All of our 36 childcare facilities stayed open during the pandemic. Here’s how we did it.
By: Jeff Wahl, CEO
At Big Blue Marble Academy, the health and safety of our students, families, and staff has always been our #1 priority. Over the course of the pandemic, our facilities remained open to serve our communities and the front line workers who rely on childcare.
When COVID-19 became a reality, our staff worked quickly to implement rigorous protocols and precautions to protect the health and safety of those in our facilities. Our team completed extensive safety training and adapted our protocols to meet the severity of the crisis at large. When the CDC released COVID-19 guidelines for childcare centers to safely stay open, we reviewed the recommendations, applied them, and took them to the next level.
Today, I’m excited to announce that BBMA is launching an industry-leading health and safety effort called CleanPlay. CleanPlay is the embodiment of our comprehensive safety practices – daily temperature checks, strict handwashing, social distancing measures, visitor limitation, the use of an EPA-registered disinfectant, and more – to ensure parents have absolute confidence to return to work and leave their children in our care.
Because of our quick implementation and strict enforcement, we were able to remain open and continue serving our communities. Here’s what we did…
- Arrival procedures: Upon arrival in the morning, all students and staff are required to have their temperatures taken and answer a series of health screening questions before entering the facility. Staff are required to arrive to work with their masks on, and leave them on throughout the day. Everyone is required to use hand sanitizer before going in, and scrub their hands from fingertip to elbow once they get to their classroom. Staff are given smocks to cover their clothing, which are washed daily.
- Throughout the day: Frequently-touched surfaces, toys, sink areas, door handles, cribs, and playground equipment are regularly sanitized with an EPA-registered chemical, produced to protect against COVID-19. Playground equipment is disinfected between groups and only one classroom group is allowed on the playground at a time. Children remain contained within their own classroom and play areas to avoid cross contamination, and the number of students at each table or play area has been limited.
- Departure procedures: Before leaving for the day, all students and staff must scrub-out, once again washing from fingertip to elbow. Parents are required to remain outside until a staff member can escort their children from his or her classroom.
I’m proud that we’re setting the standard when it comes to childcare safety. As more and more children return to in-person learning or childcare, let’s allow kids to continue being kids. We need to ensure that as educators, parents, and caretakers, we are doing everything possible to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our children.
Learn more about BBMA’s CleanPlay initiative here.
Download more information here.