Open Arms Lutheran Child Development Center is operating with the health and safety of all our families and staff as a priority. Measures are in place to secure wellness practices, COVID-19 illness standards, increased hygiene procedures, and social distancing for the welfare of all. These guidelines align with the Department of Early Care and Learning (DECAL) and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Open Arms Lutheran Child Development Center is taking the criteria seriously as we remain a full-service center during the pandemic. We are confident with our plan and ask that all parties adhere to the guidelines outlined in this document. We appreciate your full cooperation and know there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and God will see us through to the end.
In response to the needs of our Open Arms families, we will maintain our standard operating hours of 6:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. with the addition of best practices procedures for parents and staff to follow. We will continue to communicate and make changes based on CDC and DECAL guidelines, and what is best for our families, students, and staff. These procedures are based on Health Checks and Hygiene, Sanitation and Social Distancing and will be implemented as follows.
While our standard Illness Policy remains in effect, If your child or any member of your household has any one of the following symptoms, they CANNOT come to the center.
- Fever as determined by a thermometer reading over 100.0
- Shortness of breath
- Difficulty breathing
- Respiratory symptoms
two of the following symptoms:
- Repeated Shaking with Chills
- Muscle Pain
- Sore throat
While Covid-19 symptoms in children are similar to adults, children may have milder symptoms. Reported symptoms in children include cold-like symptoms, such as fever, runny nose, and cough. Sore throat, headache, vomiting and diarrhea are less commonly reported. However, a small percentage of children have been reported to have more severe illness.
Teachers will be conducting and monitoring written health checks in the classroom. If your child exhibits any of the above symptoms, you will be required to pick up your child immediately and will not be able to attend until one of the following have been met.
- Negative Covid-19 test
- Fever and MEDICATION free without fever for 72 hours
- Other symptoms have improved and at least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared
- A signed physician’s note allowing the child to return to the center.
Any and all confirmed Covid-19 cases in your child’s household, or known exposure to the virus should be reported to the office. All final decisions regarding the health policy are subject to the Director’s discretion.
Staff and students will be required to follow hand hygiene guidance to wash hands for at least 20 seconds. Washing hands will be required:
- Upon arrival in the morning
- Before and after meals and snacks
- After blowing noses, coughing, or sneezing, or when in contact with bodily fluids
- After toileting
- After playing outside
- After diapering (staff)
- After administering first aid (staff)
Personal Protection Equipment
Staff have been trained on wearing and disposing proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), including gloves, face masks, smocks and protective eyewear.
Face coverings will be used by staff while indoors and children are present in the center and are optional for students.
Infant Teachers will wear special uniforms that are worn only inside the center.
We will maintain our low student/teacher ratios at all times, and classes will stay separated when possible. Social distancing will be encouraged and applied as our staff are able. Certain care may require that we are closer than 6 feet including but not limited to; serving food, assisting with a lesson or project, toileting assistance, bringing children to and from drop off/pick up, providing first aid, etc.
WHAT TO BRING / NOT BRING
- Any food items brought from home need to be brought to the center in a plastic lunch box. We will be wiping them down before they enter the kitchen or classroom. No fabric lunch boxes will be allowed.
- Each child will need a large Ziploc baggie containing a complete change of clothing, labeled with their first and last name on the outside of the bag. These will be left at center in place of a backpack.
- Any naptime blankets must be brought in a Ziploc bag. No stuffed animals are permitted. We have sheets for the cots and will launder them at the center.
- No water bottles at this time, we will be using disposable cups to limit and reduce the possible spread of germs. Children will have access to water at all times.
- No personal devices, tablets or cell phones
- No items other than those mentioned above will be allowed in the center.
DROP OFF PROCEDURE
- Please pull into the drop off area at Open Arms main entrance. Do not park in the parking lot unless you are an infant parent, in which case you may carry your baby to the classroom door, after passing a health screening.
- One staff member will greet you and bring your child into the front lobby where a health screening will be conducted. At the same time, you will be asked some basic questions about your child’s health. Please wait until your child completes the screening and you are given the “thumbs up” before you leave. For the health screening, we are checking for the following:
- Child’s temperature (must be 100 or below to enter)
- Shortness of Breath
- Visible signs of distress or illness
- In the meantime, parents will be asked questions regarding wellness and possible exposure. If any responses to the questions are “yes”, you and your child will be unable to enter the building or attend the program that day and our Illness Policy or the Covid-19 Policy, if appropriate, will be enacted.
