If you’re concerned about keeping your child safe and healthy, it makes sense to ask the question, is my child’s daycare center clean enough? Your concern is reasonable. The country is still working its way through a pandemic. While daycare center cleanliness has always been an important issue, it’s more critical than ever before.
A single cough or sneeze can send viral droplets into the air. A touch from a contaminated hand easily transmits the virus to just about any person or surface. When you leave your children at their daycare center each day, you want to make sure that it’s as clean as possible.
The best way to find out is to make a list of concerns and ask the daycare staff whatever you want to know. Here are a few questions to get you started.
What standards do you follow to keep the daycare center clean?
The “National Health and Safety Performance Standards Guidelines for Early Care and Education Programs” provides extensive program daycare center guidelines. The 626-page resource is a collaborative effort of the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Public Health Association, National Resource Center for Health and Safety in Child Care and Early Education. Section 3.3, Cleaning, Sanitizing, and Disinfecting, explains the rationale and standards for keeping a daycare center clean. Connecticut issues compatible standards for daycare centers in the state.
What are the differences between cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting?
The above resource and the Connecticut Department of Health fact sheet, “Tips for Cleaning Child Care Facilities The Clean and Healthy Way,” explains these terms.
- Cleaning: Removing visible dirt with a detergent
- Sanitizing: Reducing the bacteria on inanimate surfaces
- Disinfecting: Killing bacteria and viruses on hard surfaces
How frequently do you clean, sanitize, and disinfect?
As a parent, you shouldn’t be shy about asking how frequently your daycare center cleans, sanitizes, and disinfects. Given the current circumstances, your center should clean daily.
What Items and Surfaces do You Clean?
Early childhood educational resources recommend cleaning protocols to keep a daycare center clean. Cleaning routines must include:
- Shelves, windows, counters, and other surfaces
- Stair rails, doorknobs, and any surfaces many children touch
- Diaper-changing areas and bathrooms
- Water fountains, toys, and any objects children place in their mouths
- Utensils, bottles, eating implements, and food preparation areas
- Any surfaces contaminated with blood or bodily fluids
What types of cleaning products do you use?
State and federal agencies recommend that daycare facilities use safe or green cleaning products. They should be effective without irritating or harming young children. While bleach is an efficient disinfectant, it’s a known cause of asthma. Hydrogen peroxide is a disinfectant that’s both safe and efficient. Daycare centers should choose all cleaning products carefully.
- Labels should not contain the word “poison.”
- Cleaning products should contain no ammonia, bleach, or fragrances.
- Wherever possible, daycare centers should use third-party certified safe green products.
What steps are you taking to prevent sick children from coming to school?
People who contract COVID-19 are sick for days without showing symptoms. Daycare centers must proceed cautiously, acknowledging that anyone can unknowingly transmit the virus to anyone else. To minimize the spread, they must stress cleanliness, handwashing, and social distancing.
Your daycare center should follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s COVID-19 guidelines. The CDC also offers a “Schools and Childcare Programs checklist for parents. It describes steps parents can take to help minimize the risk of infection.
Contact The Learning Center
For more information about our continuous effort to keep our schools clean and safe, visit our contact page or give us at a call at (860) 643-8639.