Think of children, and ‘hygiene’ is probably not the first word that pops into your head. For the tireless educators at your little one’s child care centre, cleanliness and germ-busting is high on their agenda as they try to reduce the risk of illness for everyone.
It’s not just in the wake of COVID-19 either, centres are always doing their best to stop the spread of germs that can cause any type of illness. Because as we all know, illness can pass through a group of children (and parents, and educators!) very quickly.
All centres have very strict infection control policies in place, and all services need to comply with health and hygiene regulations.
Here is a summary of how centres are helping keep the germs at bay.
1. Hand washing
Children and educators alike are both encouraged to wash their hands now even more than ever.
A child or adult is required to wash their hands:
- before and after eating
- after using the bathroom or assisting a child in the bathroom
- after changing nappies
- after painting or play dough
- after blowing their nose
- after using the sandpit
- before applying first aid
- when visibly dirty
- before and after cooking lessons or food preparation
Whichever way you look at it, there’s a lot of hand washing going on at your child care centre.
This is a great way for children to become more independent with hand washing, as they get plenty of opportunities to practice it each day.
2. Hand sanitiser
Just like the great toilet paper crisis of 2020, hand sanitiser has become a must-have for families and child care centres alike.
Everyone that enters a child care centre is now encouraged to sanitise their hands. As well as this, many centres have implemented a policy of sanitising hands upon entering and leaving a room.
3. Nappy changes
Educators change many nappies throughout the day, and each centre has a strict protocol that they follow to do so.
For instance at some centres the process is:
Wash hands > gloves on > place paper on change table > dirty nappy off > clean child > dispose of nappy and paper > dispose of gloves > clean nappy on > put child down in a safe place > wash hands > wash child’s hands > disinfect and dry the changing mat > wash hands.
4. Toy sterilisation
Each centre will have a policy regarding its toy sterilisation procedures. When toys are brought into a centre, educators ensure they are washable and wipable to stop the spread of germs.
Think about how often a small child puts toys in their mouth, and you’ll understand why.
5. Immunisation policy
Child care centres know that children being immunised is a great way to reduce the spread of diseases such as chicken pox and measles. That’s why they have policies in place to ensure that your child is immunised before they’re offered a place at the service.
There are also limits on a parent’s access to Child Care Subsidy if their child is not immunised. All in all, this is a positive way to protect the community from diseases.
6. In the case of illness
Centres always encourage educators to stay home if they are not well, to reduce the spread of germs at the centre.
For the children, at any sign of illness the parents are called and the child must be collected. While waiting for parents to arrive, the child stays with an educator in a comfortable spot away from everyone else. So for instance, an educator would sit with a child indoors while the others were outside playing.
In the wake of COVID-19 educators will be keeping an ever watchful eye out for symptoms of coughs and colds, and taking the necessary steps to reduce the spread of germs.
7. Cleaning surfaces
Think of all the surfaces that a child in a child care service would touch each day, and those are all the places that need to be thoroughly cleaned each day.
That’s right, your child care centre will have standards in place that ensure that all surfaces including tables, floors, shelves, bathroom and play equipment are cleaned and sanitised.
This should give parents the peace of mind that their centre is doing all that they can to keep everyone healthy and safe from germs.
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