool, readily accessible to staff and substitutes.
- Staff with concerns about their employers’ COVID-19 Preparedness Plan or questions about their rights should contact MNOSHA Compliance at firstname.lastname@example.org, 651-284-5050 or 877-470-6742.