By Sanket Phadke
We understand the fear and concerns of young parents once their little ones need to step out of the safety circle of their home, once schools resume. The pandemic is far from over, considering the fluctuation in the number of cases. Thankfully, children have not been largely impacted by the COVID-19 situation, however they are at a high risk owing to a still developing immune system.
With this in mind, counselling children about the new normal is of utmost importance. A new normal which includes social distancing in public, wearing masks, sanitization of belongings and washing hands. WHO has released a Three Ps Guidelines Principle to regulate safety around children, amidst the Coronavirus breakout (Source: www.http//who.int).
The Three Ps expand to Preparation, Precaution and Prevention. Schools need to design protocols to comply with the physical distancing, preventive hygiene and daily examination of school staff and children for any Coronavirus symptoms. One such great preparatory measure for your Preschool would be to mapping your school campus into zones – you can color code and demarcate the school campus into Green (Very Safe), Yellow (Safe) and Red (High Risk) Zones.
As the preschools and day care centres open up now, the cases might episodically shoot up if the necessary precautions are not observed. To take you through, here’s a list of Must and Should be’s that schools need to prep themselves up with –
1. Adhere to Government guidelines strictly during and post-lockdown.
2. The preschool premises should be sanitized and disinfected by professional service providers.
3. Appoint an in-house medical professional team to deal with any emergency situation.
4. Get regular medical check-ups done of the school staff including helpers, transport personnel and other employees.
5. Contactless thermometers should be used to record temperature; maintain a chart of the same.
6. Strictly follow One Child per Bench Policy.
7. Preschool staff should compulsorily wear face masks at all times, when in school premises.
8. Stagger Opening Timings – This can be a great safety measure for preventing a big influx of students, advisably as per age groups to minimize contact between children of different age groups.
9. Put up easy to understand sign boards around the whole premises.
10. Allow a 5-minute break after every class for establishing a hand-wash routine.
11. Offer mental health support to staff and students
Apart from these, there are a few long term measures that can be implemented for building an overall safe and hygienic environment around the school premises. Here are a few–
Sharing is Caring; however, this can be scary now. Hence, no food or stationery sharing should be allowed as a rule.
Regular training sessions on sanitization of students and staff should be conducted at regular intervals.
If a COVID positive case is detected, the school should immediately collaborate with health officials to track and establish contact / travel history.
When it comes to infrastructural changes, make a conscious effort to reduce human touch points such as door knobs, handles, trash cans. Identify and mark “Restricted Entry” zones. Additionally, ensure that the school infirmary is fully equipped with an Isolation Room and mark the floor with Social Distancing Stickers since it would be difficult to implement the same with a busy school.
Although reopening the school might seem like a daunting prospect right now, taking these proactive measures, will help you in developing a safe and stress free learning transactional space for teachers and students alike. In these unprecedented times, we understand that growing your Preschool and ensuring sustainability is a tough job.
Our MyPreschool portal provides you with a holistic approach for enabling the growth of your Preschool and equips you with all the nitty gritties that go into running it. To know more about the same register here and find tools to match with your objectives and goals of running a successful Preschool.
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