Novel Coronavirus Updates
Policy and Procedure
Stepping Stones Early Learning Center will follow the CDC/MDE/ELD/Health Department requirements and recommendations.
The health and well-being of our families and staff are our highest priorities. In the interest of limiting the opportunity for transmission to our vulnerable community, we are taking the following precautionary measures and recommend these as best practice guidelines for all group childcare settings (camps, centers, family childcare).
If an individual has (or anyone that is in close contact with that individual has):
(a) A suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 (for example – close contact at school, work, religious service, social gathering); or
• domestically, outside of Maine, New Hampshire, or Vermont
This individual must remain out of the center or facility. 14 days after the last potential exposure, the individual may provided these things have happened:
(a) At least 14 days have passed since the individual and any household member first experienced symptoms: and
(b) Symptoms have improved for all of the individual’s household members that experienced symptoms (for example, cough or shortness of breath has improved); and
(c) The individual’s household has been fever-free for at least 72 hours without the use of fever- reducing medicines.
(d) You are experiencing no symptoms and have been tested for COVID prior to returning to the center and can provide us with a dated negative test result
HOUSEHOLD MEMBERS: include individuals who may not live in the household but may be staying there or are otherwise present in the household on a regular basis (e.g. nannies, caregivers, home health workers, contractors, etc.) and includes anyone with pick up or drop off privileges at the center.
CLOSE CONTACT: is defined by the CDC as (1) being within approximately 6 feet (2 meters) of a COVID-19 case for greater than 10 minutes and can occur while caring for, living with, visiting, or sharing a health care waiting area or room with a COVID-19 case, or (2) having direct contact with infectious secretions of a COVID-19 case (e.g., being coughed on). Considerations when assessing close contact include the duration of exposure and the clinical symptoms of the person with COVID-19.
FOR MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS: If contact occurs while wearing recommended personal protective equipment or PPE (e.g., gowns, gloves, NIOSH-certified disposable N95 respirator, eye protection), that contact will NOT be considered close contact for purposes of this policy.
Health Check and Illness Policy - COVID 19
Applies to staff, children and their household members, which states in part:
ALL STAFF, FAMILIES, CHILDREN AND THEIR HOUSEHOLD MEMBERS MUST CONDUCT A DAILY HEALTH CHECK BEFORE COMING TO THE CENTER.
Should you or any household member have any of the following symptoms, we ask you to remain out that day and notify the center.• Fever of 100.4 F or higher, now or in the preceding 72 hours
• Sore Throat
• Muscle Aches
• Difficulty Breathing
Consistent with our COVID-19 Policy, the household will be required to remain out of the center for 14 days unless medical clearance is provided by a physician indicating that the presenting symptoms are associated with a known non-COVID-19 illness. The physician’s note must not be from a family member or you are experiencing no symptoms and have been tested for COVID no more prior to returning to the center and can provide us with a dated negative test result
Exclusion from the center is sometimes necessary to reduce the transmission of illness. For your child's comfort, and to reduce the risk of contagion, we ask that children be picked up within 1.0 hour of notification. Until then, your child will be kept comfortable and will continue to be observed for symptoms.
All staff and children ages 5 and up (or 4 if they are attending public Pre-K) are now required to wear face masks or face shields (for those unable to wear a mask due to health issues). We are also asking anyone picking up or dropping off to wear a face covering while doing so. The CDC generally recommends individuals wearing cloth face coverings to protect people around the wearer of the cloth face mask, in the event the wearer is infected but not symptomatic, to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Note: This guidance does not apply to children under 5 (unless attending public Pre-K). Cloth face coverings are NOT a substitute for social distancing, hand washing or other everyday preventative actions.
Stepping Stones Early Learning Center
Top 7 Recommendations from Maine.gov and CDC for preventing the spread of viruses (especially Corona Virus)
- Follow Child Care Licensing Regulations for handwashing for adults and children (below)
- Upon entering child care (before playing or touching toys) and after playing outside
- Before and after meals/snacks
- After toileting or contact with bodily fluids (nose blowing included)
- Before and after any playdoh, art or other “tactile” activities
- Eating Healthy
- A Good Night’s sleep
- Hydrate (with water and milk – avoid sugary drinks like juice and soda)
- Report exposure and possible exposure as well as illnesses to Kierstin or Mandi right away to assess risk
- Keep sick kids home
- Plenty of exercise
Emergency Management Plan for COVID-19
If someone in your home does test positive for Coronavirus, your family will be asked by the county health department to quarantine at home for 14 days.
Limiting your family’s exposure to public places – limiting your family members’ exposure to those who may have picked up the Coronavirus is very important. If you find out that you have been exposed, or if you or your children develop symptoms (shortness of breath, cold/cough, diarrhea and possibly fever), please make sure to make a doctor’s appointment. Readmittance for cold-like symptoms that could include influenza or Coronavirus illness will need a doctor’s note to return to child care. The note should indicate whether or not testing was done and when the child can return to child care.
You can get up-to-date info through the public website: https://www.maine.gov/dhhs/mecdc/infectious-disease/epi/airborne/coronavirus.shtml
For info on cleaning and disinfecting your home: https://www.aphis.usda.gov/animal_health/emergency_management/downloads/coronavirus-disinfectants.pdf Know that licensing rules that I already follow should prevent the spread of Coronavirus just as they do any other virus from spreading. Let me know if you would like more details on what these rules for health and safety are. One last word on Coronavirus – please watch your children’s consumption of the “media panic” that seems to be taking place. Young children can be easily stressed or scared by all the “attention” on Covid-19 right now. Let’s keep children mentally well as well as physically well.