Cleaning and Sanitation for Family Child Care
It is important to keep your program space clean and sanitized to prevent the spread of germs. This includes surfaces, toys, and materials. It is also important that staff and children keep their hands and clothes clean of germs.
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Guidance for Cleaning and Sanitizing
Two-step cleaning process
1. Cleaning removes surface dirt and impurities and reduces risk of infection by reducing the number of germs.
- Clean with warm water and soap. If no soap is available, use another detergent with water.
2. Disinfecting reduces risk of infection by killing germs.
- Disinfect using commercial EPA-registered disinfectant or alcohol. The stronger the disinfectant and the longer it stays on the surface, the more germs it will kill.
- Full-scale cleaning and disinfecting should be done after hours, when children are not present. This will give the space time to air out before children are back.
- Spot cleaning and disinfecting of frequently touched areas should be done regularly throughout the day, even when children are present.
- Every day, prepare a new disinfectant solution of bleach and water in a spray bottle. Clearly label the bottle with its contents.
- If you have staff, assign one person to be in charge of cleaning throughout the day.
- Create cleaning and disinfecting stations for toys and materials. Put everything that needs to be cleaned in that place.
- Clean and disinfect restrooms after each use.
- Make a schedule for cleaning and disinfecting high touch areas throughout the day.
High touch areas include door knobs, light switches, faucets, toilet flush handles, and tables. What else in your program is touched often?
- Disinfect shared items before they change hands from one child to another child.
- Clean and disinfect the children’s individual boxes, baskets, and crates of supplies at the end of the day or more frequently as needed.
- Have individual blankets for each child. Label the child’s blanket with his or her name. Keep them at your home and wash them regularly.
- Have an extra supply of clothing for the children that you can wash when needed.
- Advise parents to not bring any personal items from home, such as food, clothing, or toys.
- Post images to reinforce health and safety measures
- Get children involved! Teach them about the importance of cleaning by giving each child a spray bottle of water to use while you do the real cleaning.
This video shows the morning routine at a family child care program, including cleaning and sanitization before and during drop-off time.
- All staff, visitors, and children should wash their hands frequently.
- Develop handwashing routines. Have all staff and children wash hands when entering, before and after indoor or outdoor play, before and after eating, and after napping.
- Put up signs to remind staff, visitors and children to wash hands. Use signs in all bathrooms to instruct on proper handwashing technique.
- Make supplies needed for good hygiene easy to access. Put handwashing stations, soap, paper towels, and alcohol‐based hand sanitizer in appropriate places in your home.
- Make it easy for any adult entering the home to sanitize their hands on entry with soap and water or alcohol‐based hand sanitizer.
- Have children regularly wash their hands with soap and water or hand sanitizer.
- Supervise all children during handwashing. Make sure they wash for 20 seconds. Make sure they wash between their fingers and around their thumbs.
Do not let young children use hand sanitizer without supervision. There is a risk of alcohol ingestion.
- Make handwashing fun!
- Use a timer to help staff and children wash their hands for 20 full seconds.
- Or, teach children a song that takes at least 20 seconds to sing. Tell children to wash their hands while they sing the song.