AUBURN, Ala. (WSFA) - Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey announced Thursday that more types of businesses and events can restart despite an increasing number of COVID-19 cases across the state. Under that amended order child day care facilities are open subject to social distancing and sanitation rules and guidelines.
“It’s a lot more than just keeping everything clean,” said Big Blue Marble Academy CEO Scott Cotter. “We’re doing our temperature checks and health screenings outside of the facility and then we have a staff member escort the child to their classroom.”
Cleaning and disinfecting are only the first of many steps when providing for children that may be too young to understand what social distancing means.
“Our cleaning protocols have always been extremely sanitary, now we’ve obviously increased them significantly in terms of frequency. Our staff are wearing masks when inside the facility. We’re requiring them to scrub in and scrub out each when they arrive for their shift,” Cotter said.
That seems to be the running theme. Joyland Child Development Center Director Pamela Dumas said she has had professional cleaning done for her entire building.
“We’ve had Servpro to come out and sanitize the entire classroom with a fog. I’ve had Peaches’n Clean to come out and clean the carpet,” Dumas said.
In addition to extra sanitation efforts, child care providers say they’re also changing the way that children interact with each other.
“The point of trying to social distance within a classroom is, just to be quite honest, very challenging in a preschool classroom. Certainly, during nap time and opportunities like that and during lunch and other small group time, they are certainly spacing children out,” Cotter said.
At Joyland, even the toys will be separated.
“We’ll give them a certain amount of toys that they just play with. Any children that come from the same household, we’ll let them play together. Any children with parents that work in the same facility, we’re going to try to let them play together,” Dumas said.
Both Big Blue Marble Academy and Joyland Child Development Center teachers will also be wearing smocks inside of the building