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Pandemic Policies

Childworks Pandemic Policy

In the event of a disease prevalent over a whole country or the world, the following guidelines would be put into place.  Closing and reopening Childworks will be consistent with applicable state and local orders.  Childworks follows the Mongomery County Office Of Public Health “COVID-19 School Exclusion Recommendations”. https://www.montcopa.org/DocumentCenter/View/28389/Final-Version-COVID-19-School-Exclusion-Guide-002

Families will be updated as new information is received from the state of Pennsylvania and CDC as this policy changes.

Parent Drop-Off and Pick-Up        

  • Children and employees will be screened upon arrival for symptoms and history of exposure to disease before entering the Childworks building.   Parents/guardians will be asked to pre-screen at home to confirm that the child does not have fever, shortness of breath or cough.
  • A visual inspection of the child will be made for signs of illness which could include flushed cheeks, rapid breathing or difficulty breathing (without recent physical activity), fatigue, or extreme fussiness.  This screening also includes: taking non-touch temperature, persons who have a fever of 100.40 (38.00C) or above or other signs of illness should not be admitted to the facility, disinfecting hands with at least a 70% alcohol solution.
  • The following screening questions will be asked:
    • Have you or anyone in your household had any of the following symptoms in the last 21 days: sore throat, cough, chills, body aches for unknown reasons, shortness of breath for unknown reasons, loss of smell, loss of taste, fever at or greater than 100 degrees Fahrenheit?
    • Have you or anyone in your household been tested positive for COVID-19?
    • Have you or anyone in your household visited or received treatment in a hospital, nursing
    • home, long-term care, or other health care facility in the past 30 days?
    • Have you or anyone in your household traveled outside of Pa. in the past 21 days?
    • Have you or anyone in your household traveled on a cruise ship in the last 21 days?
    • Are you or anyone in your household a health care provider or emergency responder?
    • Have you or anyone in your household cared for an individual who is in quarantine or is a presumptive positive or has tested positive for COVID-19?
    • Do you have any reason to believe you or anyone in your household has been exposed to or acquired COVID-19?
    • To the best of your knowledge have you been in close proximity to any individual who tested positive for COVID-19?

Health and Safety

  • Hand Washing is done before and after completing an activity, touching a toy, eating, or toileting.
  • All students over the age of two years old and employees must wear face masks.  https://www.education.pa.gov/Schools/safeschools/emergencyplanning/COVID-19/Waivers/MaskWearing/Pages/default.aspx    
  • Children cannot be forced to wear a face mask and will be taught to social distance.
  • Cleaning, sanitation, and disinfecting with a bleach solution, and ventilation are intensified.
  • Cleaning and disinfecting will take place throughout the day on surfaces and objects that are frequently touched, especially toys and games, doorknobs, light switches, classroom sink handles, countertops, tables, chairs, cubbies, and playground structures.
  • When surfaces are dirty, they will be cleaned using a detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.
  • All cleaning materials will be kept secure and out of reach of children and not used near children.  There will be adequate ventilation when using these products to prevent children from inhaling toxic fumes.
  • Social Distancing is encouraged through increased spacing, small groups and limited mixing between groups.
  • Activities and procedures to limit sharing of items such as toys, belongings, supplies, and equipment are in place. Children have individual scissors, markers, crayons, glue, and sensory bins.
  • Employees are trained on health and safety protocols

Ongoing Monitoring

  • Signs and symptoms for signs of illness of children and employees will be monitored daily upon arrival and midday.
  • Anyone who is sick will be required to stay home.
  • When anyone in contact with anyone at Childworks tests positive for COVID 19, it must be reported by Childworks to DHS, DOH, local authorities, employees, and families.
  • If there are cases in the facility or an increase in cases in the local area, CDC, Pa. Department of Health, and OCDEL guidelines will be followed.

Social Distancing Strategies

  • Classes will include the same group of children and teacher each day.
  • All group special events such as Buddy Night, Stay and Plays, Bookmobile, etc are postponed.
  • All daily group activities that may promote transmission have been halted.
    • Each group of children is in a separate room.
    • There is no mixing of children.  Playground times are staggered.
  • Arrival and drop off times are staggered and a teacher is outside the facility to escort the children as they arrive.  Curb side drop off and pick up limits direct contact between parents and staff members and adheres to social distancing recommendations.
  • There is no early scheduled drop off.

