The mission of AppleTree & Gilden Woods Early Care and Preschool has always been to create a safe environment that earns the trust of the children and families we serve. We are as dedicated to that mission now as we have ever been. AppleTree & Gilden Woods will continue to lead the industry in best practices during this time, a responsibility we do not take lightly. Accordingly, we created a Covid-19 Operating Manual that details the necessary policy and procedures and aggressive actions we have taken to mitigate the potential spread of Covid-19. This new operating model supplements our existing and overarching operations manual. As we move forward in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, we would like to communicate those aggressive actions we have taken to assure you of our steadfast commitment to the health and safety of our AppleTree & Gilden Woods families.
- Created a new Child Drop Off and Pick Up Procedure including the following:
- Parents/guardians will check in using Procare after sanitizing their hands with hand sanitizer.
- Parents/guardians may enter the building and walk their child(ren) to their classroom for drop off.
- Parents/guardians may not take more than 10 minutes to drop off their child.
- If another family is dropping off their child off at the classroom door, parents/guardians must maintain a 6 ft distance while waiting to drop off their child.
- Team members will assist the child in washing their hands immediately upon entering the classroom.
- Created a Confirmed COVID-19 Test Policy & Procedure including the following:
- Immediately contact the local Health Department if a child, parent/guardian, staff member, or admin team member who has been in the school tests positive for COVID-19.
- Follow the locally established protocol determined by the Health Department and the interim guidance for childcare programs provided by the CDC.
- Created a Non-essential Employees in Classrooms Policy which prohibits non-essential team members from entering a classroom unnecessarily.
- Created a plan for isolating children who develop symptoms while they are at AppleTree/Gilden Woods.
Health & Hygiene
- Implemented strategies for social distancing in the classroom including the following:
- Implemented handwashing songs that are at least 20 seconds long to support children’s learning of the amount of time for washing hands.
- Encouraging children to eliminate physical contact.
- Implemented strategies for team members to follow social distancing, when it does not interfere with providing care for children, including:
- Team members will not congregate in shared spaces in the school unnecessarily.
- Team members will take their break in approved areas.
- Require all children who utilize AppleTree & Gilden Woods transportation to wear a facial covering while on the bus.
Cleaning & Disinfecting
- Intensified cleaning and disinfecting efforts including:
- Team members will routinely clean all frequently touched surfaces in the workplace, such as workstations, countertops, doorknobs, light switches, and keypads.
- Surfaces must be sanitized when the school is opened, at rest time and as needed.
- School entry door handles will be sanitized with increased frequency between the hours of 6am-10am and 3pm-6pm.
- Utilizing disinfectant foggers weekly.
- Sanitize mouthed toys immediately.
- Sanitize all counters, chairs, tables, and toy shelves at 10am.
- Sanitize all counters, chairs, tables, and toy shelves at 1pm.
- Sanitize all counters, chairs, tables, and toy shelves at closing.
Preparedness & Planning
- Increased janitorial supply purchases (i.e. soap, gloves, sanitizing solutions, etc.) and instructed the schools to store them in a dedicated space to monitor proper usage to ensure an adequate amount of materials will be available for future use.
- Ensured classrooms use the activity room/gym on designated days of the week.
- The activity room/gym will not be used by classrooms if School Age children are participating in distance learning or Explorer programs.
- The activity room/gym will be cleaned and sanitized between every use.
- Provided our COVID-19 response plan to families on the company website and to all school personnel.
- Reviewed COVID-19 policies and procedures with school personnel monthly.
- Performed preventative maintenance on all HVAC equipment. This includes installing new, pleated filters.
- Inspected the ductwork and coils of all cooling systems to verify no mold or mildew growth has started or is present.
- Verified that outside fresh air is coming into either the return air of the furnace or through each Entergy Recovery Ventilator (ERV).
- Set thermostats to “ON” mode for the fans to force all equipment to continuously maintain a constant changeover of air which includes outside air for greater air quality.