Program Activities for Family Child Care

Information to avoid spreading germs during drop-off, pick-up, nap time, and meals.

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Drop-off and Pick-up

Screening for illness

Start the day with health screenings for yourself and any staff, and all children on arrival. 

  1. Ask, “Has any member of the family experienced a fever, cough, shortness of breath, diarrhea, sore throat, and chills in the past 24 hours?” 
  2. Take a temperature check, using a no-touch thermometer or, if that is not feasible, a verbal check on whether the person feels feverish.
  3. Ask, “Have you been exposed to anyone who might have had COVID-19?”

Write down the results of the screening. 

Staff, children, parents/caregivers, and visitors should be reminded regularly that they should do their own at-home symptom checks. If they are ill, even with mild symptoms, they must stay home.

Set-up

  • Establish an outdoor parent screening and check-in area, such as a patio, front entrance or porch. This is where parents should sign in and drop off their child, and sign out and pick them up. 
  • Make the check-in area welcoming. Decorate it and post important information for parents.
  • Require all adults to wear face coverings and stand six feet apart. If possible, mark areas six feet apart to help people keep their distance.
Screening at entrance
  • Require children over two years old to arrive wearing their face coverings.
  • Post signs reminding parents that they will not be able to enter the family child care home with their child(ren).
  • Post signs that describe symptoms that may require a child to be kept at home.
  • If families need to do drop-off or pick-up by car on a busy street, establish a welcoming protocol.

TIP

Provide each parent with a separate clipboard or plastic report cover with retractable pen for signing in their child(ren) at the beginning and at the end of the day. 

TIP

You can leave notes about anything that happened with the child on the same clipboard and attach any flyers for parents on the clipboard.

Best Practices
  • Stagger drop off and pick up times if possible.
  • Ask parents to have the same person drop off and pick up the child(ren) every day.
  • Label each sign-in/sign-out clipboard with the child’s name. Sanitize it at the end of each day. 
  • Or, give each parent a new pen to sign their child(ren) in and out. Have the parent place the pen in a “used” box to be sanitized before the next use.

TIP

Welcome children to their classroom with a simple set of posted steps with picture cues to start their day, such as:

  • Place your lunchbox on the counter
  • Wash your hands and face
  • Put your things in your workspace
  • Go play!
Ideas for Your Program

Click on any photo or video to enlarge it.

This video shows a drop-off routine.

Nap Time

  • At naptime, place cribs/cots at least 6 feet apart and alternate them from head to foot. If 6 feet is not feasible, create as much space as possible between children and arrange them from head to foot.
  • Label each child’s mat or cot with their name.
  • Remove face coverings from children before they nap.
  • Do not have children brush their teeth at the program.

TIP

Instead of brushing children’s teeth at your center, encourage children to brush their teeth at home. Give families educational materials and online resources on oral hygiene and the importance of teeth brushing.

  • Ensure ventilation during naptime with open windows to allow air to circulate and remain cool. Depending on the temperature, consider opening windows in addition to using air conditioner to keep room cool and well ventilated.
  • Wash all bedding regularly; store bedding in individual bags with child’s name on it.
  • Disinfect cots/mats weekly.
Best Practices
  • Embrace nature! Set up an open, outside napping environment, if space allows for it.
  • Try yoga! Five minutes of yoga a day before nap time is an activity that can be done 6 feet apart, and it fosters toddlers’ and preschoolers’ cognitive development, physical development, and self-regulating skills.

Snacks and Meals

General guidelines:

  • Clean and disinfect eating surfaces before and after each use. Allow enough time to air dry.
  • As much as possible, have children sit at separate tables, not shared, or in high chairs or seats at least six feet apart.
  • Hold snack and lunchtime outside if possible.
  • Remember handwashing for 20 seconds before and after snacks and mealtime.
  • Remind children never to share or touch anyone else’s food or drinks.
  • Facilitate conversations among children over mealtime while maintaining physical distancing.

If you serve food at your program:

Copy of Jessi Gonzalez 1
  • Prepare and serve snacks and meals from a single location. Sanitize it often.
  • Use extra precautions by wearing gloves when preparing meals. 
  • Give children individual portions of food.
  • Don’t serve food buffet-style or family-style.
  • Offer pre-packaged foods when possible.
  • Use disposable plates, cups, and utensils to minimize contamination risks.
  • For Family Child Care Homes that participate in the publicly funded food program, remind parents to not send food with their child.

If children bring food from home:

  • Make one drop-off place for lunch boxes containing snacks and lunches for the day.
  • Clean the outside of lunch boxes before storing them in the refrigerator.
  • Encourage parents to pack healthy snacks and lunches.

Guidance for Staff Meals:

  • Face coverings should be worn as much as possible. This means staff should avoid eating or drinking except during their breaks. 
  • Staff should only eat and drink if they are able to safely remove their masks and physically distance six feet apart from others.

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