The past few months have been tough for everybody. Both parents, preschool teachers, and preschoolers have had to make sweeping changes and sacrifices to their life routines due to the pandemic. Initially, many parents pulled their kids out of preschool. However, a significant number of parents, that are first responders and essential service workers, needed to keep their kids at preschool. As time progresses, the number of children returning to preschool continues to rise despite uncertain times. Everyone acknowledges the importance of maintaining the momentum of learning for preschoolers during COVID. So as a preschool teacher, it's more important now than ever before to make sure your preschool operates safely to help minimize exposure and spread risk.
Here are a few suggested precautions on how to adapt your preschool to increase safety:
Expand Drop Off and Pick Up Times
To prevent congestion and coalescence of both parents and kids, expand drop off and pick up times at curbside with a teacher there to greet the kids. Instead of a thirty-minute window, consider an hour window to aide with social distancing.
Maintain Smaller Socially Distanced Classes
Experts recommend limiting preschool classes to no more than ten preschoolers. Having smaller class sizes that maintain a consistent teacher enhances social distancing. Moreover, it reduces the chances of spreading the virus between different children, classrooms, or teachers. Smaller, socially distanced classes help minimize:
- Sharing of toys
- Physical touch and hugging
Most preschools keep technology at bay. However, these tough times make embracing technology a necessity. Some of the ways preschools can embrace technology, and the new norm are by:
- Having some of their classes remotely through Zoom
- Creating a YouTube channel where kids can watch from home at their convenience
- Having tablets assigned in the classroom to specific preschoolers to prevent cross-contamination
Promote Mask Wearing and Hand Washing Where Possible
When promoting CDC guidelines, preschool teachers should help kids have a basic understanding of COVID 19 without frightening them. Kids should learn the precautions not as a task but as a way of empowering and protecting themselves and others. While encouraging to cough into their elbows and wash hands regularly, teachers should also remain vigilant by:
- Not requiring small children and babies to wear masks
- Supervising the use of hand sanitizer to make sure it is not swallowed
- Requiring hand washing when entering the classroom
- Checking temperatures of preschoolers as they enter the classroom
- Wiping down surfaces with a gentle cleaner regularly
- Maintaining a sick policy
Restrict Access from Outsiders
Preschool teachers should ensure that only the preschoolers and teachers can access the classroom. Parents should only enter in-case of an emergency to help decrease spread.
How Can Learning Box Preschool Help?
At Learning Box Preschool, we have spent the last few years creating a rich and inclusive curriculum for preschool kids. Our curriculum is certified and consistent with NAEYC requirements. Moreover, it is designed to be easy to use for both parents and preschool teachers. Let us provide the lesson plans so you can focus on the care of your preschoolers and spend more time with your family! For more information, read our blogs and shop our preschool curriculum boxes.