We’re confident in our plans to open in September. State licensing regulations have us providing maximum safety for children and teachers to be together again, and we’re so grateful for all the thought that’s gone into providing childcare centers with these guidelines to ensure that we create a safe and welcoming space. We’ve received a generous grant from the NJ Childcare Block Grant to cover expenses related to extra health monitoring procedures and heightened cleaning and disinfection requirements.
- Each classroom will be a self-contained ‘pod’ of children and teachers that doesn’t vary. Ten children, two teachers, no mingling with the other class or teachers, to prevent the possibility of cross-contamination. Within this pod, teachers and children will have the usual warm and caring physical contact that is natural in a preschool setting. Social distancing is not considered necessary.
- Parents will not be allowed to enter the building. Sadly, this means that at LPP we’re not able to have a Helping Parent in the classroom this year.
- We’re always careful about limiting the spread of germs, but we’ll be adding stepped-up health monitoring and cleaning protocols–temperature and symptom checks before entering the building each morning; more hand washing; frequent cleaning of high-touch surfaces and materials. All the classroom and playground toys will be disinfected at the end of each day.
- To minimize the spread of infection, children will each be provided with a personal box of frequently used classroom supplies–crayons, markers, scissors, glue sticks, playdough, etc.
- Staff will be wearing face masks with clear “smile” windows throughout the day.
- Regulations require that the children be encouraged to wear face masks where feasible inside the classroom, but not outside on the playground.
- The temperature and symptom records for all the staff and children are to be reported daily to a state database. Should there be any incidence of COVID infection, our response will be guided by the Lawrence Township Health Department.
Rest assured, we’re on board with following all these health and safety guidelines, while still ensuring a quality social experience for the children. We are a play-based preschool, and providing opportunities to explore and experience a wide range of activities with friends, both indoors and outside, is what we are determined to do!