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. Please continue reading for more information about additional procedures that have been implemented at Gateway.
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:
Drop Off & Pick-Up
- Use the hand sanitizer dispensers mounted on the wall inside entrance #4 upon arrival at the building. Please supervise children closely when using hand sanitizer.
- Upon entering the building, each person 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)
- 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.
- We need to make sure that the office does not become crowded while families are signing and swiping their children in and out. We ask that only one family or a maximum of 7 people be in the office at a time.
- We are trying to limit the number of people in and out of the classrooms. The adult and other children should remain outside of the classroom when dropping a child off or picking a child up from a classroom. For safety and supervision, the adult and classroom teacher must verbally acknowledge the transition in/out of the classroom.
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.
- Currently, cots are placed a minimum of 2 feet apart for preschool children and 3 feet apart for toddler children. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Gateway staff members will place the cots as far apart from each other as possible while still being able to easily supervise all children during naptime. Staff members may also use classroom furniture, such as shelves to create a solid barrier between children when possible.
- All blankets, small pillows, and comfort items brought from home for naptime must easily fit in your child’s cubby without falling out or coming in contact with 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.
Face Masks & Social Distancing
- Gateway follows the mask mandate set by Governor Holcomb. Everyone age 8 and over is required to wear a mask at Gateway except when eating and drinking.
- All children in the school age classroom are required to wear a mask each day.
- Children in the Lion and Bear classroom 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.
- If children are not able/willing to leave their face covering on or it presents an issue with children not using it appropriately, we will place the face covering in a plastic bag to be sent home at pick up. We encourage our families to talk to their children about face coverings and explain why people are wearing them, why we need to leave them on and not touch them all the time.
- Face Masks Dos and Don’ts
- Do wear your mask so it covers the bridge of your nose
- Do wear your mask from your nose down to under your chin
- Do tighten the mask so it fits snugly against the side of your face
- Do keep the mask on until you are inside your home
- Do wash your hands before and after wearing the mask
- Do use the ties or loops to pull the mask on and off
- Do wash your mask daily and keep it in a clean place.
- Do remember to wash your hands and practice social distancing.
- Don’t wear your mask below your nose or only over the tip of your nose
- Don’t leave your chin exposed
- Don’t wear your mask loosely with gaps on the sides
- Don’t fidget with the mask
- Gateway is actively working 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.
- Classrooms may go on walking fieldtrips. While out on fieldtrips, the children will not be riding the public bus or visiting any other locations including business and parks.
- Center wide events may take place on a case by case basis. We will follow recommendations and guidance from our local health department, the CDC, state licensing, and Governor mandates when any center wide events are planned.
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 or nausea
- Inability to participate in classroom activities
- Rash that is spreading
- Sore throat
- Muscle or body aches
- 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 make arrangements 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 are 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– including but not limited to hand-foot-mouth disease, ringworm, chicken pox, croup, strep or conjunctivitis – 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 your child is seen by a doctor, 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/guarding.
If your child should need to take medication while at Gateway, especially asthma medication, please 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 regarding your child’s attendance by 9:30 am at the latest, we may call to see if they are attending for the day. If we do not hear from you, we will assume your child will not be attending. We greatly appreciate your prompt communication when your child’s schedule changes.
We ask 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, email Ms. Michelle, our Director of Early Childhood Programs at firstname.lastname@example.org, or email our Executive Director, Ms. Sara, at email@example.com. Please visit our Gateway Association, Inc Facebook page website at Gateway Association website at 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 continue to monitor the updates and orders from both the Family Social Services Administration and the Madison County Health Department. The situation in Madison County is changing every day. We are making the best decisions we can, with the information we have available. Our decisions are not made lightly; we want to be proactive instead of reactive. We apologize for any inconveniences that our families experience during this time, but we hope you understand that we are doing our very best to do everything we can to protect all of us.
Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns.