Unlike many other preschools, KinderHaus is designated an Essential Program by Governor Cuomo and the State of NY. As such it was allowed to remain open throughout the covid crisis.
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- social distancing of families at home and between parents and teachers during drop-off and pick-up
- special equipment for teachers and facilities, including gloves, hand sanitizers, and face masks
- diligent cleaning of the classroom and regular disinfection of frequently touched surfaces
- regular health checks throughout the day and exclusion of children with symptoms
- regular and proper hand washing of staff, children, and parents
- extended time outdoors
- removal of carpets and stuffed animals, reducing pillows and soft materials
- daily washing of toys that were used that day, minimizing what children can bring from home.
What do we do to stay safe?
- Social distancing of parents and teachers during drop-off and pick-up (do not enter the building, and if you do, please take off your shoes and wash your hands or use the hand sanitizer next to the entrance)
- Children must be free of any symptoms (cough, sneeze, fever, respiratory problems) to attend KinderHaus
- Special equipment for teachers and facilities, including gloves and hand sanitizers
- Diligent cleaning of the classroom and regular disinfection of frequently touched surfaces and toys
- Regular health checks throughout the day and exclusion of children with symptoms
- Regular and proper washing of hands for staff and children; first upon arrival
- Extended time outdoors
- Reduced number of toys that will be cleaned every evening
- Any time that staff are less than 6 ft. from each other or interacting with children, they must wear a face covering.
- Ensure staff and children’s groupings are as static as possible by having the same group of children stay with the same staff whenever and wherever possible.
- Ensure that different stable groups have no or minimal contact with one another or utilize common spaces at the same time, to the greatest extent possible.
- Implement practices to maintain adequate social distancing in small areas, such as restrooms, and signage and systems (e.g. limited to 1-3 children a time) to restrict occupancy when social distancing cannot be maintained in such areas.
- Prohibit non-essential visitors on site, to the extent possible.
- Establish designated areas for drop-offs and pick-ups, limiting contact to the extent possible (i.e. staggered drop off).
- Provide employees with an acceptable face covering at no cost to the employees and have an adequate supply of coverings in case of need for replacement.
- Limit the sharing of objects (e.g. electronic equipment, arts and crafts materials, touch screens) and discourage touching of shared surfaces; or, when in contact with shared objects or frequently touched areas, require employees to wear gloves (trade-appropriate or medical); or, require employees and children to practice hand hygiene before and after contact.
- Adhere to hygiene, cleaning, and disinfection requirements from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Department of Health (DOH) and maintain logs on-site that document date, time, and scope of cleaning and disinfection.
- Provide and maintain hand hygiene stations: washing hands with soap, running warm water, and disposable paper towels; alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing 60% or more alcohol for areas where washing hands is not available/practical.
- Require staff and children to practice hygiene in the following instances:
- Upon arrival to the first program activity;
- Between all program activities;
- After using the restroom;
- Before eating; and
- Before departing the last program activity.
- Provide appropriate cleaning/disinfection supplies for shared and frequently touched surfaces (e.g. door handles, multi-seat strollers, toys, art supplies, areas where children eat), and encourage employees to use these supplies before/after use of these surfaces, followed by hand hygiene.
- Limit children from using toys that can’t be cleaned/sanitized (e.g. dress-up clothes, puppets).
- Instruct staff to stay home if they are sick and remind parents/guardians to keep sick children home.
- Implement mandatory health screening assessment (questionnaire, temperature check) for employees and children, either directly or through their parent/guardian. Screening must ask about:
- COVID-19 symptoms in the past 10 days,
- positive COVID-19 test in the past 10 days, and/or
- close or proximate contact with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 case in the past 14 days (responses will be documented daily).
- In the event that a parent/guardian of a child must be isolated because they have tested positive for, or exhibited symptoms of, COVID-19, the parent/guardian will be advised that they cannot enter the site for any reason, including picking up their child.
- If the parent/guardian – who is a member of the same household as the child – is exhibiting signs of COVID-19 or has been tested and is positive for the virus, an emergency contact authorized by the parent is utilized to come to pick up the child. As a “close contact,” the child must not return to the program for the duration of the quarantine.
What is the DOH’s definition of a ‘close contact?’
- Someone within 6 feet of an infected person for a total of 10 minutes
- Generally, close contacts include all children and teachers in one group.
What happens when we are informed of a positive case?
- If necessary we inform the KinderHaus community in the following order, by email:
- Staff members that may have been exposed to the affected person
- Families of the exposed child
- All staff members
- All families
- Everyone in that group must get tested and every child or staff member that has a confirmed negative test may return to KinderHaus.
- We are working closely with the New York City Department of Health (DOH) and expect all students and emplyees to follow quarantine and testing protocols as mandated by New York State, and urge everyone to avoid indoor gatherings and other activities tht could put the health of the entire community at risk
What about siblings in other groups?
- If there is a sibling in another group, we ask them to get tested as well and as soon as the test result comes back negative, they all may return to KinderHaus
- if the test is positive, we follow the protocol for a positive case in a group
Will KinderHaus close during a Lockdown or with positive cases?
- KinderHaus is considered an essential business and will remain open
- We are taking COVIC-19 very seriously and are following the DOH guidelines, we will continue executing every safety measure to ensure that children will be safe at KinderHaus
- We will stay updated on the newest information regarding COVID-19 and will act according to the CDC and DOH guidelines.
What happens if a family traveled out of state?
- All families who travel to New York from a state that is not a contiguous state should quarantine for a period of 14 days, consistent with Department of Health regulations for quarantine
- Families who traveled outside of New York State for more than 24 hours must get tested 72 hours prior to arrival in New York
- Families can exit quarantine early, if they get tested on the fourth day of their quarantine, measured from the time of arrival, if both tests (the one before entering the state and the second one on day 4 of quarantine) is negative they may exit quarantine, which means they can send their child back to KinderHaus
- Contiguous states are Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont. Families from these states are not subject to this guidance.
What we do at KinderHaus
The spread of COVID-19 has led to a global crisis, and drastic measures are being taken worldwide. It is a challenging time for all of us, and we at Kinderhaus are here for you to support and stay connected with our community during this difficult time.
We are closely monitoring the situation in NYC based on the strict mandates of our state regulatory body, the Office of Childcare and Family Services and beyond that to the regulations by the “Senatsverwaltung für Bildung, Jugend und Familie in Berlin”, Germany, and we are continuously adjusting and updating our safety measures accordingly. Thanks to our licensing and subsequent designation as an essential service by the New York State Department of Economic Development, we are able to continue to offer an in-classroom program for families and added special covid related precautions.
Safety is of the utmost importance at Kinderhaus, and we are maximizing efforts to create a safe and healthy environment for our Kinderhaus children. We are in constant contact with the Department of Health and are following their rules and recommendations across all our programs. Additionally, we are keeping abreast of and following the German regulatory requirements to German preschools operating during the crisis.
While we navigate through this crisis we plan to continue to offer services comprised of two main pillars: a) In-person Hybrid model for school age children ages 5+, and b) In-person preschool for children ages 1-5.
What We Do Beyond KinderHaus
Being committed to supporting our community as a whole, the Kinderhaus team is committed to helping those in need within our community. One project is developing a supportive contact list where teachers and parents are adding their name, contact info and what they can offer to the community. Localized within neighborhoods, this list can be used to help people in need with anything from groceries, pharmaceuticals, emergency shopping, medical advice etc. Kinderhaus connects people in need with people who require such services. If you are not a Kinderhaus family (yet), you can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know about what you can offer or what you are in need of during this time of the COVID-19 crisis.