Let’s Get Back to Work

Let's Get
Back to Work

Helping Families Confidently Access Safe Child Care Solutions

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We Have Important Work to Do

As a parent, you want what’s best for your child’s social, emotional and educational development. For many children, that means enrolling them in a high-quality early care and learning program where the positive relationships, language and literacy skills they develop at home can be further strengthened during the workday. But before you send your children back to their early care and education programs, you need to know it’s safe.

To help parents and children get back to work, the state of Indiana has provided rigorous health and safety recommendations for early care and education programs in our state. As a consumer of early learning services, you have an important role to play, too. Read below to get informed on these new guidelines and recommendations, serve as an advocate for your child and understand your family’s responsibility in helping to maintain healthy and safe child care environments.

Ready to get back to work? Here’s a helpful checklist to make sure you feel comfortable and confident.

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Hoosier families looking to apply for Indiana’s child care assistance (CCDF) and On My Way Pre-K programs now have an easy way to do it: Early Ed Connect.

New Health and Safety Measures

As Indiana’s early care and education centers re-open or continue serving families in a post-COVID-19 world, there are a number of new health and safety recommendations they are encouraged to follow. As a parent, there are a few steps you need to take, too.

Here is what you can expect:

Drop-off and pick-up procedures

Drop off and pick up will now take place at the front door or outside to limit the number of individuals in the center. A staff member will meet you and escort your child to his or her classroom at the beginning of the day, and bring your child to you at the end of the day.

Social distancing

Within classrooms, the same children will be together each day, with the same teacher. Many will have reduced classroom sizes to allow for social distancing. During nap times, meal times and learning at desks and tables, children will be kept six feet apart.

Personal protective equipment

In the center, all staff members will be wearing masks. This is also recommended for children over the age of 2. Your provider may ask you to bring a mask from home or provide them for your child.

Fever and symptom free policies

COVID Specific Policy – In order for children to attend their early care and education programs, there are more rigorous health policies that you as a parent must comply with. Your child must be:

  • fever free for at least 72 hours (3 days) without being given fever-reducing medications;
  • have improvement in their symptoms; and
  • be 10 days out from when their symptoms first appeared.

Sanitizing and cleaning

Providers are intensifying their disinfecting and cleaning practices by doing one hour of deep cleaning each day. Toys and materials that cannot be cleaned should not be used. Providers will have a process for setting aside used toys and materials for cleaning before they can be used by other children. Many providers are purchasing additional materials for children to use.

Health screenings

Upon arrival, your provider will check your child’s temperature and conduct a verbal health screening to check for any symptoms of illness.

Learning about health and safety

Many providers are using this as an opportunity to help teach children about good hygiene, handwashing and health. Expect to see child-friendly signage and educational materials.
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Do you need help finding a high-quality early care and education program for your child? Visit Child Care Finder online or call Brighter Futures Indiana at (800) 299-1627.

Looking for specific information about child care? Families can find information about the different types of child care available locally through their Child Care Resource and Referral agency. Your local agency will focus on meeting your specific needs. Additionally, they can share characteristics of a quality child care program and connect families to community resources.

Let’s Get Back to Work: How Children Benefit from Early Learning Programs

While you may be struggling with the decision to put your child back into an early care and education program, and that’s completely understandable, getting back to learning comes with some great benefits for your child.
High-quality early care and education settings help children form caring, interactive relationships and develop their core social-emotional skills.
Early care and education programs help form the building blocks for a child’s language development, literacy and learning. Children who attend high-quality early care and education programs develop skills that will benefit them for the rest of their lives.
While you’re at work, you can have peace of mind knowing your child’s day is maximized with age-appropriate instruction, settings and activities that help them get ready for kindergarten and beyond.
Now that the stay-at-home orders are lifted, we all have important things to learn and do. It’s time to get back to work, both for you and your child!

Additional Resources for Families

Here are additional resources to help your family transition back to early care and learning, including articles on staying healthy, coping with separation anxiety and activities to do at home this summer to help combat learning loss.

CCDF Family Guide

Contact your provider today, and let’s get back to work together!