As parents slowly maneuver into the new chapter, I am sure I can speak for most in stating that my child’s "new normal" is of top concern for our family. The classic terrible twos phase actually seems like a cakewalk compared to my new COVID concerns. How do I know when it is safe to let my child begin to rejoin any social groups? Will we ever have mommy playgroups again? When will preschools safely open? Will the children be allowed to socialize in class or do they all have to distance? What is the nap and bedding situation; are they sleeping far apart in the room? Will the teachers be wearing masks? Will the kids be wearing masks? Will the typical toddler backpack supplies now include disinfectant wipes?
Remaining both cautiously optimistic and diligently prudent of these circumstances, the Urban Infant staff now spends a portion of our time keeping abreast of the newly released CDC Childcare Social Distancing Strategies.* We field calls from daycare directors every day and have new conversations streams with parents, specifically asking about washing and sanitation of our products.
Hoping to arm our parents with a better understanding of the new (post) COVID preschool changes, and assist with a positive mindset for the adjustments ahead, we have pulled out a few highlights of the revised CDC childcare regulations. Various preschools and daycares are starting to reopen their doors - in different phases in different states - and it may look a little different. This is not a bad thing, just another new adjustment!
Below are the overarching new childcare shifts, along with a few silver lining reflections:
1. Much less co-mingling at childcare
Preschools will now need to strive to keep each group of children in separate rooms. Recommended by the CDC “If possible, childcare classes should include the same group each day, and the same child care providers should remain with the same group each day.” The positive spin on this is that your child’s daycare experience will become much more personal, like an extended family.
2. Avoidance of large groups at drop off and pick up
The CDC has also suggested the staggering of arrival and drop off times and/or have childcare providers come outside the facility to pick up the children as they arrive. The positive spin on this is that wait times to get in the door or possible parking issues should be elevated.
3. Possible use of masks in an childcare setting
The new CDC guidelines made public on April 21st state "When feasible, staff members and older children should wear face coverings within the facility. Cloth face coverings should NOT be put on babies and children under age two because of the danger of suffocation." The Urban Infant offers a 2-layer cloth mask specifically for younger kids.
4. Personal nap bedding and frequent washing is critical
The cleaning, disinfecting, and avoidance of shared bedding is the new principals used for napping. The CDC new regulations state "Schools are asked to use bedding (sheets, pillows, blankets, sleeping bags) that can be washed. Each child’s bedding needs to be kept separate, and consider storing in individually labeled bins, cubbies, or bags. Cots and mats should be labeled for each child. Bedding that touches a child’s skin should be cleaned weekly or before use by another child. We want to make sure our parents know, our TotCot® nap mat has been designed specifically for this instance - to sustain frequent washings - every day or every week - with a warranty for up to a calendar year.
• Specifically designed for durability of frequent washings, the is machine wash, easy tumble dry
• Even the pillow is 100% machine washable – one of the few nap mats that offers this feature
• Each child has their own nap mat – with their name - to avoid any communal use between children
• We offer a clear carry case accessory for keeping all bedding clean during transport to and from school
We encourage you to reach out to our office with any questions about purchasing our nap mat either for your child or any childcare directors purchasing for their entire center. We are here to discuss any concerns at (888) 733-6962 or email email@example.com
* CDC “Guidance for Child Care Programs that Remain Open”
Published and Updated April 21, 2020