The safety and well-being of your child is our highest priority. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are following the current requirements and guidance from the New Jersey Department of Children and Families, Office of Licensing. The following protocols have been implemented to protect your child, your family, and our staff. If revisions are made, families will be advised immediately.
Arrival and Health Screening
Parents and caregivers will park and walk their child(ren) to their class meeting location. The greeting staff member will ask each adult to report their child’s temperature and confirm that their child does not have any symptoms of contagious illness. In addition, they will verify that the child has not been exposed to someone with COVID-19, is not currently being tested, has not been diagnosed with COVID-19 and is not yet cleared to discontinue isolation. If the adult is unable to provide this information, the staff member will take the temperature and screen the child. Children who are excluded as a result of this entry screening will be recorded on the center’s illness log.
All children, staff, co-oping adults, and visitors must be screened prior to entering the school. This data will be recorded and retained for review by the Office of Licensing.
Face Coverings and Staff Vaccination Policy
Children over 2 years of age will be taught and strongly encouraged to wear masks in indoor and outdoor settings whenever social distancing cannot be maintained. It is expected that masks will be worn inside the classroom. Each family is asked to provide a supply of face masks for their child.
Staff are required to wear masks at all times, in indoor and outdoor settings, unless precluded from doing so by a medical or developmental condition documented in a letter from their treating physician. When engaging in activities that preclude mask usage (eating or drinking), staff shall maintain at least six feet of distance between themselves and other persons.
All masks shall be cloth or disposable non-woven material, cover the mouth and nostrils, and fit securely under the chin and against the sides of the face.
When the outdoor temperature exceeds 80 degrees Fahrenheit, staff and children are permitted to remove masks while outdoors. Staff caring for children under five years old must have a mask with them at all times in case they need to lift, carry, or interact with a child at a distance of less than six feet.
All adults who will be participating in a classroom (co-oping parents and other adults, teachers, aides, administrators, and office staff) must provide proof of their COVID-19 vaccination to the office. COVID-19 Standards from the New Jersey Department of Children and Families, Office of Licensing state: “Copies of documentation demonstrating staff vaccinations shall be retained by the center and available for inspection by the Office of Licensing.”
Group sizes will comply with state guidelines. There will not be any mixing between cohorts of children. Additionally, all classrooms have been configured to maximize spacing between children. Any items brought from home (jackets, hats, seaters, etc.) will be stored separately to avoid contact with another child’s belongings. Children should bring their own water bottle (labeled with their name) and a healthy, nut-free snack to school each day.
Each class will have a scheduled playground time and outside times will be staggered. We will also use our outdoor spaces for snack, music, and other activities as often as possible, while maintaining the required social distancing from other groups.
Hygiene and Enhanced Cleaning Procedures
Teachers and aides will continue to teach and reinforce healthy hygiene practices to prevent the spread of COVID-19. They will give frequent reminders about covering coughs and sneezes and the importance of handwashing. Children and staff will wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds upon arrival at school, after outside play, after using the bathroom, before and after lunch and snack, and before leaving for home.
Windows will be open and ceiling fans on to allow for fresh air flow. Frequently touched surfaces such as door handles, toys, tables, chairs, light switches, and bathrooms will be cleaned, sanitized, and disinfected on a regular schedule throughout the day.
A needlepoint bipolar ionization system has been installed on our HVAC system to purify the air by eliminating airborne particulates and pathogens.
Visitors are subject to the same symptom screening as children and staff before being admitted to the school and must adhere to the same masking requirements as the staff. Unless the purpose of an authorized visitor is to observe the care provided to children (e.g., a Department of Children and Families licensing inspector) every effort will be made to minimize visitor contact with children and staff.
Domestic/International Travel Guidelines
If your family plans to travel outside of New Jersey, please let the office know before your trip. We will check with our local health department for current requirements.
The CDC and NJ Department of Health continue to recommend that unvaccinated individual quarantine after returning from travel outside of our area.
Response to COVID-19 Symptoms or Positive Case
If a child or staff member develops symptoms while at school, they will be separated from their group until they leave the building. If an individual tests positive for COVID-19, we will immediately contact our local health department and the New Jersey Department of Children and Families, Office of Licensing. Anyone identified as having been potentially exposed to the affected individual (within 6 feet for a total of 15 minutes during a 24-hour period) will be notified and advised of the quarantine period.
Each group will have a designated area for pick up. Please maintain social distancing while waiting for your child(ren).