Mighty Morningside and
Morningside PlayCare Community
(Staff & Families)
Our Practice & Recommended Home Practice MPC Community-Wide
I - MANAGING INDOOR GERMS
Wipe down toys at start of each day; deeply reduce number of available toys to make this feasible.
Wipe down doorknobs, handles, surfaces many times each day.
Sanitize hands each time we blow children’s noses or our own.
Clean children’s hands each time they go into mouths or nose.
Inform us immediately if you suspect that anyone in your household may have the virus.
II - KEEPING OUTSIDE GERMS OUTSIDE
Masks: Masks must be worn by children, parents and staff at all times. Acceptable masks include clear plastic face shields, so children and adults can socially read each other’s facial expressions.
Parents and Staff Arrival: Sanitize your hands at door of school (and door knob) before signing in. Wash children’s hands according to MPC protocol. Read Bathroom Protocol below.
Daily Temperature– Take each and everymember of your family’s temperature before leaving for MPC in the morning. Fever is a symptom. Keep your child home if anyonein the family has one. We will have a no-touchthermometer at the door. Use it if you forgot or didn’t have time to take it before leaving the house.
Up Your Bathroom Game:Wash hands while reciting the ABCs twice (20 seconds); watch a hand-washing video; be sure to scrub the nails and point hands down. Follow the MPC bathroom protocol below (and posted in bathroom).
Train Your Child: Since we know that young children are incredibly inclined to spread germs, we will be washing their hands often.
Train Your Child: Some of you have already done a fine job of training your children to cough into their elbows. We did a lesson this morning. Train at home.
Train Your Child:To rub the soap into their hands until it lathers while saying the ABCs; then againunder the water until fully rinsed while reciting the ABCs again.
Train Your Child:To keep fingers out of mouths. It’s not easy, but we are doing it here and beginning to see success. Help us.
Become a Door Knob Nerd: Open doors with closed shoulder, hip, or closed fist; grasp it with the bottom of your coat; a tissue – anything but your hands. Use knuckles to press elevator buttons, light switches, etc. – even if wearing gloves. Practice this inside and outside of MPC. And be that neighbor in your building who tells others to do the same. Not a time to mind your own business. Be a leader in your building – post a sign!
It’s All About the Face:Begin now developing the habit of not touching your face. (They say we do so 90 times per day. Work on reducing that number. (FYI, they say masks are good for reminding you not to touch your face.)
Handshaking- If you must, then forearm shake – better than knuckles.
Tissues Better than Elbow– Cough or sneeze into a tissue when possible; even better than an elbow. Dispose of tissue.
Follow the Established MPC Bathroom Protocol
Key features:Flush toilet with lid down; don’t touch anythingafter you wash your hands; use the paper towel to turn off faucets and open the bathroom door. At MPC, we teach children not to touch anything after they wash their hands – it’s a game; enjoy it at home with them. See attached. (also posted in bathroom). And keep this practice even after Corona is gone. (At MPC you will notice we use no-touch garbage cans, paper towels for bathroom hand drying, and have a hand-washing and potty protocol posted in our bathroom. )
Travel and Transportation: We require that all participants (families and staff) use only the safest options for travel to and from our activities.
· Walking Option:Pick-up or Drop-off occurs with an adult walking to and from. This of course means, we choose outdoor spaces convenient for walking.
· Designated Car: Pick-up or Drop-off occurs using our own dedicated car and driver.
· Staff uses one of these options.
Take An Abundance of Caution in Your Family/Work Life- If we each take this posture, we are more likely to keep MPC healthy, safe and open.
III – PLEASE DO NOT BRING YOUR CHILD IF YOU OR A HOUSEHOLD MEMBER HAVE...
Attended Large Gatherings:If you participate in a conference, convention, or crowded meeting do notcome to MPC or bring your child here for two weeks.
Symptoms of a Cold –If anyone in your family has symptoms of cold, please stay away for 2 weeks. Note:Some of our staff have coughing allergies; we won’t expect them to stay away if coughing is certainly due to allergies.
IV – POSSIBLE STAFF REDUCTION
As mentioned above staff who use subway, may have adjusted schedules. In addition, we have given both of our lead teachers permission to take personal/sick days even if they are not symptomatic, if they are concerned about coming to MPC because of their own risk factors or those of members of their household. I will fill in for them and find subs if possible. Please be aware that reduced staffing may result in a lower adult/child ratio than the state permits. Should this occur we expect OCFS to be OK with it under the circumstances, however you may have your own concerns; let me know if this is a problem for you.
V – WHY WE EXPECT OUR MPC COMMUNITY TO BE FINE
NYC has one of the best Health Departments in the world and we are under their direction;
Our families are a very smart, ahead-of-the-curve, and community-oriented group;
Morningside PlayCare had high standard protocols for health and hygiene prior to the pandemic; it’s a natural step for us to take things to the next level;
We are using a Whole Community approach: Asking all staff and parents to adopt the same high hygiene standards at school, at home, and on their respective jobs;
We serve healthy food and share information on supporting your immune system;
The power of faith, high expectations for behavior, and positive talk is well documented, and we believe we will be fine;
This too shall pass.
General Pandemic/Epidemic Policy
It is hard to predict when the next pandemic or epidemic will occur or how bad it will be, however experts predict that a severe pandemic outbreak could result in up to 1.9 million deaths in the United States. Many studies have demonstrated that school children are responsible for the majority of disease transmission. For instance, they have a high attack rate of influenza infection because they have limited pre-existing immunity and once infected, transmit influenza viruses to many others even before they themselves have recognizable symptoms.
In the event that the CDC or WHO or DOH identifies the presence of a potential pandemic/epidemic virus (such as Human Avian influenza A, SARS, H1N1 Swine Flu, Ebola, Zika), Morningside PlayCare will monitor CDC and local government recommendations and the Pandemic Severity Index guidelines for child care centers regarding school closures and social distancing recommendations. In addition, Morningside PlayCare will undertake the following practices:
•Any child who has returned, or whose immediate family member has returned, from a trip to an area for which the CDC has issued travel advisories due to a pandemic situation, or any child who has an immediate family member who has been infected, will be excluded from school for a minimum of 72 hours (or the incubation period for the virus as defined by the CDC).
•Any child with a suspected or confirmed case of the disease will be excluded from school until they have been asymptomatic for a minimum of 48 hours (or as long as is deemed appropriate by the state and local health department) without the aid of medication. The case will be reported to local authorities who will oversee the child’s re-entry.
•Morningside PlayCare will notify parents and staff of any confirmed or suspected cases known to us, so that they may contact their doctors for guidance as to whether to take antivirals.
•Morningside PlayCare will comply with any and all state or local health department guidelines regarding school closures, cleaning and sanitization practices, reopening, and re-entry of students after infection with the disease.
•Morningside PlayCare will utilize email as the primary method of communicating school closures and other information. In the event of an extended closure, we encourage parents and teachers to utilize email to keep in touch. We will do what we can to assist families in finding alternate care arrangements during a closure.
•Morningside PlayCare reserves the right, at the sole discretion of the Executive Director, to close the school at any time that such action is deemed appropriate in order to minimize the transmission of disease. Tuition will not be refunded for closures related to a pandemic or epidemic. Such closures may be deemed appropriate even in the event that there are not any confirmed cases of the disease in the school. Additionally, a closure may be deemed appropriate despite the fact that local school district or other local authorities have not undertaken similar action or issued a similar recommendation.