Dear Families,

                We hope that you are all staying well during this time. We are eager to see your children again. However, this means that some things will be changing at Home Away From Home.

Starting this coming week (May 18th) the St Louis County and Missouri State “Stay at Home Orders” have been lifted. There are still restrictions in place that directly affect how Childcare is expected to operate at this time. This is going to require us to implement some new policies and procedures at Home Away From Home CCC.  We appreciate everyone’s understanding as we try to make plans moving forward to protect everyone.

Going forward –

Pick up and drop off procedures will change: Staff will be greeting parents on the front porch, wearing a mask and scrub jacket, at this time a daily health assessment must be completed before a child can stay for the day. NO one except children and HAFH staff will be allowed in the building. Please wait at a distance if there is another person on the porch. Allow them to leave before coming to the door. Pick up will be similar. Please wait on the porch for a staff member to bring your child out to you. If at all possible it is recommended that the same person drop off and pick up each day.

The daily health assessment will include

 1) Temperature checks for child/ren and adult dropping off. If anyone in the family is running a fever or having any other symptoms of illness the child/ren will not be allowed to stay.

2) A list of questions and answers will be recorded to determine any risk of exposure.  If a child or family member should become ill, they will need to be fever and symptom free for 72 hours. They will also need to have a note from a doctor stating, clearly, the date it is safe for the child to return to childcare. (fever free means without the use of fever reducers such as ibuprofen or Tylenol).

3) If any family member that the child has been exposed to has traveled to a “Hot Zone”. The child cannot attend for 14 days.

Hours of Operation

To allow HAFH staff to do required cleaning and sanitation recommended by the CDC our hours will be temporarily shortened. Our new temporary hours will be 6:30-5. This will be re-evaluated as needed.

Limiting risk of exposure

 Children will no longer be allowed to bring items from home. When they return please bring a blanket and 2 changes of clothes, marked with their name, that can be left at school. If your child needs a comfort item for nap please limit it to a small one that can be machine washable.  Please don’t forget socks or slippers. We will take care of laundering these items as needed.  The only exception to this is medications, baby bottles, breast milk, and formula.

Diapers and Wipes

As always, we will notify you when your child needs diapers or wipes Please send only unopened packages. Another option would be to have them shipped direct to school. (7523 Flora Ave, Maplewood Mo 63143) if you choose this option let me know so we can watch for the delivery.  If your family is having a hard time getting any essential needs for your child, please let us know we would be happy to help link you with resources in the area.

Classroom items and activities

 Any items that are hard or impossible to sanitize will be temporarily removed from use. Playdough and other art supplies will be divided and labeled for individual use and not shared. Children’s individual supplies will be stored in a manner to avoid contact with others. All bedding will be cleaned and sanitized every 3 days or more often if needed. Children will not be allowed to handle food or eating utensils used by other children. Infants and toddlers will be restricted to their own play area. This will help us ensure proper cleaning and sanitizing of toys since this age group is exploring and learning by using all their senses. 

I have attended many webinars, trainings and zoom calls from United 4 Children, Kids Win Missouri, Child Care Aware, on best practices for childcare in this time. All the new things that we are putting in place are from direct guidance from the CDC, Caring for Our Children Standards, American Academy of Pediatrics and State and Local Health Departments.  We will continue to monitor information as it becomes available and may have to make changes. We appreciate everyone’s understanding as we all work together to be healthy, happy and safe.