Clean and Sanitize Toys

  • Toys that cannot be cleaned and sanitized will not be used.
  • Toys that children have placed in their mouths or that are otherwise contaminated by body secretions or excretions are immediately set aside until they are cleaned by hand by a person wearing gloves.  These toys will be cleaned with water and detergent, rinsed, and sanitized with an EPA-registered disinfectant, rinsed again, and air-dried.  A mechanical dishwasher can also be used.
  • Machine washable cloth toys will not be used at all.  If used these toys will be washed before being used by another child.
  • Children’s books, like other paper-based materials such as mail or envelopes, are not considered a high risk for transmission and do not need additional cleaning or disinfection procedures.


When diapering a child, the teacher and the child’s hands are washed before beginning. Childworks diaper changing procedures, following DHS instructions, are posted in all diaper changing areas.

After diapering, the teacher’s (even if wearing gloves) and child’s hands are washed and the diapering area is first cleaned with soap and water and then disinfected with a fragrance-free bleach that is EPA-registered as a sanitizing or disinfecting solution.


Washing Hands, Assisting in the Bathroom, or Holding a Child

It is important to comfort crying, sad, and/or anxious children, and they often need to be held. To the extent possible, when helping at the sink, in the bathroom, or holding very young children: teachers  can protect themselves by wearing an over-large button-down, long sleeved shirt and by wearing long hair up off the collar in a ponytail or hair tie.

  • Teachers will wash their hands, neck, and anywhere touched by a child’s secretions.
  • Teachers will change the child’s clothes if secretions are on the child’s clothes. They will change their own clothing, if there are secretions on it, and wash their hands again.
  • Contaminated clothes should be placed in a plastic bag or washed in a washing machine.

Healthy Hand Hygiene Behavior

  • All children and staff should engage in hand hygiene at the following times:
    • Arrival to the facility and after breaks
    • Before and after preparing food or drinks
    • Before and after eating or handling food
    • Before and after administering medication or medical ointment
    • Before and after diapering
    • Before and after touching or using a toy or material
    • After using the toilet or helping a child use the bathroom
    • After coming in contact with bodily fluid
    • After playing outdoors
    • After handling garbage
  • Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If hands are not visibly dirty, alcohol-based hand sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol can be used if soap and water are not readily available.
  • Assist children with handwashing, including those who cannot wash hands alone.
    • After assisting children with handwashing, staff should also wash their hands.
  • Place describing handwashing steps near sinks.

Food Preparation is Only For Lunchworks (optional lunch program)

  • Teachers and Children wash hands prior to and immediately after eating.
  • Teachers wash their hands before setting out lunch bags and after helping children to eat.
  • Children will bring their lunch in a small paper bag.  All lunch items must be disposable and cold/ready to eat.  Lunches will be placed in the Childworks refrigerator until lunchtime.
  • Lunchworks children will be socially distanced from each other when eating and may be in the same classroom with children from another group/pod.
  • Children will not eat snack in the 2.5 hour period that they are in school unless there is a medical need documented by a doctor.

Vulnerable/High Risk Groups

Based on currently available information and clinical expertise, older adults and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions might be at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19. To protect those at higher risk, it’s important that everyone practices healthy hygiene behaviors.

  • Staff members or teachers age 65 or older, or with serious underlying health conditions, are encouraged to talk to their healthcare provider to assess their risk and to determine if they should stay home.
  • Children with underlying health conditions are also at a higher risk and should contact their pediatrician.  Children’s health care action plans for underlying health conditions must be followed.
  • Children with IEP’s and IFSP’s will consult with their case managers.  Childworks cannot have auxiliary specialists in and out of the building and visiting other schools in one day.  When a specialist (PCA, TSS, BCBA, etc.) spends the entire session time or is routinely in the classroom with the child the specialist is treated as part of the class.  The same COVID screening procedures are used for everyone.
  • Student Teachers may also be added to the classroom[JC1] .