Nobody wants to be sick. Parents are legitimately concerned for the health of their children as they start school, and participate in group class activities. There are a lot of germs out there, and there always seems to be a new virus or illness that makes us ALL take a look at what we can do to stay healthy.
Kindermusik International (as always) has done extensive research on the subject, and is providing educators facts and recommended methods for keeping everyone Healthy and Happy.
“It is extremely important to create environments where parents are assured their children are as safe as we can provide. It adheres to our Core Value of doing what is best for the parent and child.” – Michael Dougherty, President of Kindermusik International.
Based on this information, and my further research, the following policies will be in place for our Kindermusik classrooms. Many cleanliness practices in the classroom are already in place, we just need the help of parents and children for a few more, and together we must renew our commitment to be diligent, consistent, and proactive.
All instruments and props, as well as door handles, etc. are sanitized fully each week. Items in use during the day are cleaned BEFORE they are used again. So you may find me cleaning instruments between classes. Feel free to help if you have an extra moment. But know that I believe your first priority is getting your child clean and comfortable and ready to participate.
In our healthy and happy Kindermusik studio, we use Clorox wipes which are known to kill 99% of germs on non-porous surfaces. These will be used on door handles, and instruments that will be shared again. in between classes. There must be at least 5 minutes after a wipe has been used on an object before a child should be allowed to touch it (as it takes that much time for the chlorine to dissipate and no longer be harmful.)
Each person, upon arriving, must clean hands with warm water and soap, or sanitize with antibacterial hand gel. (FYI: Research indicates best practice is using warm water and soap for 20 seconds, rinsing for 10 seconds.) You will find a sign in the bathroom for proper hand washing guides to help your child recognize these steps and their importance. Please make sure to arrive timely so there is time for this before class starts. It is also recommended to wash hands after class. Warm soap and water works best, so Ms. Debbie will clean her own hands this way before each class.
Each person should do their best to make sure they are healthy before attending class. PLEASE do not attend if either you or your child are sick (allow 2 days after fever is gone to recover). We have an open and flexible make up policy so there will be ample opportunities for class attendance. See our Class Make-Up Guide HERE.
My blankets serve as uniquely defined spaces for each family to sit that encourages interactions with each other, and reduces touching interactions with other families. Blankets will be washed weekly, and extra blankets will be available if some need to be removed. The foam mats are kept clean by a delightful woman who cleans weekly to ensure our studio is happy and healthy !
Scarves are washed weekly, and I have plenty to continually swap out and in as necessary. Used scarves get put in a hamper to be washed before use. If there is a babies class later in the day, I make sure to have a set of scarves that are secured from our regular spaces until we use them, then all washed again. You should see my laundry room on Friday mornings… very colorful !!.
All participants must strive to utilize the healthy habits of keeping their hands out of their mouths, and covering sneezes and coughs with the inside elbow. If a child wipes their noses or puts their hands in their mouth, their hands should be cleaned again before any interactions with others outside their family. Of course, we expect young children to explore instruments and their hands with their mouths – that’s how they learn. We will just all need to do our best to reduce the possibility of sharing germs along with our learning experiences.
Instruments / props will be handed out individually (instead of all crowding around the container in the center), and collected in a separate container where they will be sanitized before any further use. Sometimes in class, we may have a “TRADING” opportunity (whether planned, or spontaneous), and that is part of learning how to interact well with others. As parents, we want to encourage these positive social interactions, but make sure that only clean instruments are traded. Ms. Debbie will be watching closely and promoting safe and healthy practices, but, as with all aspects of raising children… it takes a Village. Together, we can keep our children as healthy as possible.
Some activities may be adapted to reduce unnecessary touching
. For some activities that encourage person to person contact, like circle dances, we may clean hands prior to the activity, families may hold hands with each other, or we can make sure to wash hands right after class. We don’t want to make children afraid to touch others, but we want to teach them to be aware of how to help everyone to stay healthy.
It may take some extra time to ensure a healthy environment, but it will be worth it for the health of everyone involved. I am committed to ensure this happens for each one of you! I don’t want to be sick either.
If you have any questions, or recommendations, be aware that I would love to hear from you. I don’t know EVERYTHING, and I am always eager to learn more. If you have a specific concern, make sure to talk to me or Marianne directly. There may be something we can do right away to keep everyone safe, healthy, and happy.