Daycare Cleaning Services and Guidance for Coronavirus Prevention
It’s been a challenging year for American families. Moms and dads are doing their best to provide for their kids while the economy is shifting and childcare centers play a critical role in supporting families. Without a safe place for children to go, parents may not be able to continue to work.
Governor Abbott closed Texas schools for the remainder of the year to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus, but childcare centers remain open as they are considered essential businesses.
The state has subsidized the childcare industry to both keep these indispensable businesses afloat and to ensure the families of essential workers across the state can secure child care.
Social distancing and increasing hygiene habits continue to be promoted as the public health strategy, but when you’re running a childcare facility, many of your little patrons are still learning to walk, talk, and wash their own hands. It’s not as simple as putting up advisory posters or making announcements over the speakers.
The current public health climate means more work for staff, but the childcare industry has always been about providing a safe and secure home away from home for children. The extra effort is worth it to protect our little ones.
We’re here to support essential service workers in our community and their families. We understand that keeping track of dozens of children keeps you busy enough, so we put together this time-saving daycare cleaning services guide in support of your efforts to keep your staff and your kids safe and healthy.
Cleaning and Disinfection Procedures
From snack time to playtime and all the in-between, you’ve probably wiped down the same objects and surfaces millions of times by now.
However, these objects and surfaces must now be cleaned more frequently and more thoroughly. Everything in your rooms should be washable, especially items and surfaces that are frequently touched.
CDC guidance for child care programs that remain open serves as the prime resource for modifying childcare facility protocol in response to COVID-19. We recommend integrating the CDC’s tips and best practices into your childcare cleaning services.
Increase Cleaning and Disinfection Efforts
While the facility as a whole (including outdoor play areas) should be routinely cleaned, there is an emphasis on commonly used stations and objects. These fall into the “high touch” category.
Compared to other businesses, daycare centers are an extremely high-contact environment with things being frequently touched every single day.
Diaper changing stations are used constantly throughout the day, tables and chairs are frequent gathering areas, and most notable is the heavy use of toys.
While it’s become the norm for adults to wear masks in public for the protection of their faces, at your average childcare center little kids constantly put things on their faces and in their mouths as part of natural sensory stimulation.
Child development for babies and toddlers does not need to be interrupted. We can’t reasonably expect babies to stop putting toys in their mouths, so we accommodate little ones by changing how we circulate toys.
Clean and Sanitize Child Toys
- Toys or other items that cannot be cleaned and sanitized should not be used. Remove these items from your rooms.
- Designate an area for used and “soiled” toys. (Optional: store dirty toys in sudsy water pans until they can be completely disinfected. Keep used toys and sudsy water away from children to prevent drowning and spreading germs.)
- Toys that children have placed in their mouths or that are otherwise contaminated by body secretions or excretions should be kept out of reach after use. They can be played with again once they have been sanitized.
- Put on disposable gloves.
- Cleanse the used toys with water and detergent.
- Sanitize with an EPA-registered disinfectant.
- Rinse again.
- Dispose of gloves.
- Return sanitized and dried toys to the play area for reuse.
Be vigilant about items that are more likely to be placed in a child’s mouth (play food, dishes, and utensils). It’s sweet when a child wants to share toys, but with the Coronavirus being transmitted through the nose and mouth it’s important to avoid sharing toys (especially with babies, infants, and toddlers).
With the new single-use toy policy, increasing your toy supply makes up for this. As toys being frequently removed from use throughout the day, having more toys available keeps kids content.
The Differences Between Cleaning, Sanitizing and Disinfecting
As we turn to guidelines from official sources such as the CDC (Centers for Disease Control), it’s important to know what is meant with certain terms. Clean, disinfect, and sanitize are all words that are used to describe the elimination of unwanted substances (body secretions, excretions, dirt, sticky residue, marks, dirt, germs, bacteria, etc.). However, these words do mean different things in an industrial context.
- Clean: To remove dirt and debris by scrubbing and washing with a detergent solution, then rinsing with water. Soap and friction remove most germs and exposes any lingering germs so the sanitizer or disinfectant can finish the germ removal.
- Disinfect: To reduce germs on inanimate surfaces to levels considered safe by public health codes or regulations.
- Sanitize: To destroy or inactivate the majority of germs on an inanimate object, with the exceptions of bacterial spores.
Refreshing your staff on the difference between these health and safety terms would be appropriate to include in your daycare cleaning services training. Since all three are part of the sanitation process, it’s important to know what each term refers to so the staff can effectively communicate about whether all steps have been done.
Caring for Infants and Young Children
Navigating the new normal with little ones who aren’t aware of how the world is changing can be a challenging adjustment. The CDC guidance for child care programs that remain open provides many pointers to support your continuous care services.
Childcare centers go through plenty of diapers. Below are the CDC recommendations for how to manage the changing table.
Before you begin to change a diaper, wash your own hands, as well as the child’s hands. Once your hands are cleaned and dried, put on a pair of gloves.
Safe Diaper Changing Procedures
- As mentioned above, cleanse your hands and put on a pair of gloves.
- Help the child clean up with hand soap and wipes accordingly.
- Remove waste (used diaper and wipes)
- Put on a clean diaper.
- Wash the child’s hands again.
- Wipe down the diapering station with the disinfectant product.
- Wash your hands.
Once you have finalized your updated diaper changing protocol, train your staff on the new steps, and post the new procedures at the diaper changing stations.
