Essential Worker Child Care Program Safety Standards

Date: April 22, 2020

Subject: LIMITED OPENING FOR ESSENTIAL WORKERS STARTING MONDAY APRIL 27th

To: All Parents and Sprouting Star Familes

Sprouting Star Children’s Academy opens in a limited capacity for essential worker families on April 27, 2020. Due to the continued risk of COVID-19 infection, there are a number of emergency policies and procedures that will be observed during this time to ensure the safety of the children, their families, and the staff. Some of these may create inconveniences, but it was our assessment that opening with these limitations better serves the families providing front-line services than remaining closed. Please read here the extraorinary measures we will be observing to keep you and your children safe until health authorities confirm the risk has passed.

If you would like more information about the current government restrictions on child care centers for essential workers only, and how to sign-up for the Sprouting Star Essential Worker Child Care Program, please CLICK HERE.

Limited Space

We have received a significant response to this program. We have already received 30% more sign-ups than we expected from earlier surveys. We are working to accommodate as many children as possible. But we will likely not be able to accommodate everyone, at least initially. Please be patient as we work to serve you, and keep your children safe at this difficult time. If you have not signed up, but need essential worker care, we encourage you to sign-up now. This way we can complete the necessary paperwork, and contact you as soon as space is available.

We will accept students on a first-come, first-served. Priority will be given to families actively enrolled as of March 20, 2020. Accounts must also be current for all charges incurred prior to March 20, 2020. If there is any outstanding balances, this must be settled before we will confirm enrollment. We will notify you if that is the case. You will also need to complete the required essential worker documentation before enrollment as well.

Safety #1

Safety is our top priority. We are implementing substantial emergency safety policies and procedures. Some of what we are doing includes:

  1. Maximum Gathering Size. Our classrooms will comply with the government orders on maximum gathering size. This is 8 children per class with 2 teachers assigned. This is 50-500% fewer students that state childcare standards.
  2. Social Distancing. Since it is very difficult to get young children to “social distance” we are social distancing the class units. Children will not be permitted to interact with any other classes.
  3. Social Distancing. Teachers will not be permitted to interact with other classes. In effect, they will be “social distanced” from other staff and children other than in their own rooms. Each class will have it’s own 2-teacher team.
  4. Entrance Screening. All persons entering the building will be temperature checked. Entrance to the building during operating hours is limited to students and staff. Parents may enter to inspect the facility, just ask, but drop-off and pick-up will be at the foyer.
  5. Increased Disinfecting. Our teaching staff will be arriving before opening, and staying beyond close to sterilize the classroom and center common spaces.
  6. Shorter Day. We will have limited operating hours, 7am-5pm. This is 2 hours shorter than our typical day. We believe that introducing a “second shift” to extend hours beyond what the 2-teacher team can accommodate introduces more contact between the children and a greater number of staff members. We hope to resume normal operating hours when it is safe. For the time being, it will be safer to limit the number of teachers that interact with your child. We apologize for this temporary inconvenience, but we believe it puts the safety of the children and staff first.
  7. Personal Protective Equipment. Staff will be wearing new personal protective equipment including safety glasses, masks, and clothing. (Children under 10 are not required to wear masks)
  8. Technology. We are replacing the sign-in book with an electronic kiosk that requires minimal touching. Children can be signed in by showing a QRC code to the kiosk. We are also implementing “pay at home” features, so you do not have to enter the lobby to pay your bill.

We Ask Your Patience and Cooperation

These safety procedures are not easy. We apologize in advance for the inevitable inconveniences and we ask your understanding and cooperation. We realize that these procedures may result in the following difficulties:

  1. Work Schedules. The limited hours may not perfectly align with work schedules.
  2. Classroom Closings. It is possible that occasionally we may have to close a classroom with limited notice. For example, if one of the teaching team members becomes sick. For the time being, we are not going to use substitutes, as this introduces more uncertain contact with the children. And we cannot simply put the children in another class because of social distancing between classes. We therefore would need to close the class in such cases.
  3. Unplanned Child Pick-ups. During this time, we are going to be very diligent with health checks while the children are in care. If they appear sick, we will need to send them home until they are well, or we receive a doctor clearance. If this occurs, we will need to promptly remove the child from the class, so we ask your assistance in promptly picking them up.

We realize in advance that these things can be very inconvenient. Again we ask patience and understanding as we try to keep everyone safe in this difficult time. While we regret the impact, we do believe these are the safest policies for everyone.

If you have any questions, please contact the center at (512) 777-3477 or email to grow@sproutingstar.org.

Kind Regards,

 John Russo

President, Sprouting Star Children’s Academy

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