The health and safety of our children, families, and staff has always been a priority for Gateway. We take our responsibility very seriously and actively work to find ways to protect our children and staff while still providing high-quality care. Our Executive Director, Ms. Sara, has reviewed the most recent updates from the CDC, Madison County Health Department, and state licensing for childcare centers. This information is being used to update our COVID-19 procedures at Gateway. Our goals are to promote wellness and try to prevent our classrooms/center from future closing due to illness. We know that classroom and/or center closings are difficult for families. We are doing everything we can to prevent closings and we need your help to make it happen. Please continue reading for information about procedures that have been updated and implemented at Gateway.
Vaccination is currently the leading public health prevention strategy to end the COVID-19 pandemic. Vaccination among all eligible individuals can help Gateway protect our staff and children, as well as their families. Gateway serves children in an age group that is not yet eligible for vaccination. Therefore, guidance from the CDC emphasizes using multiple COVID-19 prevention strategies together to protect children and adults in early childhood programs.
|4 years and under||No||No||No|
|5-11 years old||Yes||No||No|
|12-17 years old||Yes||No||No|
|18 years and older||Yes||Yes||Yes|
For the latest information on COVID-19 vaccine availability at certain providers and pharmacies, go to: gov.
- For each location, Vaccines.gov displays:
- types of COVID-19 vaccines available
- website or phone number to take the next step to get vaccinated
- hours of operation
- If you are currently eligible to get vaccinated, click the Find COVID-19 Vaccine button to find a vaccination location and schedule an appointment with the specific vaccine provider or pharmacy.
- Vaccination for COVID-19 can also be scheduled at ourshot.in.gov.
- Call 2-1-1 for assistance.
- If you have questions about receiving a COVID-19 vaccination at a specific location, please contact that location.
- Vaccine availability is subject to change and appointments are required at most locations. Please follow instructions for each provider listed.
- It is important to remember that infants, younger children, and adults with certain health conditions are not eligible to receive some vaccinations.
- It is recommended that everyone over the age of 5 receive a COVID-19 vaccination.
The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to the virus that causes it. Stopping transmission (spread) of the virus through everyday practices is the best way to keep people healthy. We have daily cleaning and sanitizing procedures that our staff have always followed, including:
- Routine hand washing
- Catching a cough/sneeze in a tissue or our elbow
- Sanitizing toys daily
- Cleaning & sanitizing tables before and after meals & snacks
- Cleaning bathrooms daily
- Vacuuming & mopping floors daily
- Sanitizing cots daily
- Washing blankets, dress-up clothes, and other fabric items weekly
- Sending sick children home
- Requiring children who have been sick to stay home until they are symptom free without medication for 24 hours
We will continue to follow our cleaning and sanitizing procedures. To help prevent the spread of potential illness, we will also do the following:
Isolation and Quarantine:
Children and staff who have symptoms of infectious illness, such as RSV, influenza (flu) or COVID-19, should stay home and go to their healthcare provider for testing and care. Staying home when sick with COVID-19 and other communicable diseases is essential.
The overlap between COVID-19 symptoms with other common illnesses means that some people with symptoms of COVID-19 could be ill with something else. This is even more likely in young children, who typically have multiple viral illnesses each year. Although COVID-19, colds and flu illnesses have similar symptoms, they are different diseases. Children who have symptoms of infectious illness or certain symptoms of COVID-19 should not attend Gateway. Families, please be on the alert for the following signs of illness in your children and to keep them home when they are sick.
Parents should pay particular attention to:
- Fever (temperature of 100º F or higher)
- Sore throat
- Diarrhea, vomiting or stomachache
- New onset of severe headache
- New cough that causes difficulty breathing (for a child with chronic allergic/asthmatic cough, see if there is a change from their usual cough)
The length of time a child should stay out of childcare depends on whether the child has COVID-19 or another illness.
