Fall Plans, Procedures and Policies

Our Commitment to Health and Safety

University of Michigan-Dearborn Early Childhood Education Center is committed to protecting the health of our children, families, staff, and community. The following policies were designed in response to guidance from the Michigan Departments of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) and Health and Human Services, in accordance with best practices from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Wayne County Health Department and with everyone's well-being in mind. To limit the potential spread of COVID-19, we will be making some temporary changes to our programming that include robust cleaning and disinfecting procedures and minimizing opportunities for person-to-person exposure (e.g., an infected person spreading respiratory droplets through actions such as coughing, sneezing, or talking). The following plan outlines the recommended practices and strategies will use to protect the health of our children, staff, and families while at the same time ensuring that children are experiencing developmentally appropriate and responsive interactions and environments.


Changes to Our Physical Spaces

We will use the following strategies in our classrooms and facility to minimize the spread of illness:

  • Where possible, dividing large group spaces to allow more children to safely use the space (e.g., using child- sized furniture, such as rolling shelves and kitchenettes, to divide a room and prevent mixing between groups of children).
  • Using touchless trash cans to provide a hands-free way to dispose of tissues and contaminants.
  • Ensuring ventilation systems operate properly and increasing circulation of outdoor air as much as possible (e.g., keeping windows and doors open to the extent that this does not pose safety risks).
  • Water bottles will be used by all children and staff, will be sanitized often and refilled as necessary.

 

Availability of Toys and Classroom Materials

At this time, we will make the following changes to the toys and materials in our classrooms:

  • We will remove toys and objects which cannot be easily cleaned or sanitized between use.
  • Toys will be washed and sanitized before being moved from one group of children to another.
  • Extra materials such as crayons, markers, paint brushes, playdoh etc. have been purchased so that each child will have their own set of supplies that will be labeled with their name and not shared with other children.
  • Children will have access to individual sensory bins in the classroom for sand and water play.
  • Water tables will be used outside with small amounts of soap added to the water for fun with bubbles and to provide a more hygienic medium.

Mealtimes

To limit opportunities for exposure during mealtimes, we will engage in the following recommended practices:

  • Picnic tables have been purchased for eating outside.
  • No family style snacks or meals will be served, all snacks (am & pm), lunches and water bottles will be brought from home each day. Lunch boxes, snacks and water bottles will be wiped down daily upon arrival and after use.
  • Children will continue to practice our existing hand washing procedures and wash hands before and immediately after eating.
  • Birthday “treats” (which are optional) should be non food items that can be sanitized by teachers before sharing with the children. We strongly encourage you to refrain from sending in any birthday prizes etc. at this time.

Naptime

To reduce potential for viral spread, we will engage in the following recommended practices:

  • Storing each child's bedding in individually labeled bins, cubbies, or bags.
  • Labeling each child's cot/mat.
  • Ensuring that children’s naptime cots/mats are spaced out as much as possible, ideally 6 feet apart.
  • When possible, children will be placed head-to-toe (i.e., one child with their head at the top of the mat, the next child over with their head at the bottom of the mat).
  • Cots/mats will be cleaned and sanitized every day after use per our existing naptime cleaning policies.


Items Brought From Home

During this time, we are trying to limit the number of items brought into the facility because this can be a way to transmit the virus, so we ask that families refrain from bringing items from home as much as possible. However, we recognize that placing limits on children's comfort items may increase stress for children and staff as they may be especially needed during this time of transition.

We ask that families and staff follow these guidelines with regard to children's comfort items:

  • To avoid these items coming into contact with many children, efforts will be made for these items to be placed in a cubby or bin and be used at naptime or as needed.
  • If possible, comfort items should remain at the ECEC for the week to avoid cross-contamination.
  • Nap items will be sent home weekly to be washed.


Drop Off and Pick Up

We will use the following recommended practices during drop-off and pick-up times to protect the health of children, families, and staff.

Drop Off times are restricted to 8:00-9:30 am

  • Families are not permitted to enter through the gate until 8:00 am unless they have registered for early drop off.
  • Only one adult per family should be present at drop-off/pick-up. Ideally, this would be the same parent or designated person every day, though we recognize this is not always possible.
  •  The ECEC now has a new app: UM-Dearborn ECEC Daily Screening that parents can save on their phone to use every morning before coming to school. Just show your “green dot checkmark” to the person at the screening station. Families that aren’t able to use the app can still answer the screening questions orally.
  • Parents may take their child to their classroom through the playground. Doors will be labeled with room numbers. Please knock on the outside classroom door and a teacher will greet you and help your child with the morning routine of putting away items, washing hands etc.
  • Please note- the gate is locked promptly at 9:30.  Additionally, children miss a significant amount of instruction time by arriving later in the morning which disrupts the classroom schedule and routine.
  • If a family happens to experience extraordinary circumstances one day that prohibit them from arriving on time, they must call the front desk upon arrival. DO NOT enter the building. As soon as a staff member is available, they will meet the child and accompanying family member at the door and then escort the child to their classroom.


Pick up times are restricted to 3:00-4:00 pm

  • Adults picking up children will enter through the playground gate. The gate opens promptly at 3:00 pm.
  • Children can be picked up on the playground if they are outside. Backpacks will be ready to go and please notify the teacher that you are here to pick up your child.
  • If children are not on the playground, please knock on the outside classroom door and the teacher will greet you, gather your child’s belongings and dismiss them.
  • We ask that parents avoid congregating in a single space or a large group.
  • The gate is closed and locked at 4:00 pm

Prearranged Early Drop off (7:30-8:00) and Late Stay (4:00-5:30) are available this fall. Arrangements will be made with individual families who have requested this option.

