In light of recent events, the Coronavirus (COVID-19) is sweeping across the nation causing wide-spread closures. Schools are extending their spring breaks by additional weeks, and big events are canceling. We understand that as a daycare facility, you will soon see a rise in attendance of your students. Although we can’t know for certain which ISDs have been closed for additional weeks or months, we are aware that the attendance count for lunch will increase drastically. TDA will not disallow any school age child you claim for lunch during these days.
During this time, your food and milk purchases will increase. If you are unable to find an important food component, such as milk, you are instructed to document the date, store location or vendor, and the food component you are trying to purchase. Sign this documentation with your facility name, and submit it to Child Food Program of Texas through fax, email, or the File Cabinet. This will ensure that your meal can still be reimbursable. Child Food Program of Texas is keeping up-to-date with USDA and TDA’s waivers and rulings during these times.
Practice Proper Hygiene
Considering the upcoming surge of attendance to your daycare facility, we suggest you take this opportunity to teach your daycare children about practicing proper hygiene to help prevent the spread of the virus. Here are ten ideas to use:
1 Sing the ABCs while washing your hands. It takes about 20 seconds, which is an ideal washing time.
2 Wash your hands after using the toilet.
3 Wash your hands before eating a meal.
4 Wash your hands after normal activities such as playing outside, playing on the floor, or playing with communal toys.
5 Cover your face when you sneeze. It is best to teach children to use the collar of their shirt to cover their faces if they don’t have a tissue.
6 Brushing your teeth after every meal will not only help fight cavities, but it helps fight potential bad breath.
7 Though doctors insist that we do not touch our faces during this time, we understand it’s an impossible rule for children to follow. It’s a good to explain to the older children why touching their faces is a bad idea, but keep in mind that younger children won’t understand.
8 Have employees clean communal toys thoroughly. Use disinfectant wipes to kill the germs, and then use regular soap and water to remove the alcohol content. Do not give toys back to children without using soap and water to remove the disinfectant! Disinfectant wipes are the best way to kill 99% of germs, but it is dangerous for children to handle.
9 Be sure your employees shower or bathe every night to wash off the germs they acquire from working with numerous daycare children. While we can’t guarantee parents will bathe their children every night, we can do our part to help prevent contaminations.
10 Above all other important handwashing moments, it is imperative that your employees wash their hands before preparing meals and handling food.
Do not use hand sanitizers!
USDA does not recognize hand sanitizer as a method of cleaning hands,
because it is not as effective as regular soap and water.
Remember: Children mimic what they see.
If a grownup doesn’t practice proper hygiene, why should they?