Positive for COVID-19:
For those children and staff that have been diagnosed with COVID-19, a return to the program can happen in the following ways:
School Age Children and Staff:
- Isolation at home for 5 days
- Return to the program on day 6 if fever free for at least 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication and showing improvement in symptoms
- These individuals are required to wear a mask, days 6 to 10 upon return and will be distanced 6 feet from others when not wearing a mask (example: meals and snacks)
Preschool and Toddler Children (ages 1-5):
- Isolation at home for 7 days
- Return to the program on day 8 if fever free for at least 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medication and showing improvement in symptoms
- This time has been shortened from 10 days to 7 days because it is unlikely that a child will spread the virus after seven days of isolation.
Quarantine in childcare is no longer recommended for exposure to COVID-19. However, those who have been exposed to a diagnosed case of COVID-19 should monitor for the development of symptoms. If symptoms develop, get tested for COVID-19. Gateway will continue to notify families of positive cases of COVID-19 in the building.
Communicate with the Madison County Health Department:
- If you or your child test positive for COVID-19, please notify Gateway immediately by calling 765-649-1900.
- Gateway administrators will contact the Madison County Health Department to confirm our contact tracing and receive updated guidance for Covid-19 protocols.
- Gateway administrators will notify all Gateway families when a positive case of COVID-19 has been reported in the building and quarantine information.
Face Masks & Social Distancing
- Effective May 16, 2022, Gateway will not require masks to be worn on a daily basis by children, staff, or other adults.
- Individuals, ages kindergarten through adults, which are coughing and/or sneezing must wear a mask while in the building.
- We will continue to monitor COVID-19, updates and guidance from the Madison County Health Department, State Licensing, and the CDC.
- Children in the Lion, Bear, and Yeti classrooms may wear a mask but are not required.
- The CDC recommends wearing cloth, non-medical face masks in public settings where social distancing is difficult.
- Wearing a face mask is not a replacement for other preventative practices.
- Face coverings should NOT be put on children under age two because of the danger of suffocation. Since our toddler room (Monkey) includes children that are one to two years of age, we ask that children under 3 years of age not wear face masks at Gateway.
Gateway actively works to find ways to implement social distancing and limit person to person contact as much as possible. We work to maintain the same child and staff groupings throughout our building.
- Only staff members that are fully vaccinated may assist in multiple age groupings (toddler, preschool, & school age).
- Classrooms may go on fieldtrips. Classrooms may walk, use the buggies/wagons, or ride the public bus to go on fieldtrips.
- We will begin hosting our center wide events again. However, should COVID-19 numbers increase to higher levels, we will adjust or cancel, based on the recommendations and guidance from our local health department, the CDC, and state licensing.
Drop Off & Pick-Up
- Use the hand sanitizer dispensers mounted on the wall inside entrance #4 upon arrival at the building and/or inside the downstairs office to the right of the swipe machine. Please supervise children closely when using hand sanitizer.
- Upon entering the building go to the downstairs office to sign your child/children in/out of our care and complete swipes on the CCDF/OMW machine.
- While in the downstairs office, each staff member and child will be screened for a temperature and other signs of illness including but not limited to flushed cheeks, rapid breathing or difficulty breathing, fatigue, or extreme fussiness. Individuals with a temperature of 100 degrees or higher and/or any other symptoms of illness will be sent home. (See our illness policy listed below for additional details)
- Families can now enter the classrooms when dropping off and/or picking up their children. If you are experiencing any symptoms of illness, please do not enter the classroom. Please stay at the classroom doorway to drop off/pick up your children.
Naptime & Extra Clothing
- Gateway staff members have labeled the naptime cots with the children’s names. Each child will have a designated cot for naptime each day and we will continue to sanitize the cot daily after naptime.
- All blankets, small pillows, and comfort items brought from home for naptime must easily fit in your child’s cubby without falling out or touching another child’s items.
- All blankets, small pillows, and comfort items brought from home for naptime must be taken home by the family and washed on a weekly basis and more often if possible.
- Gateway has always asked that families provide at least one extra set of clothing that can be kept at school in case of accidents or spills. Please make sure that your child has extra clothing (shirt, pants, underwear, socks, and shoes) in the correct size and appropriate for the weather at Gateway.