*At this time Drop Off and Pick Up procedures are the same regardless of weather conditions, please dress yourself and your child appropriately.
 

Staffing

To minimize potential spread of COVID-19, we will engage in the following best practices:

  • Staffing consistency will be maintained as much as possible to limit the number of staff moving from room to room.
  • Staff have been provided with and are required to participate in training to better understand COVID-19 and caring for children safely. Trainings come from many different sources including but not limited to the University of Michigan, Center for Disease Control, Office of Head Start and the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Symptom Monitoring Protocols

We will use the following recommended practices, policies and protocols to protect the health of children, families, and staff.

  • The ECEC will follow the guidelines issued by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as coordinate with University of Michigan protocols.
  • If a staff member, child, or visitor exhibits any of the following symptoms, they cannot enter the facility:
    Adults:
    -Fever of 100.4F or higher, new cough, shortness of breath, and other respiratory symptoms
    -Or two of the following symptoms: Chills, muscle aches, new runny nose/nasal congestion/sore throat, new loss of sense of smell or sense of taste, new headache, diarrhea/vomiting or new rash
    Children:
    -Fever of 100.4F or higher, chills, muscle aches, new runny nose/nasal congestion, sore throat, new loss of sense of smell or sense of taste, new headache, diarrhea/vomiting or new rash
    **Children’s symptoms defined by Michigan Child Care Licensing.

If a child has a fever OR a new cough (but no other symptoms):

  • University of Michigan-Dearborn's policy is that a child with a NEW cough must stay home until the cough diminishes. If a child has a fever they must stay home for 24 hours without the use of medicine that reduces fevers.

If a Child Becomes ill and exhibits multiple symptoms:

  • A staff member will stay with the child until family arrives.
  • The CDC offers guidance for how to watch for warning signs that symptoms are escalating and how to keep safe when caring for someone who is sick.
  • Children must be picked up as soon as possible after the parent is notified that they have symptoms requiring them to go home.
  • They should not return for at least 5 days after symptoms first started and 24 hours after fever has resolved without the use of fever-reducing medicines and symptoms have improved. The child may return sooner with a negative PCR test and no symptoms or can return on day 6 as long as symptoms have diminished.** These recommendations come from Michigan Child Care Licensing.
  • Additional guidance will be sought by contacting the Wayne County Health Department, Michigan Child Care Licensing, UM-Dearborn Emergency Management and UM Occupational Health Services.
  • We recommend checking in with a doctor to see if an examination or testing are recommended.

Confirmed Cases

We will use the following recommended practices, policies and protocols to protect the health of children, families, and staff.

  • Staff and families are required to report to the ECEC Academic Director if they become symptomatic or receive positive COVID-19 test results.
  • We will communicate to families that a confirmed case has been identified and be transparent about next steps to mitigate risk.
  • Individual health information will not be disclosed in this process.
  • If there is a confirmed exposure or case, we will follow all recommendations from the Wayne County Health Department, Michigan Child Care Licensing, UM-Dearborn Emergency Management and UM Occupational Health Services.
  • If an individual tests positive for COVID-19: (isolation guidelines)

    Individuals over 2 who will wear a properly fitting mask: If an individual tests positive for COVID-19 at the ECEC, the individual will be required to isolate for 5 days. If symptoms subside and the individual has been fever free for 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medications, they may return to school on days 6-10 if they wear a properly fitting mask. 

    Individuals under 2 and those who are not able to wear a mask properly: If an individual under 2 or an individual who does not wear a properly fitting mask tests positive for COVID-19, the individual will be required to isolate for 10 days. If symptoms subside and the individual has been fever free for 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medications, they may return to school on day 11. 

    Exposures at the ECEC: If a classroom or individual has been directly exposed to COVID-19 at the ECEC we will notify you via email with the date of exposure and symptoms to look for. If at any time symptoms arise, we ask that you immediately isolate your child and contact the ECEC front desk at (313) 593-5424.

Reinforce Best Practices to Promote Hygiene

We will reinforce the best practices already used at the ECEC to limit the spread of COVID-19 including but not limited to:

  • We will reinforce regular health and safety practices with children and staff.
  • Continue to implement CDC handwashing guidelines.
  • Use these guidelines from the CDC for cleaning and disinfecting.
  • Frequently clean and disinfect toys and materials and deep clean at the end of each day.
  • Frequently clean and disinfect door knobs, handles, light switches and other high-touch surfaces in addition to regular cleaning of floors, bathrooms, rooms etc. each evening.
  • Children should bring their own lunch, snacks and water bottles. Lunch boxes, snack containers and water bottles will be sanitized upon arrival if possible and will be sent home daily for cleaning.


Other Measures/Actions
In addition to the above items, we will implement the following strategies in our classrooms and facility to minimize the spread of illness:

  • Masks are optional effective as of Monday, May 9th, 2022. If several exposures occur in a single classroom, we may determine that masks should be worn again or that a classroom might need to be closed for a few days to contain community spread. 
  • Temperatures of staff and children will be re-checked mid-day in addition to morning arrival.
  • In accordance with the University of Michigan-Dearborn ECEC policy, any student that has travelled internationally may not return to school. They must quarantine for 7 days from the date of arrival back in the United States. This policy will be followed to protect the health and well-being of everyone at the ECEC.
  • We ask that families review and sign our Community Commitment to Safety during COVID-19 Pandemic document

 

Early Childhood Education Center

Early Childhood Education Center
18501 Rotunda
Dearborn, MI 48124
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