COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)
Tiger Tots Child Care has adopted recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to keep its doors open for families and children during COVID-19.
The CDC has allowed child care programs to remain open during the COVID-19 pandemic, but those programs should follow certain guidelines to ensure the health of children and staff members.
The CDC recommends child care programs:
- implement social distancing strategies
- intensify cleaning and disinfection efforts
- modify drop-off and pick-up procedures
- implement screening procedures on arrival
- maintain an adequate ratio of staff to children to ensure safety
More guidelines are listed on the CDC website.
Tiger Tots is following the CDC guidelines by keeping children in a small group sizes and taking their temperatures when they arrive and as needed throughout the day.
Tiger Tots has also implemented some additional sanitation processes. The center says it is only using half of its playground at a time and sanitizing between each group play session.
"We've been able to make sure that we don't have teachers that spend time in more than one classroom in the day," Tiger Tots owner Paul Prevo said. "So if they work with the infants, they stay with just the infants that day."
Prevo said that in a couple of the buildings, plastic partitions have been set up to divide the space into two separate classrooms with different entrances.
Although Tiger Tots does not leave 6 feet between nap cots because of space limitations, Prevo said keeping the children in their own classrooms so that they interact with the same students and teachers each day is important.
Tiger Tots is also providing a sectioned-off space for parents to drop off and pick up their children.
They stop there, and we bring the child, their activity sheets their art for the day and whatever to them," Prevo said. "That way we limit the number of people that actually go within the classroom space."
Tiger Tots cleans all doorknobs, frequently touched surface areas and toys every day.
Prevo said that Tiger Tots has been able to handle the number of children at the program, but is near capacity as far as the recommended group sizes.
Recently Tiger Tots has received many calls as businesses could potentially be opening back up in a couple of weeks.
"We're going to be looking for some additional guidance as far as what group sizes can be," Prevo said. "And if they're going to change any of that because if you want the community to get back to work, you have to have a place for their kids to go."
Tiger Tots has planned ahead for what summer may look like with possibly no in-person classes for Columbia Public Schools.
The program is working to make sure it can accommodate as many current families as possible with potential openings for other families that may need it.
The CDC provides more guidance for Child Care programs on its website.
Stay up-to-date on this developing story here and on ABC 17 News at 5 p.m. and 6 p.m.