Generations’ COVID-19 Response
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We take the health and safety of our children and staff very seriously. In the last several months we have made several changes to our health and safety procedures in response to Covid-19. We will continue to implement further changes as directed by the NYS Health Department, Office of Children and Family Services and NYS Education Department. Should any of our centers temporarily close parents will be notified. As a childcare program, OCFS requires us to review and, as necessary, strengthen all health and safety measures to compensate for the end of universal masking. As of March 7, 2022, Generations is “Mask Optional”.
Our additional cleaning and disinfecting remain in effect. We have used our electrostatic sprayers throughout the pandemic as an added means of disinfecting surfaces, etc. This will remain in place.
Generations will continue to check the temperatures of all children, staff and visitors upon entry to the building to identify any sign of illness as soon as possible. The remaining components of the daily health check will revert to the classroom teachers and will be documented in the classroom. This includes a scan of the child to look for signs of illness, if any are identified, our illness policy will be applied to determine if the child is too sick to be in care. As a reminder, the signs of illness identified in our parent handbook are VERY similar to signs of COVID.
If your child is sent home for illness, a sick child report will be given to you with requirements for necessary follow up and exclusion (if necessary) from the program. We appreciate your ongoing cooperation. We also will be distributing at home test kits for childcare families in the next week. School Districts have made these available to families and we are pleased to have the opportunity to do the same.
Additionally, parents will again be permitted to drop children off IN the classroom. You can feel free to enter the room, assist your child with removing his / her coat and put belongings away. Please, however, do not linger as drop off time is a busy time for staff, and they must attend to the children transition in the door. Also, we do not want to allow for too much congestion in the classroom entry ways.
We will also again be permitting itinerant teachers who deliver services to children to push into the classroom, but these teachers will be required to be masked as they visit multiple children daily in multiple programs.
As we move to “mask optional” it is necessary to remind families of the need for quarantine and isolation for exposure or illness. If there is an exposure and children or staff are not masked, the guidelines require a quarantine. This will be followed by a period of required mask wearing in some cases. The chart is included in this letter. If your family chooses to discontinue mask use, you should be aware of the guidance related to quarantines and isolation. Those who choose to continue wearing masks are fully supported. We will continue to be a “mask positive” environment so those who choose to or are expected or required to mask feel comfortable.
As is always the case, Generations has appreciated the patience, cooperation and support of staff and families during the past years. We are thrilled to be seeing faces again and are eager to help children build up social emotional skills that we have not been as able to focus on wearing masks. Please continue to help us keep everyone safe and stay home when you or your child is ill. We will continue to monitor the level of COVID illness in our community and should the need arise, policies will be amended to require stricter measures.
Frequently Asked Questions
Generations is taking COVID-19 very seriously while understanding that our program is a vital part of supporting families that require care in order to attend work. While we remain open, we are taking every precaution to keep our centers free from the virus. Please be patient with us as we all journey together through these uncertain times. This is an ever-changing environment and parents will be informed immediately if there is a change at their center.
What criteria will Generations use for closing a center?
We will be in contact with both county officials and the regional Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) regarding any directive to close. The Governor has recognized childcare as an essential service and as long as we are not directed to close we remain committed to being open for those families that need our program.
How will we know if you are closing a center?
Please continue to check email from us. Our messages come from firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have not received an email from us to date, and you are a current parent, please check your spam and allow for emails to be received from this address. We cannot predict the likelihood of needing to close as events can change daily. However, should we be directed to close during normal operating hours, families with children at the center will be called immediately.
Do you have enough staff to care for the children?
Yes. OCFS is ready and willing to work with us should we encounter any issues. In addition we employ a number of support staff who are able to support a center if there is an urgent need for more families to return to care.
How are you cleaning your centers?
While regular hand washing and appropriate respiratory etiquette practices still remain most important, we are cleaning and disinfecting each center throughout the day. Those measures include: Staff wearing a mask at all times, both inside and outside. Children are taught to cough or sneeze into their elbow and then perform hand hygiene (e.g., hand washing with soap and water, after having contact with respiratory secretions and contaminated objects/materials.) These are some of the most effective methods outlined by the CDC.
All classrooms are routinely cleaned and disinfected throughout the day, with documentation of each task recorded. Buildings undergo deep cleaning periodically. Should we be notified about a direct exposure to a confirmed case, we would ensure a deep clean takes place prior to any staff member or child returning to the classroom / center.
Will I get charged tuition if my child is not at the center?
We understand that while some parents can work from home, and continue to be paid, other families will face financial challenges if they are unable to report to work. We will make every effort to work with our families to support and relieve a financial burden. Current families will receive updates from their site director on tuition requirements.
Will you hold my child’s spot if they do not attend?
If the absence is a requirement from the health department, we will hold the child’s spot minimally for four weeks.
All employees and all family members who bring children to the center must attest to the following before entering the building:
- I have not registered a fever for the past 24 hours.
- I have not been in contact with a person with COVID-19
- I do not have any symptoms which the CDC has identified as consistent with COVID 19
Staff members and children are required to have their temperatures taken when they arrive at the center.
How will you handle children who become sick at the center?
First, we ask that you please do not bring your child to the center if they have a fever, cough or trouble breathing. Please have children stay home until they are symptom-free for at least 24 hours. If a child becomes ill or shows signs of coming down with something while at the program, we will follow our illness policy. You may be asked to seek medical advice or required to obtain a doctor’s note for your child to return.
Will you continue to provide transportation?
Yes. We do ask families that utilize our transportation to call the center if you are not sending your child to the program.