COVID - 19

Pinebrook Montessori Kids Enrichment Center is actively monitoring the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) and will be updating this website regularly to share information about the Center's preparations and responses. We are also following the CDC and DC Department of Health guidelines on responding to the virus.

The Department of Social Services guidelines for opening tell us how many children we can have in a class and that classes cannot mix to reduce the risk of spreading COVID19 to the whole community.  This presents some challenges for us regarding our daily schedule, napping routines, and afternoon lessons for the older children, but we are confident that we will make it work and create and maintain a healthy learning environment for everyone! 

Some changes we have made:
  • Drop off and pick up procedures have changed in order to do daily health checks and minimize the number of people entering our building

  • Please call us 10-15 minutes before pick up so your child will be ready at the entrance.

  • Cleaning and disinfecting procedures, which will impact our end-of-day routine and pick-up time

  • School events and family gatherings will be paused until such time as it is safe

  • Parent education events will look a little different — stay tuned for more information

  • No visitors allowed at this point

  • Our timings changed from 7:00 am to 6:00 pm

Health Check


As required by the Maryland Department of Social Services, families are required to inform the daycare if they have symptoms of any illness. COVID19 symptoms will require us to report it to the Maryland Health Department to receive next step instructions on possible exclusions or temporary closures. Their temperature will be taken with a touchless thermometer, and they will be excluded with a temperature of over 100.4. The baseline temperature for admittance is specifically without the aid of medication. Parents will be asked if their child has any symptoms of COVID 19. If any of these are present, the child will be denied entry until these symptoms have been resolved and/or the child is under a physician’s care with adequate documentation to provide proof of care and eligibility to return to the daycare. Children who show signs of COVID19, or any other illness, while at the daycare will be isolated and parents must pick up from the daycare immediately and/or appoint an emergency contact person to pick the child up if they are not able to do so. Parents must keep the daycare informed of the progression of the illness and if the symptoms develop into a positive diagnosis of COVID19. The Maryland Department of Health is requiring us to contact them for further instructions on management at the daycare level. The same procedures will be applied to the adults in the environment, including health checks and exclusion for symptoms. Our main goal is to keep our daycare community a safe and healthy place to be.




Social Distancing and Use of Masks


Even though the principles of social distancing are in direct contrast to the Montessori philosophy, our teachers are ready to do what it takes to keep children safe in our environment. Our main goal with social distancing is to minimize the transfer of bodily fluids from one person to another, as much as possible. This will require us to touch each other and the things in the classroom as little as we can. Our plan to accomplish this, as recommended by the Department of Social Services, is for each child to bring a banker box to school with supplies such as crayons and scissors, so no one will share supplies with anyone else. The children will work out of their box in a designated space in the classroom. The lid placed on top of the box will create their own box desk. All teachers wear masks throughout the day. Children between 2-4 years are recommended to wear masks. 5 years and above are mandated. Please start practicing mask wearing at home. Here is a website that might be helpful. Children will stay within their classroom group throughout the day to minimize contact with others. Children will not mix on the playground for the same reason. We will do our best to minimize close contact between the students and their classmates however we are aware, as educators, that this may be a difficult thing to do. Children at this age are naturally curious and interested in their classmates’ activities. We will do our best to guide and practice distancing and we appreciate your conversations at home to also help remind your child of this guideline.




Hygiene


Hand washing will take place multiple times a day, when entering the environment, after toileting, before and after eating, after playing outside, when leaving to go home, and many times in between. Children will be required to take care of all bodily functions and cleanliness needs, including how to cover their mouth (ideally cough into their sleeve or a tissue) when they cough, how to blow and properly wipe their nose, and wash their hands after, as well as taking care of their bathroom routines and properly washing their hands.




Disinfecting and Cleaning


CDC guidelines require that all surfaces that are touched by children and adults be either washed or sanitized daily. The materials the children use in the classroom will be washed with soap and water after each use. Door handles, light switches, faucets, tables and chairs, etc., will be disinfected either daily or after each use. Ventilation filters will be changed on a regular basis. During appropriate weather, windows can be opened from the top to allow for ventilation.




Testing for COVID-19


The CDC has determined that testing should be used for contract tracing and case investigation, but not to determine if children are allowed to return to daycare Therefore, testing prior to daycare starting will not be required.




Schedules, Closures, and Outbreaks


Our daily schedule will basically stay the same. The changes in arrival and departure times are to give us time to sanitize the entire building after each day’s use. This will be a learning process for us, so please be patient while we figure out what works best. If outbreaks occur in our community, we will follow the guidelines of the County's Health Department. Parents should prepare for these occurrences and, to the best of our ability, we will move to an online format in order to continue lessons and foster connection with children and teachers. While we understand this is not the ideal method, until there is a viable vaccine, this “School at Home” format may occasionally need to be used in times of closure. Please understand that tuition is expected to be paid regardless of whether we are in daycare or online. We still have all of our financial responsibilities regardless of where we interact with the children.




Lunch, Snack, and Naps


Children will bring their own lunch, as usual, as usual, but now packed in a disposable bag, with each item in the bag packed in a disposable bag as well. Nothing will be sent home. Even three year olds need to be able to open all of their items by themselves. For example, if your child has difficulty opening a cheese stick wrapper, please take it out of the original plastic wrapping and put it in a baggie. This way, teachers can avoid touching any containers and food. For drinks, please only send flip top thermos water bottles with water. Children may use the water fountain to refill throughout the day and we will send them home each day for you to wash. If you forget to bring a thermos of water the children will be offered water from the daycare. However, we urge you to send a bottle each day for children to have with them. Teachers will not be able to keep special drinks or other food items in the fridge. Please make all preparations for your child to be as independent as possible with all items disposable. Your child will also bring a snack for mid-morning, and if your child stays all day, they should bring a second snack to be eaten at 3:00. Please prepare the fruit so your child can be as independent as possible. Slice the apples, peel the oranges, cut the grapes, etc. If your child will be taking a nap, their small blanket must be able to fit into a small box that we will provide. This way the children can manage their own belongings and keep them separate from the others in the nap room. We will forgo sleepy toys for now in the interest of not spreading germs.




Changes to the Classroom Environment


In order to create an environment that is easily sanitized, we are changing out some of the materials for paper substitutes that children can work with and then take home instead of being put back on the shelf. We will also be rearranging the rooms, removing the cubbies we have always used in lieu of the box the children will keep their belongings in. Other changes may be necessary. Rest assured, however, that your child will continue to receive a true Montessori experience!





A more detailed explanation of the changes outlined above is listed below. Please read them carefully so you are well informed as to how the daycare looks and feels.

If you have any questions, please direct them to info@pinebrookdaycare.com