Hesitating to Send your Toddler Back to Preschool – Here Are Some Things to Consider
Social interaction, education, and a nurturing environment are essential for a child’s overall health. Being cooped up inside a house for months on end can slow down their development significantly, regardless of how innovative and engaging the parents are.
Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a considerable impact on . Parents are rightfully concerned about sending their children to school, worried about their health and likelihood of contracting the virus. While children don’t seem to be at high-risk, they can still be asymptomatic carriers of the virus.
Is It Safe To Send Your Child To School?
Pre-schools and childcare centres need to be vigilant and take all necessary precautions to ensure their students are safe. There are ways to control the spread and run public institutions safely. Now, even though many pre-schools and childcare centres have opened their doors after months, parents are concerned about the safety aspect and wonder whether it’s a good idea to send their child to school.
This is a valid concern, but there are many aspects to take into account while deciding whether it’s a good idea to start sending your child to school. We encourage parents to consider the factors mentioned below carefully. If your chosen childcare provider takes all of these precautions, it will be safe to let your children attend.
Basic Safety Precautions
Several health organisations have provided basic guidelines for childcare for schools and childcare establishments. We follow these guidelines to the letter as it can help reduce the chances of a spread. Here’s a look at some of the recommended safety precautions:
- Parents must drop their children off at the gates instead of entering the property.
- They should sign with their pens instead of sharing pens with others.
- Hand washing stations or hand sanitisers are placed at all entrances for children and the staff.
- Everyone must wear a mask while interacting with others.
- Children and staff will maintain a distance of 6-10 feet.
- Children and staff should hold their hands frequently during the day.
- Students should bring their own utensils or lunch boxes. Sharing spoons, forks, or other such items is risky.
- All surfaces will be cleaned and sanitised regularly to control the spread of the virus.
Some healthcare experts also recommend rearranging school furniture to keep students apart as much as possible, and many preschools including us, have made these changes. Staff members will discourage hugs, handshakes and other physical contact among students, to limit the chances of exposure to the virus.
Daily Health Checks
Parents and the childcare provider must conduct regular health checks. While coronavirus can be asymptomatic in children, many will still develop some symptoms. Daily health checks help monitor their students’ health effectively. Here’s a look at what experts recommend:
- Perform temperature checks on students and staff every day.
- Parents are encouraged to buy a non-contact infrared thermometer (these are readily available at pharmacies and online stores as well) and conduct temperature checks on their child every morning.
- Look for symptoms like dry cough, breathing difficulties, skin rash, or gastrointestinal issues.
These simple health checks can help identify the virus early and limit its spread. We have taken the necessary precautions, educated our staff and set in place processes like daily temperature checks etc., to ensure the safety of everyone involved. We encourage parents to work with us to successfully keep a handle on the situation.
Small groups and classes can also help control the spread of the virus. A small, stable group with one teacher can help in many ways. It gives teachers more control as they can monitor every student carefully and reinforce set hygiene standards without too much effort. Parents can help by reporting possible infections or an ill child immediately so the preschool can take the appropriate steps.
Presence of a Healthcare Provider
Most modern schools and childcare facilities have a nurse or child healthcare provider on their staff. These healthcare experts will guide students and staff on how to stay safe. They will also act quickly and decisively if they spot a possible virus infection.
Having a healthcare provider on staff adds a level of safety, so parents don’t need to worry about their children as much. A good provider will also help parents adjust by offering advice on how to maintain a safe environment at home. It’s also a good idea for parents to teach their children how to wash their hands thoroughly.
Before you start sending them to school, make sure that they understand why it is crucial for them to maintain their distance from their classmates. But it’s also vital that you do not scare them as that will only make them more anxious, which is something you don’t want.
Transparency and Communication
Transparency and communication are crucial at this stage to limit the spread of the virus. Make sure your childcare facility maintains open and honest communication. Here’s a look at what most credible establishments do:
- Provide detailed instructions on how parents can drop off their children and what kind of precautions they need to observe at home.
- Explain what kind of safety measures they have implemented at the facility to control the spread and keep students safe.
- Set up an information system that tells parents about detected infections immediately, even if it occurs in a group of students that haven’t been in contact with their child.
- Explain what kind of steps they take to ensure the virus doesn’t transfer from one group to another.
If the school or centre doesn’t have a good communications policy, encourage them to implement one. We have always maintained an open line of communication with parents and are completely transparent in our interactions with them.
We know that your children are precious and our skilled and experienced staff takes every measure to ensure they are safe yet engaged and able to have fun while at school. The new normal is something we all, including children need to get used to and that’s something we at Clovel teach the students very subtly.
Think About Your Family
There are several factors to consider before you decide whether sending your child to a school or pre-school is the right decision. Different families have different priorities so think about your current situation carefully before making a decision. Here’s a look at influencing factors:
- Getting Back to Work – Many parents have to resume attending office and can’t afford to leave their children at home. Sending them to school is the best way to ensure they are safe and well-cared for.
- Children’s Health – Extended isolation from peers can take a toll on a child’s mental health and development. They need engagement, and Skype playdates or Zoom classrooms aren’t enough.
- Vulnerable Children – Some children have compromised immune systems due to health issues and are at a higher risk of contracting the infection. They should be kept at home for as long as possible.
Every family’s situation is different, so you need to think about how sending the child to school may affect you. Talk with the experts at Clovel and discuss your doubts or concerns. They will be able to guide you so you can make a decision that works best for you and your child.
Clovel has implemented various safety measures to keep children safe and still provide the all-round education they need. It’s our way of providing children the much-needed interaction and learning they need to keep busy and happy during this difficult time.
We at Clovel Childcare and Early Learning Centre, provide a very nurturing environment for children to learn and grow. For any information about our Educational Programs, give us a call at 02 9199 0294 or fill in this contact us form.
Thanks for reading,
1300 863 986