January 2021 – Sickness and Illness – Covid-19 Safeguarding Policy

At Happy Bunnies, we promote the good health of all children attending. To help keep children healthy and minimize infection, we do not expect children to attend our child care program if they are unwell. If a child is sick, it is in their best interest to be in a home environment with adults they know well.

This policy outlines rules and procedures that childcare centers located in Austin must adopt and follow. These rules and guidelines minimize coronavirus transmission risk and help keep staff, children, and families safe. 

Notification of Covid-19 Cases

Our school will notify parents, staff, and local authorities, including Childcare Regulations (Formerly knows as Childcare Licensing), immediately after being notified of a laboratory-confirmed Covid-19 case at our facility. 

Also, we will contact the Austin Public Health Nurse (512-972-5560).

  • In an instance, when a confirmed case has been present at our school, we will cooperate with the local health authorities and follow their guidance. 
  • We will inform staff and all our parents about potential closures and appropriate quarantines advised by Austin Public Health. 
  • It is critical to maintaining the confidentiality of the student or staff member as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act. Therefore we will not disclose the names of the sick person to parents or other staff members. 

Face Coverings 

Following people must wear fabric face coverings:

  • All childcare Staff 
  • Parents and Guardians dropping off and picking up children
  • Children over the age of 10
  • Children younger than ten years can wear a mask if parents wish them to do so 

Face Coverings must not be worn by children under the age of 2 or people who cannot take off the coverings without assistance

Teachers may decide to remove children’s face coverings if children show signs of difficulty breathing during outdoor activities or during extreme heat when face-covering could contribute to a greater risk of heat-related illness.

Staff may remove their masks outside if they maintain social distancing or experience difficulty breathing during heat or strenuous activity such as running. 

Temperature checks

  • We will deny entry to any child or adult with a measured temperature greater than 99.6F per the City of Austin Medical Authority order.

Enrolling New Children in Care

  • When enrolling new children into our program, we will use Austin Public Health Forms to determine if the child was previously in another child care program. New parents must declare the child’s health and exposure status.
  • WE WILL NOT CARE FOR A NEW CHILD UNLESS ALL CRITERIA ON THE “HEALTH SCREENING QUESTIONS” FORM WERE FULLY SATISFIED. 

Testing

  • We strongly recommend that staff exhibiting new or worsening symptoms of possible Covid-19 seek a Covid-19 Test.
  • We also ask parents to test themselves and their children if anyone in their immediate family has symptoms of Covid-19 or if they were in contact with a person who tested positive for Covid-19. Please notify our school as soon as possible of a positive test. 

Cleaning

  • Our center already follows CDC guidelines for disinfecting and sanitizing all frequently touched areas, as well as our toys and indoor equipment. In our affords to stop Covid-19, we will sanitize more frequently. 
  • Children’s water bottles will go home every day, and we ask parents to please sanitize them in their dishwasher for the next day.
  • Blankets and sleep sacks go home each Friday or on the child’s last day of the week. 
  • Please do not bring toys or “show and tell” items from home until further notice.

Care for Children and Adults Who Became Sick During Their Stay at Happy Bunnies

  • Our staff room is our designated  “isolation and quarantine” room, where the child will wait with a teacher until their parent or guardian picks them up. 
  • If the child is two years old or older, we will ask him/her to wear a mask. 
  • Sick staff members and children should not return to work/care until they have met the criteria to discontinue home isolation. *(see the section on home isolation for more details)

Social Distancing

  • We aim to reduce class sizes as much as possible. In that effect, we have already opened up our 5th classroom for our Pre-K 3 children. Our classes will have ten children or less; our tiny baby room will only accept six children as a maximum. 
  • So far, we have had no issues with parents dropping off or picking up their children; we ask parents to please social distance when waiting for their child to exit the building.

    It is essential that you wear a mask and waits at least 6ft apart, please. However, the director will assign strict pickup and drop off times for individual children if we find that parents don’t follow social distancing guidelines. 
  • Parents are not permitted to enter the building unless there is an extraordinary reason for them to do so
  • Parents and guardians who need to enter will be screened for Covid-19 symptoms and will use a hand sanitizer and wear a mask.
  • Hand sanitizer is available at the main entrance. 
  • Parents and Guardians whose children are subsidized by Workforce Solutions are exempt from “recording” their child’s attendance on our attendance machine. Magdalena will submit your child’s attendance to CCS by email weekly. 
  • Only persons that have the legal authority to enter our building will be permitted to enter.
  • Our naptime cots are clearly labeled. If our cot needs to be used by another child in an emergency, we will sanitize it before use. 
  • We will minimize the use of water tables and sensory tables – unless they are individualized to each child and not shared by the group. 

Screening, Isolation, and Return to School

  • The following individuals will be checked every day
    • Staff
    • Persons with legal authority to enter
    • Children enrolled at our school
    • Professionals providing services
    • Parents that are permitted to enter
  • We will send home staff or children with one or more of the following symptoms:
    • Temperature equal to or greater than 99.6F
    • Cough
    • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
    • Chills
    • Repeated shaking with chills
    • Muscle pain
    • Headache
    • Sore throat 
    • Loss of taste or smell 
    • Diarrhea
    • Known close contact with a person who is lab-confirmed to have Covid-19
  • Staff or children with these symptoms will not be permitted to return until:
    • Employee or child who was diagnosed with Covid-19 may return to school when all three criteria are satisfied: 
      • is fever-free for at least 24 hours without the use of medication
      • has improved in respiratory or other symptoms
      • and at least ten days have passed since symptoms first appeared 
    • Employee or child has symptoms that could be Covid-19 and wants to return to school before completing the above self-isolation period; the individual must obtain a medical professional’s note clearing the individual for the return based on an alternative diagnosis 
    • If a parent believes that they or the child has had close contact with someone with Covid-19 but are not currently sick, they should monitor their health for the above symptoms during the 14 days after the last day they were in close contact with the individual with Covid 19. 
    • If someone in a household is Covid-19 positive or is awaiting Covid-19 test results, the entire family shall isolate and avoid travel except to seek medical attention.

School Closure and Fees

Austin Public Health may order our school to close a classroom or exclude some children from attending upon identifying them as close contact with a Covid-19 positive case. 

In this case, children’s fees are still due and will not be refunded. Where ever possible, we will work with the parents on replacing lost hours due to our classroom closure.

If the management of Happy Bunnies decides to close the classroom or the entire school without the Austin Public Health Order, where ever possible, we will replace those lost days in the future, and parents will be permitted to bank those days. If a replacement is not possible due to our classroom being full, Happy Bunnies will issue a credit note to cover the lost time.  Credit notes can be used against future fees. Happy Bunnies will not refund cash fees.  

This policy was adopted onSigned on behalf of the nurseryDate for review
January 18, 2021Magdalena MacLeod

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