The COVID-19 pandemic, “stay-at-home” orders and government mandates and requests have greatly affected the Lake Area Discovery Center programs. We are proud to provide emergency childcare for Tier 1 and Tier 2 workers at five regional locations throughout the Twin Cities Metro since mid-March.
Barring any additional government mandates or extended “stay-at-home” orders, we are anticipating running the Summer WOW programs at the planned LADC Locations in Forest Lake, White Bear Lake, Stillwater, Mahtomedi, Minneapolis, Eagan, Waconia and Wayzata.
What will the Summer WOW programming look like?
Programming will include the planned Summer WOW lesson plans following a Bible Story or Science-based Unit of Learning each week. The daily schedule of classroom activities, large motor experiences, snacks, lunch and rest time will follow the typical daily schedule. Lunches are brought from home during the summer months, but snacks and milk are provided by LADC.
What policies will be in place to ensure the safety of children and staff?
Additional safety and cleaning procedures that have been implemented during this time, in addition to the DHS Licensing policies and requirements, under the guidance of the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). We anticipate the policies (below) will continue, and we will adjust and add to these procedures/policies as directed by the state.
– MDH and CDC Resources being used by the program in bold.
• Teachers sanitize multiple times a day/disinfecting of all frequently touched surfaces, toys, etc. following the guidelines COVID-19 Cleaning and Disinfecting Guide from MDH, the Disinfecting Building Facility-Coronavirus Guide from the CDC and the Routine Schedule for Cleaning, Sanitizing and Disinfecting.
– Tables are sanitized before and after food service and between groups of seated children.
– Bathrooms are sanitized after lunch (during quiet time) and at the end of the day, or as needed after use.
– Shared spaces (ie: library, gym) will be cleaned/sanitized before use and between groups.
– Frequently used toys, including playground equipment, will be cleaned before use and/or kept in group-specific tubs to prevent cross-contamination between groups of children.
• All students, staff, visitors and volunteers will wash hands upon arriving, before and after eating, before and after applying sunscreen and entering/leaving indoor spaces, as well as after toileting, blowing nose or touching/adjusting a face mask.
– Hands will be washed with warm, soapy water for at least 20 seconds, vigorously rubbing the palms, backs, between fingers, thumb and wrists. A nail brush will be used before handling food and after contact with stool.
• Students and staff will wash hands before and after playground use/outdoor play.
• Staff wear gloves when removing or placing a child in a car seat.
• Staff wear gloves while serving food and during any toileting assistance.
• Frequent handwashing is utilized when gloves are not being worn; glove wearing is not conducive for continual wear due to the constant cross-contaminating in a classroom setting. Frequent handwashing is more effective.
• Staff take temperatures of students twice a day, (at drop-off and after lunch), utilizing the Student Health Screen Checklist.
• Teachers check their own temperatures twice a day, when arriving for their shift and after lunch using the Employee Health Screen Checklist.
• Resources COVID-19 Symptoms Guide from the CDC and the COVID-19 Exclusion Guide from MDH are used by staff when assessing health checks.
• Students and Staff will be sent home/must stay home from the program if experiencing any signs of communicable illness. Student and Staff must remain at home until they have been seen by a doctor and the program is provided with a doctor or clinic clearance the child may resume attendance OR until the child has been home for 14 days and symptoms have passed. Children and Adults must be 48 hours fever-free without medication to attend school.
• If a student has been exposed to a confirmed case of COVID-19 via parent or other family member they live with, the student must be removed from the program until a 14 day quarantine period has passed (if separated from the diagnosed case), or if still living with the confirmed case, until 14 days after the ill person has recovered.
• In the case of a student being exposed, families of all students attending will be notified of the exposure and be provided with information from the CDC, as with any communicable disease exposure, and the program will reach out to MDH for further direction.
• Staff wear fabric face masks when removing or placing a child in a car seat and when meeting parents at the school door to transition to or away from school.
• Staff wear masks when entering a community area of the building where others may be gathered or working (ie: church/school office)
• Staff members are encouraged to wear cloth face coverings during the work day as much as possible/when feasible.
– Currently, LADC preschool-age students are not required to wear masks due to their inability to reliably wear, remove and handle the cloth covering throughout the day. MDH and the CDC do not recommend placing facemasks on children two years old and younger.
– Parents are welcome to send masks to school for their preschool-aged child to wear.
• Children are kept in small, closed pods of a consistent group of students and staff, of 10 or less
• Children stay in their pods during the day and do not mix groups.
– If children from different pods are together at the very beginning or very end of the day during wrap-around-care, social distancing of 6 feet separation is encouraged and facilitated.
• Whenever possible, activities and lessons are held outside, encouraging students to spread-out. (ie: large motor/gym, music, etc.)
• During snack or mealtimes, students are seated spread apart with space between children, utilizing multiple tables or serving/eating out-of-doors when able.
• The guidelines from the MDH Food Service Worker Safety Information will be followed in all preparation of food for snacks and meals.
• Napping cots will be kept 6 feet apart.
• Children will be placed on cots, head-to-toe (as opposed to head-to-head).
• Cots will be sanitized after each use.
• To limit non-essential visitors into the building, parents are not allowed to enter to pick up or drop off a child (An exception is on a child’s first day of attending the program; parents are allowed to enter wearing masks, after following sanitation and safety protocols to help introduce the child to the new space and acclimate them to the classroom. If the parent/new student are able to visit off-hours when children are not on-site, this is preferred.)
• At drop –off, teachers will sign-in the student into their Procare Student Account and conduct the health/temperature check. Teachers also will sign children out of Procare when picked-up.
• If a staff member is stationed outside the school door, they will collect the child from the car (wearing a mask and gloves) and escort them into school/or bring them out to the car at pick-up.
• If the teachers are on the playground, parents may bring their student to the playground gate, where a teacher will escort them into the play area. If picking-up, teachers will bring the student to the playground gate.
• If no staff member is outside, parents will call the number posted on the school door to reach a staff member to come to the door to escort the student into school/or deliver them out to the parent for pick-up.
– Site-Specific Drop-Off/Pick-Up Procedures are available on each location’s COVID-19 Policy & Procedure Plan for families.
• Families will be asked to disclose recent out-of-state travel. A quarantine time of 14 days may be requested before a student starts, or returns to, attending.
• Staff are encouraged to limit their interactions with others during their time off and to follow social distancing and health/safety protocols.
• If a student or staff member is diagnosed with a confirmed case of COVID-19, the program will call the MDH for guidance for cleaning/sanitization recommendation and potential site closure time-frame.
• LADC will follow MDH recommendations regarding if well students will be able to temporary attend another LADC location during the quarantine period.
The Full LADC COVID-19 Policy and Procedure Packet is available upon request and on-site. Please contact us anytime with questions or for more information. firstname.lastname@example.org