Questions to ask as day care centers reopen
As the world re-opens in this COVID environment, parents are, no doubt, concerned about taking their children back to day care for the summer. So how do you know a childcare center is safe?
“This is really a very complicated issue,” says Dr. Rhonda Oram, a pediatric infectious disease physician at Advocate Children’s Hospital. “Re-opening society is very complex and there is not one concise, simple way to judge safety in any environment.”
But when it comes to a day care center, Dr. Oram says that parents need to know that the center has a “plan” for keeping kids safe and that parents clearly understand and approve of that plan. Some questions to ask:
- What are drop-off and pick-up procedures? Will there be staggered times for arrivals and departures? What steps will be taken to get children in and out safely?
- How will staff and children be screened upon entering the center? What are the procedures for those who do not pass the screening?
- How will social distancing be maintained within the facility?
- How often will staff and children be required to practice hand hygiene?
- What cleaning and disinfectant procedures will be used for common surfaces and how often will toys be sanitized?
- What will be the policy when a child or staff member arrives with symptoms of illness?
- How will snacks and meals be prepared and what will mealtime look like for children?
“It is important for parents to be well informed about the practices their day care will be adopting to keep staff and students safe,” adds Dr. Oram. “They also need to keep up-to-date on what’s happening in their own community.”
Dr. Oram suggests parents seek guidance on websites like that of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the one for your state’s health department.
About the Author
Evonne Woloshyn, health enews contributor, is director of public affairs at Advocate Children's Hospital. Evonne began her career as an anchor and reporter in broadcast news. Over the past 20 years, she has worked in health care marketing in both Ohio and Illinois. Evonne loves to travel, spend time with family and is an avid Pittsburgh Steelers fan!