STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURES AND GUIDELINES ON MEASURES TO ADDRESS, PREVENT AND COMBAT THE SPREAD OF COVID 19 IN AN EARLY CHILDHOOD DEVELOPMENT CENTRE
The above guidelines were printed by the Department of Social Development on the 23 June 2020. We were notified of this document by our local Department of Health on Friday 3 July 2020. The document consists of 60 pages and can be found on the Department of Social Services Website. Acknowledgements required from us were duly signed and emailed to the relevant departments on the 6 July 2020. Clearance for reopening of ECD Centers was granted in the Gauteng High Court on 6 July 2020.
LISTED BELOW ARE OUR "OWN PROCEDURES" (as required by the Department of Social Development) ON HOW WE WILL PREVENT AND COMBAT THE SPREAD OF COVID 19 AT OUR SCHOOL. ALL MEASURES ARE CURRENTLY IN PLACE.
Every Child, staff member or any person entering our premises will have to answer a standard questionnaire for symptom screening (Template A2 attached), he/she will have to have their temperature taken, sanitize their hands and wear a mask. Temperatures will be logged on a daily basis together with a time. All staff and children will have their temperature taken and have their hands sanitized before leaving our premises. Visitors will not be welcome onto our premises. However, if this is unavoidable visitors will only be allowed into the safe zone, away from our little ones. They will have to provide an ID and contact number.
Any person with a temperature of 38 degrees Celsius, will not be allowed into our school.
Template A1 (attached) is highly recommended for parents to use at home each morning before leaving for school.
It is a requirement by the DSD to keep a minimum physical distance of 1.5m between each child. We are currently teaching our little ones to keep 4 (child) steps apart. This is working well.
The sleep areas have a physical distance per mattress of 2m. Each child is given a fresh sheet daily. Sheets go into a sterile wash before being used again. Blankets are stored way in a securely sealed plastic packet. Mattresses are sanitized with Domestos daily, before and after sleeping.
Classrooms have been setup into "Pods" of approximately 2.5sqm per child. The floor area of each Pod, is prominently marked with black and yellow floor stickers. Each Pod is equipped with a 3 tier trolley, filled with learning aids, puzzles, stationery box, blocks and books for each child. Theses trolleys and the contents, will be sanitized each day. The contents (except stationery boxes) will be rotated on a weekly basis, to ensure our little ones do not become bored. This system will ensure there is no need for our little ones to share learning aids during the course of the day. Each Pod will have a box of tissue.
There will be 2 bins in each class. One bin for general waste and a black bin with a lid for soiled tissues. Each child will have their hands sanitized after using the black bin (or coughing and sneezing).
We are using disposable roller towels for the drying of hands in the bathroom. As an extra measure, each child has a little purple bucket with a lid, inside which, is a face towel that he/she can use to ensure their hands or face is totally dry. These face towels are replaced every morning and they go into a hot wash before reusing. Each child uses the bathroom on his/her own, accompanied by an assistant/teacher. We have a Johnsons baby soap dispenser (for sensitive skin), Dettol soap and a solution of a mild Savlon and water dilution in our bathroom, to ensure that little hands are completely clean. Our little ones are learning the hand washing song.
Our playground is demarcated into approximately 5sqm sections with colourful cones. Children are being taught to play inside these zones. Every child will play in a different zone each day. The playground equipment will be sanitized every afternoon. This system is working well. Little children will benefit immensely from playing outdoors in fresh air and exercising daily.
PE lessons will be conducted outdoors, with a minimum of 1.5sqm physical distancing.
CLEANING Classes get cleaned and sanitized every afternoon, after the last child has left. This has always been standard protocol in our environment because we care for young children. All surfaces will be sanitized with Domestos. We do not want to use any cleaning product that is very strong and has many harmful side effects. Our little ones are accustomed to us using Domestos. We have not had any adverse effects in the past. Some reports are emerging that certain chemicals used in hand sanitizers and cleaning products can be harmful to children.
All surfaces, trolleys and their contents, floors, lockers, chairs, desks and floors are sanitized daily with Domestos.
The kitchen is thoroughly sanitized daily with Domestos. Dishes will be soaked in boiled water and washed in a hot wash.
Toilets are sanitized 3 times a day.
The entire school has a lovely cross ventilation system, allowing air to filter through easily. Windows and doors are opened all day (except when the monkeys are around).
SICK STAFF OR CHILDREN Any person on our premises who develops a temperature of 38 degrees Celsius during the course of the day, will have to return home. We have allocated our office space as the holding area until our little one is collected by his/her parent. Staff and children with nagging coughs or sneezes, will be asked to return home.
WEARING OF FACE MASKS All staff will wear face masks during working hours. DSD have informed us that children under 5 years do not need to wear a mask (see attached pages 30 and 31 from Department of Social Development: SOPAG). Parents who want their child to wear a mask, we will respectfully ensure this is done. All our little ones will not wear a mask on the playground or during sleep time.