Gateway’s Exclusion of Ill Children Policy
If your child becomes ill during the school day, we will do all that we can to make him/her comfortable until a caregiver can arrive. For the health of all children and staff members, ill children will be excluded from the classroom if they display any of the following symptoms:
- Fever of 100 degrees or higher
- Lethargy or fatigue
- Vomiting, nausea, or abdominal pain
- Inability to participate in classroom activities
- Rash that is spreading
- Sore throat
- Muscle or body aches
- Cough or shortness of breath
- Congestion or runny nose
- New loss of taste or smell
When a child becomes sick, we will use one of the following options to isolate the child to the best of our ability. If we have an extra staff member available, s/he will take the child to an unused classroom and stay there with the child until someone is able to pick the child up. Taking the child to the office to remove them from the rest of the children is a second option. Our third option is to create a separated space for the child in the classroom and work with the other children to give the sick child their space.
If a parent/guardian is called because of a child’s illness, s/he must arrange to have his/her child picked up as soon as possible by anyone on the approved pick-up list. Amendments to this list must be made in person, in the main office. If a child is sent home due to illness, s/he must be symptom free and medication free for 24 hours before returning to daycare or have a doctor’s note stating that s/he is not contagious and can return to school. If we sent your child home, s/he will not be able to return to Gateway the next day unless they have been seen by a doctor and the doctor has written a note stating that s/he can return to daycare.
If, because of your child’s symptoms, we have any reason to believe s/he may have a communicable disease, rash, or other contagious illness or a doctor diagnoses your child with a communicable disease, rash, or other contagious illness we will require written verification from a doctor that the child is not contagious before s/he returns to the center.
If your child is displaying any of these symptoms at home, do not bring her/him to school. Children MUST be symptom free for 24 hours without medication before returning to school. Communicable diseases/contagious illnesses can spread very quickly in childcare settings. You will be protecting your child’s health and the health of your family by keeping ill children out of the center. If a doctor sees your child, please call Gateway at 765-649-1900 and let us know what s/he has been diagnosed with, so that we can take proper precautions and notify the rest of our families that their child has been in contact with someone that is ill.
Please stop by the office and check to make sure that everyone you may need to assist in dropping off or picking up your child/children are on their authorized pick-up list and that we have the correct contact information for everyone on the list. Changes to the authorized pick-up list must be made in person by the enrolling parent/guardian.
If your child should need to take medication while at Gateway, check with your child’s classroom teacher to make sure that we have your child’s medication on hand.
Gateway’s Courtesy Calling Policy
If your child will not be attending due to an illness, is having a day at home, or will be coming in later than their normal schedule please give the center a courtesy call by 9 am at (765) 649-1900. Knowing your child’s schedule helps us better prepare staff schedules to comply with state licensing child/staff ratios, know how much food to prepare for meals without having large amounts of wasted food or not enough food prepared, and helps the classrooms daily routine flow more smoothly. If we do not hear from you by 9:00 am, we will assume your child will not be attending. We greatly appreciate your prompt communication when your child’s schedule changes.
We ask that all our families maintain ongoing communication with us concerning their child’s attendance and the parent/guardian’s work/school schedule. Families can call Gateway at 765-649-1900 or notify Gateway using the Brightwheel app. Please visit our Gateway Association, Inc Facebook page website at Gateway Association website at www.gatewayassociation.org for future updates and information. We are doing our very best to keep our staff members healthy so they can be here to care for our children. We greatly appreciate your understanding in keeping your children home if they are not feeling well.
We know that our families depend on us to be open and able to care for your children, so you can go to work. We greatly appreciate your assistance in maintaining a safe and healthy environment for our children, families, and staff by keeping your children home if they are not feeling well, making sure that the individuals dropping off and picking up children are not ill themselves, and communicating with Gateway if your children become sick or will be absent for other reasons.
We will continue to monitor the updates and orders from the CDC, state licensing guidance for childcare centers, Family Social Services Administration, and the Madison County Health Department. Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns.