LET'S GET BACK TO WORK
A Healthy and Safe Environment
As an early care and education provider, you play a critical role for families and your communities.
By offering quality care and education, you create a two-generational economic ripple effect, allowing parents to go back to work with the peace of mind that their children are in a safe and engaging environment, and nurturing the next generation of leaders and thinkers.
Now more than ever, the children, families and leaders in your community need you to be ready to provide a healthy and safe environment that families feel confident returning to. We’re all in this together, so as part of our state’s “Get Back to Work” campaign, you’ll find resources and tools below to operate safely and instill confidence in the families you serve.
Need financial assistance?
Apply for a grant through the Come Back Stronger Fund to help with these health- and safety-related measures.
New Safety Recommendations
As Indiana gets back to work, the state – in accordance with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) – has set forth a number of new health and safety recommendations for early care and education providers as they re-open or continue serving families during the COVID-19 pandemic. Please review them all here.
Drop-off and Pick-up Procedures
Providers should implement a front-door drop-off and pick-up procedure to limit the number of individuals in the center.
Sanitizing and Cleaning
Providers should implement one hour of deep cleaning each day and frequently clean and wipe down common areas and frequently touched surfaces, making sure to use adequate ventilation. This could include opening windows during disinfecting. Toys and materials that cannot be cleaned should not be used. Once toys or materials are used by children, set them aside until they can be cleaned before re-use. Refer to pages 6-7 of this document for specific instructions.
Social distancing, also referred to as physical distancing is important to limiting the spread of COVID-19. It is recommended that the same children be placed with each other each day, and with the same teacher each day. These groups should be kept together while doing activities indoors and outdoors each day. Providers should make every effort possible to keep children six feet apart during nap times, meal times and while seated in classrooms at desks and tables.
Providers should screen their employees, visitors and each child upon arrival each day. This should include taking each person’s temperature and conducting a verbal health screening to check for any symptoms of illness.
Personal Protective Equipment
All staff members should wear masks. The CDC recommends that children over the age of 2 wear masks as well. You can ask families to provide them for their children or provide them at your facility. Face shields are not a substitute for face coverings. Child care providers supporting infants and toddlers can protect themselves by wearing a covering over their clothes and wearing their hair in a ponytail or other updo.
Enforcement of Fever-and Symptom-free Policies
In order for children to attend their early care and education programs, they must be fever free for at least 24 hours (1 day) without being given fever-reducing medications and have had improvement in their symptoms, and it must be at least 10 days since their symptoms first appeared.
Ensure employees, children and families have ready access to hand sanitizer, handwashing stations or other hand hygiene products.
We're all in this together.
Share our “Let’s Get Back to Work” campaign page with families.
Program Tools and Resources
We’ve put together a guide with a number of tools and resources to help you implement these health and safety measures, as well as communicate with your staff and families. Download “Delivering Care in a COVID-19 Environment: A Guide for Providers” here. Watch the informational webinar here.
Within this guide, some of the resources you’ll find include:
- Suggested Supply List
- EPA Approved Cleaning Products
- All Signs
- Social distance reminder
- Reminder to wear masks onsite
- Visitor signage
- What to expect signage
- Hand washing reminders
- Gloves required
- Scrub and mask pick-up and drop off
- Room capacity limitations signage
- High-touch surface cleaning reminders (multiple)
- COVID Bug and Germ stickers
- Individual child supplies stickers
- Diaper changing table signage
- Explaining Masks and Gloves to Kids
- Involving Kids in Safety
- Helpful Responses to Families from Conscious Discipline.
- What Comes Next: Back to Child Care Following Shelter in Place from Zero To Three.
- Anxious Stomach Aches and Headaches, Children Physically Expressing Anxiety from Child Mind Institute.
- Coping with Challenging Behavior in Challenging Times from Community Play Things.
Social Media Images & Messages
Around-the-clock cleaning, sanitizing toys and extra hand sanitizer stations are just a few of the things we’re doing to help keep our staff and children safe. Learn more at this website.
Are you ready to bring your child back to child care? We’re ready for you! Here are some helpful resources on what programs like [program name] are doing to keep children healthy and safe.
We’re ready to welcome our families back! Here’s a look behind the scenes at the safety measures we’re implementing to increase health and safety. [link to provider website or document outlining what you are doing to stay safe]
Ready to get back to work? Rest assured that we’re conducting daily health screenings and temperature checks for our staff and children each morning to help keep everyone safe and healthy. Learn more about new safety measures here.