How To Clean And Sanitize Your Child Care During An Infectious Disease Outbreak

March 20, 2020

Mitigating risk, supporting directors, and offering care to critical care workers

In addition to fever checks, enhanced illness policies, rigid cleaning measures described below, Wonderschool is performing daily check-ins with our director community, including meeting via webinar to discuss questions, concerns, observations, and to provide support. We also have a hotline in place for more immediate or complex issues.

We continue to monitor official sources of information and guide our program directors during this unprecedented crisis. In addition, we are providing program directors CDC recommendations for cleaning, hygiene and health best practices specific to COVID-19.

Update: Local and state authorities are beginning to implement ‘shelter in place’ measures. During these measures health workers, police, firefighters and many others are still in need of safe child care. You can find detailed information about the restrictions in place and available Wonderschool programs in your area inside this blog post.

Contact us directly if you are struggling to find child care during this crisis.
Phone: (415) 466-2978

How we are helping to mitigate risk

The practices listed below have been initiated at every Wonderschool childcare program. Everyone’s continued good health and safety is always our number one goal.

Virtual Tours

To limit new people entering programs during this time, Wonderschool is providing resources and support to both providers and parents on conducting virtual tours (rather than in-person tours).

Fever Checks

No child, parent, teacher, or director is allowed to enter the program if he or she has a fever or is exhibiting symptoms of any illness. Directors run regular daily fever checks to ensure safety and are required to send home any child or staff member that is running a fever.

Enhanced Illness policies as per CDC and local health department guidelines

Children and teachers are required to stay home when ill and should be fever-free for 24 hours without the use of medicine prior to returning to your program.

Rigid Cleanliness Policies

Sterilization – Programs must sterilize table tops, counters, shelving, shared surfaces at the end of each day, between meals. Directors and teachers must wash and sterilize toys that go into children’s mouths before the next child uses toys.

Hand Washing – Directors, teachers, children, and parents must wash hands frequently. Washing hands often and thoroughly with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds is the best method to avoid contracting the virus. If soap and water are not available, programs use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with 60-95% alcohol.

When to wash hands:

  • upon arrival to your childcare program and when you get home
  • after all diapering and bathroom use, after wiping noses, after any contact with bodily fluids of any kind
  • prior to eating, after coming in from outside, after art projects, etc.

Personal hygiene – Children, parents, teachers and directors are asked to cough into their elbows or a tissue and then wash hands immediately. Coughing into your hands puts germs on your hands, which spread very easily). Children are directed to keep hands out of the eyes, nose, mouth – the most common point of entry for germs.

All directors and parents are given the latest information from the Center for Disease Control (CDC):

CDC fact sheets:

Helpful Information About COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus) Symptoms

If you, a member of your family, or a child in your care displays any of the symptoms of novel coronavirus you should seek advice from your medical provider regarding immediate medical treatment and notify the parents immediately. Symptoms of the novel coronavirus include the following:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Severe illness

How the virus is transmitted

The virus is spread like other respiratory illnesses such as the flu. Human coronavirus is most commonly spread to others from an infected person through the following:

  • Droplets produced through coughing and sneezing
  • Cough
  • Touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes before washing your hands

As the Novel Coronavirus is new, how it spreads and how long it takes for people to become sick is still to be determined.

Prevent the spread of the virus by doing these things:

The Center of Disease Control (CDC) recommends the following measures to prevent the further spread of the virus:

  • Cleaning: Keep all surfaces as clean as possible using . Disinfect commonly touched objects and areas such as doorknobs, desks, chairs, bathrooms, toys, and books and surfaces.
  • Hand washing: Wash your hands often and thoroughly with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds after using the restroom, before eating, after coughing, after sneezing, and after blowing your nose. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with 60-95% alcohol. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Stay home if you have a fever over 99 degrees, especially if you are coughing excessively. Cover your cough using the inside of your elbow or sneeze into a tissue if available and throw it away afterward. Then wash your hands carefully for at least 20 seconds.
  • Get a flu vaccination, if you haven’t done so already.
  • Have your doctor or medical provider’s information readily available and know who to call, when needed.

Join Wonderschool Today!

Find a child care program that meets your needs from thousands of listings using our Child Care Finder. If you're a provider, create a listing to get discovered by families near you!

Related Content