Five tips for centers operating during COVID-19

The past few months have drastically changed the education landscape in our nation — and nowhere is that more prevalent than in childcare centers. In fact, 18% of the country’s centers still remain closed — and of those that are open, 86% are operating at a lower-than-normal capacity.

If your center is still open, we know you’re facing a unique set of challenges right now. At LifeCubby, we’ve always been dedicated to making center life a breeze for directors and teachers, and that’s one thing that hasn’t changed.

That’s why we’ve put together our top five tips for making operating your center during COVID-19 easier.

1. Group your students and teachers into pods.

By operating in smaller groups, you can limit exposure between students while also minimizing their contact with other people in your center. The CDC recommends staggering playground times for each pod and creating separate pods for children of healthcare workers and first responders, if possible.

Finally, we recommend utilizing LifeCubby’s Ratio Alert feature to ensure you’re always keeping the appropriate mix of students and staff in each pod.

2. Implement daily health checks.

Stay on top of the health of your students by screening them daily upon arrival. Record temperatures and other vital signs of health throughout the day (our Daily Health Check feature makes this a breeze). Encourage your families to monitor their child’s health at home and keep their students out of class if they show any signs of illness.

3. Create a cleaning schedule.

Daycares are messy by nature — but constant cleaning is now vital. Invest in spray bottles to easily disinfect surfaces and play areas when children are finished with them. Ensure all toys are regularly sanitized, and consider putting away any toys that are unable to be cleaned. Finally, keep each child’s bedding and/or clothing separate and schedule each to be washed weekly (or before being used by another student).

4. Revise your drop-off and pick-up procedure.

To continue limiting contact between groups of people, stagger your drop-off and pick-up times. Have your staff ready to meet families outside to pick up children as they arrive and institute curbside pick-up to further limit the number of people going in and out of your center. Finally, replace handwritten logs with a digital process, such as LifeCubby’s in-app check-in/check-out feature.

5. Update your mealtime.

When it comes to mealtime, try opting for in-class meals rather than group cafeteria settings. Designate specific members of your staff for food preparation and ensure they’re not also diapering children or regularly holding them. Make sure your students (and staff) are washing their hands before and after meals and using their own utensils at mealtime.

Want to learn more about how LifeCubby can help your center better navigate the challenges coronavirus brings? Click here to schedule a free demo today!