After consultation and planning with parents, staff, the Board of Directors, and the Policy Council, Porter-Leath Early Head Start will reopen for staff on Monday, July 6th. Children will return on Wednesday, July 8th for the remainder of the program year ending on Friday, July 24th. All parents will attend a virtual meeting regarding COVID-19 and new policies in place for Early Head Start. Major priorities include, but are not limited to:
Limited operating hours with staggered pick up and drop off times for all families at each site.
Entry screening: All persons entering the Early Head Start center will be screened with a questionnaire and temperature check. No person exhibiting a temperature of 100.4°F or greater, chills, muscle aches, headaches, loss of smell or taste, or signs or symptoms of a respiratory infection, such as a cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, and low-grade fever will be allowed entry. Per CDC guidelines and Early Head Start standards, a child becoming sick or exhibiting a fever during the school day will have their parent or guardian contacted and be isolated with staff supervision until the parent arrives.
Drop off/Pick Up: Drop off and pick up, and sign in/out, will occur at the center's designated entry. Designated staff will allow parents to sign in/out their child at this point; parents will not be allowed to go beyond the center's entry point. Staff will escort children to their classroom.
Sanitization: Every person entering the center will disinfect their hands using hand sanitizer using at least 60% alcohol, to be provided at the center entrance.
Personal Items: Children will not be allowed to bring personal items other than a change of clothes into the center. Clothes will be stored in a sealed bag by the child's teacher.
Limitation of entry
Only staff, persons with legal authority, professionals providing services to children, children enrolled in the program, and parents who have children enrolled in the program will be allowed entry. No volunteers will have access until further notice. Additionally, everyone entering Porter-Leath's facilities are required to wear a face covering. Children under 2 will not wear face covering due to danger of suffocation. Children over 2 will be provided masks, but will not be forced to wear it. Children will not wear masks during naptime.
Social Distancing Strategies:
- All classrooms will adhere to Early Head Start ratio requirements of two teachers and eight children per classroom.
- Activities will be arranged to allow at least 6 feet between children.
- Family style dining: children will be seated at least 6 feet apart and the passing of utensils, food, and plates will be eliminated until further notice. Teachers will serve individually.
- All sleeping cots and sheets will be labeled per child.
- Limit mixing of groups. No children will change classrooms.
- No field trips or center-wide family events will be held.
- Classrooms will not mix at any time, including at the playground. The playground will be disinfected after each classroom's use.
Will the children wear a mask?
Children 2 years and older will be encouraged to wear masks. Porter-Leath will purchase masks for the students, but due to their age and newness of masks we will have to work on routines. The children will not be allowed to wear masks during naptime nor on the playground.
Will staff be required to wear masks?
Yes. Porter-Leath will purchase masks for all staff.
Are parents required to wear masks?
Yes, everyone entering the building will be required to wear a facial covering/mask.
If I don’t bring my child back during July what will happen to my slot?
Children who do not return in July will not be penalized. He/she will be allowed to return in August.
What are the precautions for children/parents that could be asymptomatic?
The daily health check will be more intentional and intensive to hopefully identify any type of symptoms. Both parents and teachers will participate in new training on new requirements prior to returning. Unfortunately if there are no symptoms (similar to our practice prior to COVID-19), we cannot keep a child from attending. This is why it will be important to create new routines related to vigorous hand washing, cleaning & disinfecting, creating space for children, etc. According to the CDC, wearing a mask will prevent the spread of COVID-19 which is why this will be enforced.
What to do with infants mouthing toys and cross contamination?
"Yuck Buckets should be used." Any toys that have been observed in children's mouths should already be placed in these buckets and at the end of the day toys should be properly cleaned and sanitized according to policy.
Will the parents sign a consent form before bringing their child back?
Parents will sign a consent form that outlines new procedures.
What is the last day of school?
When does school start for the Fall?
If I do not bring my child back in July do I have to bring new medicine in August?
If your child is not returning in July all medicine and personal belongings will be returned to the parent. All medicine will be reviewed by the FSW. Talk directly to your FSW for more information.
Will there be any before/after care?
No, it is not available at this time. We will provide service during our core hours of 8am-2pm.
Can we walk our children to their classrooms?
Not at this time. Staff will escort each child to their classroom.
Will staff temperatures be checked?
Everyone who comes into the building will have their temperature checked (staff, vendors and service providers).
If I don't have a temperature why am I required to wear a mask?
If I don't have a temperature why am I required to wear a mask?
What is the latest a child can enter the program once school has resumed.
We will revisit this plan before August 10th.
Will the children mingle into other classrooms?
No, We will not intermingle children with other classrooms. They will remain in their classrooms with only their classmates.
How will children practice social distancing in their classrooms?
The teachers will discuss social distancing and the meaning. We will have markers on the floor to indicate 6 feet. Children will not be required to stay in one area of the classroom. However, throughout the day the teacher will remind students to practice social distancing.
How will you all handle runny noses?
Teachers will follow Porter-Leath’s procedures. Teachers will wipe children’s noses using gloves. Afterwards washing the children and their hands. If the child has colored mucus the center will follow the Temporary Exclusion policy.
Will there be any Family Style Dining changes?
Yes, all children will sit on one side of the table. There will be no face to face seating. The children will be served, and will not practice passing bowls and or self-serving.
How will teachers sanitize the classrooms?
We will use approved disinfectant at our sites, and continue the usage of bleach & water solutions.
My child gets sick easily, will absences count against them?
No, we will continue to follow our sick policy. However, the Family Service will continue to follow up with the parent to check on the child’s health.
How will Porter-Leath deal with a positive COVID-19 case? Have teachers been trained on COVID-19?
Porter-Leath has updated the Temporary Exclusion policy to include COVID-19. If someone at our center tests positive for COVID-19. The person will be sent home and can not return until he/she tests negative. The parents will be informed that someone tested positive (without disclosing the individual). The center will be cleaned and sanitized.
Is it okay for another person beside a parent to drop off and or pick up my child?
Yes, as long as the person picking up the child is listed on the pick up/drop off authorization form in your file. When picking up, they MUST also have their ID, in addition to being a listed authorized person for pick-up/drop off.