Malama has collected the best practices and suggestions from and for programs that are caring for children in small childcare settings. While Malama has always followed the handwashing and sanitizing requirements required by DHS, we have increased our practices according to new guidelines:
Sanitary and preventive practices
- Promote children’s choice while still limiting the items that must be sanitized. Select one set of items from multiple categories to be offered daily, such as one type of blocks, one type of dramatic play material, or one type of art material. The available and sanitized items may be alternated regularly.
- Designate a “sanitizing bin” for toys that get licked, sneezed on, or contaminated. Doing this ensures immediate removal for proper sanitization.
- Create a sanitation room, station, or area where toys and materials can be sanitized and prepared for rotation each day.
- Create a sanitation bin to take to the outdoor play area. Include items such as cleaner, sanitizer, gloves, paper towels, and/or a small trash bag. This allows sanitizing after each group of children has utilized any shared equipment.
- Provide sanitizing wipes or spray so that doorknobs can be sanitized after each use.
- Limit children from bringing items from home to essentials items, such as lunch boxes.
- Restrict staff from eating in areas used by children if food is brought from the outside (such as fast food) during breaks.
- Eliminate stuffed animals and other porous equipment/materials that are not easily sanitized.
- Place cots for napping being mindful of social distancing, yet not impairing supervision.
- Temporarily suspend family style meal serving to avoid cross contamination.
Policies and procedures
- Ask parents to drop off and pick up children in the driveway. Please allow for one drop off or pick up at a time. Remain in your vehicle. Parents should take their temperature AND take their own child’s temperature when entering the program and show it to staff. This will be done at a first table in the driveway, thus encouraging social distancing. Siblings should remain in the car and only one adult should be doing drop off.
- After passing temperature checks, proceed to the second table to say goodbye, leave belongings on the table and to sign-in. Please disinfected pen after use. A staff person will escort your child inside for handwashing before going to the playground, minimizing the amount of people in and out of the children’s areas.
- Staff will meet parents in the driveway, one at a time, at the end of the day. Please remain in your vehicle until you see your child emerge. Proceed to the sign-in table to sign-out and pick up your child’s belongings.
- Anyone entering the program will be required to wash and/or sanitize their hands.
- Require staff members to wear masks and to check their temperatures before beginning work and throughout the day.
- Have parents supply lunches and snacks, which will relieve any challenges in the program obtaining groceries.
- Avoid when possible, and document anyone entering the building, including delivery people, non‐family members picking up children, etc.
- There will be no tours of the program during this time.
- Teach and reinforce healthy hygiene practices
- Intensify cleaning and disinfection efforts.
- Postpone large group gatherings and events.
- Sick students and staff are required to stay at home.