May 13th, 2020
RE: Preschool Reopening Update
Dear Parents and Guardians,
With the decision to lift the stay at home order this Friday, Acorn will continue to gradually move toward the reopening of our preschool program. As of Monday, May 18th, all currently enrolled students are welcome to return to their classroom as parents return to work. We will continue to do this with the guidance of our county health, the Arizona licensing agency, and our state department. We believe following this guidance is the best possible decision for our program in order to support the health of the community, students, and staff while still providing much needed childcare. We want to be able to provide high quality, safe, and diligent care for all of our families who will be returning to work in the coming weeks. Should you choose to continue to keep your child at home, we fully support and respect your decision. We will continue to monitor the situation and determine operation hours/and or closures based on the guidance we receive from our state and local officials.
The health and safety of our students and our staff continues to be our number one priority. While we have always had rigorous cleaning and sanitization practices, we want to reassure you that we have gone above and beyond the recommendations in order to reopen our center safely to provide you with the essential service of childcare. The following procedures will continue to be followed. It is imperative that you read and understand the protocols so that they are efficient and safe for all.
- A daily wellness check will be given to every child upon entry into the building.
- This includes a daily temperature check, questions being answered by parents, and signed verification of no symptoms present at time of drop off.
- All Acorn Montessori Preschool staff will also do daily temperature checks and wellness screenings upon entry.
- Acorn Montessori Staff will be wearing cloth masks until further notice in addition to social distancing as is possible for the student demographic. We realize the recommendation of 6 feet social distance is challenging in a preschool setting.
- Handwashing is prioritized; youth and staff are washing hands after every activity, before and after mealtime.
- Children will be in small groups led by staff across the building. No large gatherings inside or outside.
- The preschool program will run daily 7:30am – 4:30pm through May 29th. (Any changes due to the evolving nature of the pandemic will be communicated quickly.)
- Recess times between preschool and pre-k, as well as between small groups will be staggered.
- Extended space during all meals.
- All toys, items, playground equipment, furniture, and anything students use will be cleaned, disinfected, and sanitized daily and multiple times throughout the day.
- Gloves will continue to be worn during diapering, bathroom assistance, and meal service. All of these areas will be additionally cleaned and disinfected immediately after each use.
- We will have a no visitor policy until further notice.
- Nap mats will be six feet apart during naptime.
- All adults must use hand sanitizer upon entry; students will continue to wash hands upon entry.
- Pens used for sign in will be one at a time and sanitized daily.
- We request that families who wish to have childcare and staff working with children do not travel outside of Yavapai County. This will reduce the possibility of spreading illnesses particularly from areas with higher numbers of COVID-19 cases. If you must travel, we ask that you keep your child home for an observation period.
- DROP-OFF – Parents will complete daily well check, sign their child in, and a classroom or office staff member will walk the student to their classroom. This is to limit contact and ensure the recommended distancing policies. Only one family in the entry area at a time. Please wait outside until check in is available.
- PICK-UP – Parents will sign their child out and office staff will notify the classroom teachers so that a staff member can walk the child to the office to leave for the day.
- All special events have been cancelled until further notice in order to follow the no large gathering guideline.
- Children will be kept in smaller groups within the classroom.
Everyone is equally susceptible to contracting COVID-19 upon exposure. Currently, there is no cure or vaccination available to prevent contracting COVID-19. Proper sanitation practices, avoiding contact with infected persons, and self- quarantine at the onset of symptoms are the most effective ways to prevent contraction and spread within the community.
It is still recommended that the safest place for children at this time is at home. However, we understand that childcare is an essential service and is necessary for parents who need to work outside of the home. It is important to understand that while health and safety is our number one priority and we will do everything we can to minimize the spread of viruses through continued rigorous cleaning and disinfecting procedures, there is always an increased risk of spread when small children are involved. Bringing a child to a childcare center does present an increased risk of contracting COVID-19, as well as any virus common in the community and among children. We are confident that we can provide high-quality, safe, and necessary care for your child during this time and we will continue to exceed all state and federal guidelines in an effort to prevent the spread.
Attendance: It is imperative that we know when students will be attending our program each day as well as the times of anticipated attendance. We must be able to adequately staff our classrooms and only want as many staff members as needed on site. This also allows us to purchase the correct amount of food for breakfast, snacks, and lunch. You must indicate when your child will return to preschool as well as the anticipated times of drop off and pick up.
Billing: As you know, all of our students have a two-week credit. Once you return you will be credited with that two weeks as your child attends.
We appreciate your support and trust in us while we navigate this difficult time in our community. Should you have any questions, concerns, or needs for clarification, please do not hesitate to contact us.