How Child Care Can Stay Safe, Part 1: Wellness Education
June 15, 2020
Like you, many of us at Kiddie Academy® Educational Child Care are parents of young children. We share the same thoughts about our children returning to their normal routines in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
That’s why we’ve introduced our Health Essentials initiative to all of our 250+ Academies across the country. This is an expanded set of daily health and safety precautions based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines and current licensing regulations. These procedures, on top of our existing health guidelines, double-down on our efforts to reduce the spread of germs within Academies.
Introducing Heath Essentials
There are four global principles that we used to create Health Essentials. Those principles are:
- Wellness Education – Education is the first step to prevent the spread of pathogens.
- Healthy Environment – Enhanced cleaning and disinfecting throughout the Academy.
- Enhanced Hygiene – Implementation of enhanced handwashing and other personal cleanliness procedures
- Symptom Monitoring – Keeping a watchful eye for illness throughout the day.
In this article, and three following blog posts, we want to give you a closer look at each of these principles and how you might be able to incorporate them into your lives at home, beginning with Wellness Education.
As it says above, Wellness Education is the first step in our defense against the coronavirus and other pathogens. It involves providing important information to both staff, students and parents. “To prevent infectious disease, we go back to the basics when educating children and staff at Kiddie Academy,” said Richard Peterson, our Chief Academic Officer. “We’ve identified several methods to extend training to teachers and staff nationwide on the proven methods to limit the spread of diseases. This will give all Academy team members a foundation of knowledge when it comes to health and safety.”
Teaching Children Everyday Actions to Stay Healthy
Peterson said children must also be aware of why there are changes to their daily routines. Their participation is key in preventing spread. “When they return to the Academy, stay calm and reassuring. Be honest. Health and hygiene is already something we focus on, even with our youngest students, so many things, like frequent handwashing will be familiar. Now we can reinforce why it’s important to do these things. Teach children everyday actions they can take to stay healthy. When entering the building or classroom, wash your hands. After using the restroom, wash your hands. Before and after eating, wash your hands. Continue to remind them to follow recommended practices such as washing your hands with soap and water and not touching your face. Knowing what to do to keep themselves safe empowers children.”
For a fun at-home project, visit washyourlyrics.com and enter the name of your child’s favorite song and download your own handwashing directions that use song lyrics to ensure you’re washing for the prescribed amount of time.
Peterson says children should be reassured that many of the changes at Kiddie Academy, such as keeping distance from others, are only temporary and done as a precaution. “If teachers are using facemasks, allow children time to adjust and calmly explain their use.”
Like everything else we teach, the lessons about how to stay healthy and safe should continue beyond the Academy. There’s lots of great information available about how you can talk to your kids about COVID-19 without alarming them. Here are some of the resources we recommend:
- Talking with kids about COVID-19 – CDC
- 10 tips for talking about COVID-19 with your kids – PBS NewsHour
- How to talk to your kids about COVID-19 – Mayo Clinic
Make sure to check back soon for posts on our other Health Essentials principles. In the meantime, here’s where you can learn more about the Kiddie Academy Health Essentials initiative and download a version of Health Essentials for yourself. Stay tuned for our next post, where we share how we’re creating a healthy environment in our schools and how you can apply some of those tactics at home.
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The learning doesn't stop for parents, either. That’s why we created an information resource with helpful tips on everything from enriching our STEM program at home to introducing lifelong healthy eating and fitness habits.