Maintain a clean diapering area before and after use with an EPA-registered fragrance-free bleach that is a sanitizing or disinfecting solution. Any other products are used for sanitizing or disinfecting should also be fragrance-free and EPA-registered.
Refrain from rinsing or cleaning cloth diapers in the facility. Place these in a sealed baggie or plastic-lined container to go home with parents/guardians or the laundry service
Washing, Feeding & Holding a Child
As you well know, children sometimes need to be soothed by being held. Bottle-feeding and washing are also actions that involve a baby being in close contact by a caregiver.
Babies, infants, and toddlers don’t know what social distancing is and that’s okay. We can manage.
When care involves close contact with children (especially babies), providers may wear oversized button-down long-sleeved shirts or smocks and pull long hair up away from the collar into a hair tie or clip.
Close Contact Procedure
- When a child leaves secretions anywhere on a provider’s skin (hands, neck, etc.) those areas of the body should be properly cleansed.
- Whenever possible, clothing that comes into contact with secretions should be changed.
- Place contaminated clothes in a plastic bag or promptly launder them in a washing machine.
- Encourage parents/guardians of infants and toddlers to send along multiple changes of clothes.
- Encourage the staff to bring extra work clothes to change into.
- Have extra back-up clean clothing available for providers, babies, and toddlers.
- Have providers wash their hands before and after handling bottles whether prepared at home or in the facility.
- Promptly and thoroughly clean bottles, bottle caps, nipples, and other equipment used for bottle-feeding after each use either by dishwasher or with a bottle brush, soap, and water.
With the above adjustments, childcare providers may continue to give little ones the close-contact care they are used to while at the same time being proactive in the prevention of the spread of Coronavirus.
Here’s a silver lining. Increased handwashing is an opportunity to give your kiddos extra practice and make these fundamental personal hygiene habits stick! It’s hands-on learning.
Clean Hands Procedure
- When to wash hands or use sanitizer:
- Upon arrival at the facility.
- After employee breaks.
- Before & after preparing food or drinks.
- Before & after eating or handling food, or feeding children.
- Before & after giving medication or applying medical ointment.
- Before & after diapering.
- After going to the toilet or assisting a child in the bathroom.
- After making any contact with bodily fluids.
- After touching animals or picking up animal waste.
- After outdoor play or play with sand.
- After handling garbage or waste.
- How long to wash hands:
Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- When to use hand sanitizer:
When hands are not visibly dirty, use alcohol-based hand sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol when soap and water are not available. Monitor children to make sure they don’t ingest hand sanitizer.
- Who to assist with handwashing:
Assist children who aren’t able to do a proper job of handwashing (especially infants who cannot do so without help). Remind staff to wash their own hands after helping children wash theirs.
- How to promote handwashing habits
Help your staff and your kids remember the importance of keeping their hands clean to prevent the virus from spreading. Make posters that demonstrate the steps according to your audience (age groups and languages respectively).
Making it fun with games or songs helps these habits stick. Before long, you’ll have a school full of handwashing pros!
Adjusting to a new normal also includes modifications of the foodservice procedure.
Meal Service Measures
- Opt for eating in separate classrooms instead of children congregating in a dining space.
- Prepare plates separately instead of cafeteria-style serving.
- Make sure children are not sharing utensils.
- Whenever possible, ensure that the staff members who serve food are not also responsible for changing diapers.
- Sinks used for foodservice should not be used for any other purpose.
- Supervise children to make sure they wash their hands before and promptly after eating meals and snacks.
- Caregivers should also wash their hands before and after serving and assisting with meals and snacks.
- Foodservice operations should comply with all other currently applicable federal, state, and local regulations.
For the health and safety of your staff and your children, consider integrating the above practices in your meal service.
We Provide Daycare Cleaning Services for Child Care Facilities
Keeping little ones safe and healthy is a top priority for any childcare facility. It is a priority for SERVPRO of Richardson as well. To support you in your efforts to maintain a healthy environment for your staff and children, we offer daycare cleaning services.
Once we perform these cleaning services, you can share with parents and guardians that you’ve had a professional and thorough cleaning from SERVPRO--the most trusted brand in commercial cleaning.
SERVPRO of Richardson consistently abides by CDC cleaning recommendations and the appropriate use of the associated EPA-registered disinfectants.
We ensure that our IICRC trained technicians have the proper PPE and cleaning supplies to perform the necessary bioremediation and biohazard cleaning services--to clean, disinfect, and sanitize the property.
If a child or employee at your facility becomes sick with COVID-19 or other viral illnesses, we are available 24/7 to thoroughly clean the building during closures. For those 24-hour care centers, we’ll do our best to clean your facility with minimal interruption of your childcare activities.
What We Offer:
- Established trust in the Dallas County community by delivering 34 years of superior cleaning and sanitation services in Richardson, TX.
- Experience in cleaning hundreds of thousands of square feet after confirmed COVID-19 cases.
- Reliable commercial cleaning services for first responders, airports, homes, and many types of businesses including shipping, manufacturing, healthcare, and more.
We’re here 24/7 to answer any questions you may have about keeping your childcare center safe, childcare cleaning best practices, disinfectant products, and more. We’re also on standby in case someone at your facility tests positive for Coronavirus. We’ll clean your facility ASAP so you can get back to providing families with child care.
Reach out to us at (972) 690-1414 or fill out our quick and easy contact form anytime!