Stay safe while returning to daycare (and other childcare alternatives)

Last updated: April 24, 2024
Trending post
Elyssa Duncan
Community SpecialistBullet point
Follow
Community Specialist
Facebook share linkTwitter share link
Like
Comment
Share
Stay safe while returning to daycare (and other childcare alternatives)
Jump to section

Parenting is a tough job in itself… it’s even tougher when you have to parent while managing everything else associated with a global pandemic. As daycare facilities start to reopen, it comes as a relief to parents who were struggling to work or job search while watching their children 24/7. For others, it’s a tougher decision to make; it can be overwhelming and scary if you don’t know what to do to keep your family safe.

Here are some things to ask your childcare provider before returning to daycare, and some alternative childcare options if you aren’t ready to re-enroll.

Topics to discuss with the daycare facility

The #Coronavirus is known for being very transmissible. But with a few techniques, daycares can reduce the ability for the virus to spread in their facility. Here are some topics to ask the daycare center about.

Handwashing

Proper handwashing is the most effective way to reduce the spread of any viral infection, including COVID-19. Everyone walking into and out of the daycare should wash their hands, and there should be multiple opportunities for children to wash their hands throughout the day, especially before meals as well as have hand sanitizer readily available for the staff and parents.

Disinfection and sanitizing methods

The CDC is recommending new procedures for cleaning childcare centers during COVID. Ask the center how they have changed their disinfection and sanitization routines.

  • All high-contact surfaces (highchairs, tables, doorknobs) should be cleaned before and after usage
  • Childcare areas should be cleaned throughout the day and fully disinfected at the end of the day
  • Special care should be paid to anything food or drink related
  • Food preparation surfaces, utensils and drinking fountains should be sanitized before and after use.

Screening procedures

Anyone with a fever should not be permitted to enter the facility. Whether it be done at home or on-site, children should be screened before drop-off to confirm no fever or signs of cough, flushing, or lethargy.

Isolation protocols

There should be some sort of rapid assessment and isolation plan in place should someone get sick during the day, with proper follow up measures to ensure they stay away from the daycare until they have fully recovered.

Daily routines + contact policies

Who will have contact with your child? Will they be required to wear a face mask? Daycare centers are advised to keep groups as small as possible and use outdoor space as much as possible. Ask about how the center plans to keep children safe during meal times and snack times. Ideally, children should be kept in the same groups all day to avoid unnecessary contact with other students.

Alternative daycare solutions

If daycare is not an option for you, there are other avenues to explore. The best scenario is to minimize the number of people your child is exposed to regularly by choosing a consistent caregiver. Be sure to discuss how they have been keeping themselves safe and express your expectations around social distancing, cleanliness, and reducing exposure. Here are some ideas for ad hoc childcare arrangements.

Form a neighborhood “pod”

If you have neighbors that have children, see if you can set up a pod arrangement. This can look several ways, maybe for a few hours in the morning, afternoon, and evening, each parent takes care of all the children. This gives the other parents a few hours of uninterrupted time if working from home, or the opportunity to complete a shift at work.

Ask a family member

If you have anyone in the family that doesn’t work, or a high-school/college student looking for a part-time gig, see if you can rely on them for childcare during the day.

Explore babysitting services

If none of the options above are available, you may want to consider a babysitter/caregiver. On many of these sites, you can also find someone to be a mommy's helper or willing to help with some household chores. Here are some options:


What are your thoughts about childcare during the COVID pandemic??

16
6 Comments
Like
Comment
Share

Comments

Karol Legerd
Bullet point
Follow

My child recently went to school for the first time and I am very worried about how she will cope alone. I recently came across https://theteensafe.com/imessage-spy/ for the first time and I signed up here and got access to my daughter's phone which will allow me to monitor her security. I think that it will be very useful for parents!

Link
1y
Like
Reply
Ford Simpson
Bullet point
Follow
Jack of all trades,.master of none

That may be the toughest decision any parents will have to make! Putting your children in harm's way while you need to work to put food on the table. It's a mess and thank you for showing us some options to be safe.It is sad that children are being robbed of their childhood.Ford

4y
Like
Reply
1
See all replies
Katherine Gooden
Bullet point
Follow
Retired Schoolteacher at Lawton Public Schools

As a retired teacher and substitute last school year, l don't think it's safe for students to return to school at this time. They have too much interaction with each other, which is normal, but teachers should be considered also. I do not plan to step into any school next year prior to January, if then. It's like sending them to their death. We already KNOW, some teachers and students will die. More money needs to be put in testing and prevention instead of who can raise enough money for an election. I feel the kids have become a scapegoat to cover up a failed leadership problem. The president will stop at nothing to make HIMSELF look good.

4y
Like
Reply
1
See all replies
Add