- Once admitted, a staff member will sign your child in and walk them to their class to complete the entrance process.
Teachers conducting drop- off/pick up procedures will be in appropriate PPE and follow handwashing and disinfecting protocols.
Infant Parents for Classroom Drop-Off
Please park in the parking lot and do not enter drop off line. Parents will not be allowed in the building without a face covering in order to protect both students and staff from additional exposure. Parents will be directed to wait in the lobby for the temperature check, health screening and wellness/travel questions. Following this, parents may take their infant to their classroom. We ask that parents do not enter classrooms, but leave their children with their teachers outside the rooms.
PICK UP PROCEDURES – CALL AHEAD PROCESS
- When you are 10 minutes from arriving at Open Arms, you may call the center office at 770.475.6570. Please give your name and your child’s name and let us know you are on your way.
- Pull into the inner circle at the main entrance to Open Arms and wait outside of your vehicle. A staff member will exit the building with your child. We will sign your child out at the end of the day.
- If you are not able to call, you will need to park, walk to the front door, ring the bell and we will gather your child and bring them to you.
SOCIAL DISTANCING & GROUP SIZES
Playground time will be limited to one group/class at a time.
Meals will continue to be served in the classroom and will provide space between children as classrooms are able. Staff will serve food with PPE and care will be taken to prevent children from sharing or touching others’ items.
Field trips will be in-house, as we are not able to transport children at this time. Open Arms will communicate if guidelines change.
Naptime: Cots will be placed 6 feet apart, or every other crib (with infants). Blankets will be sent home on Friday’s to be washed, and sheets will be washed weekly, or more frequently as needed.
Communication: While Bright wheel will be available to communicate with staff on your child’s day, you may always call the school if you have questions or concerns. Please be easily assessible if we need to call regarding health issues and be sure we have your contact and emergency information updated.
Tours: Open Arms will be conducting tours at 6:00 p.m. and will avoid any children or staff during the visits.
Payments: We highly encourage our families to get on our autopay system for your safety and convenience. Please let us know if you need a form, or we can take account information/credit card information over the phone. One-time
credit card/debit card payments can be made over the phone. Checks must be put in an envelope and can be dropped off to the Greeter in the morning, or mailed to the center.
Chapel & Large Group Events – Chapel is one of our greatest programs at Open Arms and we will continue to praise and worship, ensuring that we practice social distancing and group limits. The younger children will attend chapel separately from the older children.
Cleaning and Sanitation
Frequently used items and surfaces will be cleaned and disinfected as much as possible throughout the day.
All classrooms, floors, restrooms, hallways, doorknobs, surfaces, etc. will be professionally cleaned daily.
Our detailed cleaning and sanitation schedule will be posted at the entrance of the building and made available to parents upon request.
If you would like to donate disinfectant spray or wipes, paper towels or bleach, that would be greatly appreciated as we know many will be used during this time.
Any school in any community might need to implement short-term closure procedures regardless of community spread if an infected person has been in a school building. If this happens, CDC recommends the following procedures regardless of the level of community spread.
Coordinate with local health officials. Once learning of a COVID-19 case in someone who has been in the center, we will immediately notify local health officials. These officials will help determine a course of action for our center.
Dismiss students and most staff for 2-5 days. This allows the local health officials to help our center determine appropriate next steps, including whether an extended dismissal duration is needed to stop or slow further spread of COVID-19.
Communicate with staff and families. Coordinate with local health officials to communicate dismissal decisions and the possible COVID-19 exposure. Our official communication will include Bright Wheel, email and phone calls as needed.
As we strive to provide for the welfare of all, Covid-19 is changing our whole way of life currently and perhaps in the future as well. While we hope the adjustments made during the transition are only temporary, we are prepared to make whatever amendments are necessary to keep our children and staff healthy and safe. We know these guidelines are going to take more time and may be inconvenient. We appreciate you continuing to be our partner and investing in the safety and protection of all.
Please feel free to contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 770.475.6570 with any questions or concerns. Thank you!
“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” Romans 8:18.