Updated Health & Safety Procedures
As always, we are putting safety first to protect our families and staff.
Rest assured, all teachers and staff will go through extensive training on health and safety practices we’ve developed to set a new standard in child care.
We continue to work closely with our expert medical advisors, and we’re following CDC and state/local guidelines on protocols for centers in communities that are lifting some restrictions. To learn more about what to expect at your location, contact your center director. The center director will be able to share the most current and accurate community-specific guidelines regarding daily drop-off and pick-up, masking, quarantining, and more.
Stay home if you’re sick. If your child has felt unwell or displayed symptoms of COVID-19, we ask that all household members stay home until they’ve been symptom-free without medication for at least 24 hours. Classrooms will only be open to teachers and students who are well. Currently, we ask families to help us lower exposure in our centers by remaining outside the classrooms.
Pick-up and Drop-off
- Drop-off and pick-up: When you arrive at our centers, don’t forget to mask up! That includes all adults and children ages 5 and up. We do recommend that children 2-4 wear masks if possible, and some states might require children younger than 5 to wear masks. At drop-off, we’ll ask you to attest to your child’s wellness. Each center might have a slightly varied drop-off process after the wellness check, so please contact your location’s center director for more specific details.
- Temperature and wellness checks: All staff will be asked to take their own temperature each day upon arrival and must be fever-free before entering KinderCare. When parents arrive at check-in, we’ll ask them to attest to their child’s health and wellness before dropping them off.
- Health screenings: Parents and staff will answer some health screening questions at drop-off, and we will monitor staff members’ and students’ health throughout the day.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
- Masks for adults: We follow CDC guidance regarding masks. We ask that all adults wear masks inside our centers, and at drop-off and pick-up. Staff who are fully vaccinated have the option to remove their mask outside on our playground while maintaining social distance.
- Masks for kids: We recommend students and visitors ages 2 and up wear masks in our centers and while at pick-up and drop-off. In some states, younger children may be required to wear a mask. Check with your center director for your location's policy. We require children ages 5+ to wear a mask in our centers.
- Smocks and face shields: Smocks and face shields will be available for staff who elect to wear them.
In the Classroom
- Restricted classroom access: At this time, only students and teachers who are well can enter our classrooms. This policy is in place to minimize potential exposure. Depending on your center, the drop-off location might vary (lobby, classroom door, outdoor covered space, etc.), so please contact your center director for more details about the protocols at your specific location.
- Classroom cleanliness: Toys, books, craft materials, cubbies, and other high-touch surfaces will be routinely disinfected and rotated. High-touch surfaces are disinfected frequently throughout the day.
- Sick space: Centers will have a dedicated space (in or out of the classroom) where teachers can care for sick children while keeping them separated from others until a family member can come to pick them up.
- Social distancing: We’ll continue to practice social distancing as much as possible to reduce risk. Please look for signage and floor markers in your center to maintain your distance at drop-off and pick-up.
- Pod structure: To limit potential exposure, we’ve implemented a “pod” structure where children are grouped appropriately to stay separated from other classrooms. Unvaccinated teachers and staff will stay within their assigned pod each day to minimize cross-contamination. Fully vaccinated teachers may support more than one classroom pod. For example, they might start their day with toddlers and end their day with preschoolers, depending on the staffing situation at the center.
- Class closures: As a last resort, we might need to close the classroom if a teacher calls in sick and we are unable to maintain the appropriate teacher-to-child ratio. We are working to recruit more part-time teachers and substitutes for each pod to avoid classroom closures.
- Modifications to family-style dining: We’ve modified our shared mealtime practices to reduce the spread of germs. Students will still eat together, but will not serve themselves.
- Naptime adjustments: Children will continue to sleep (without masks) three feet apart whenever possible and be positioned alternating head-to-toe or toe-to-toe. Bedding will be laundered regularly. Stuffed toys and personal items will be sent home nightly for laundering to help combat germs in the center.
- On the playground: We know that outdoors is one of the safest places we can be these days. To ensure all classrooms have plenty of safe outdoor time, we disinfect playground equipment and high-touch surfaces frequently throughout the day.
- Field trips and events: We will consider field trips and outdoor events on a case-by-case basis. We will only participate in events that adhere to our safety standards, and that allow adults and children to maintain a safe distance from one another.
- Handwashing and sanitizing: Everyone who enters the building will need to wash their hands, and we’ll continue to integrate 20-second handwashing into the curriculum. Hand sanitizer will also be available throughout the center.
- Covering coughs and sneezes: For anyone not wearing masks, we will continue to model and teach children how to safely cover coughs and sneezes with tissues or elbows. We will help students remember to wash their hands after touching their face or covering their coughs and sneezes.
- Travel: Please pay close attention to the CDC’s guidance around coronavirus protocols and travel to specific regions. If you travel to regions of concern, you will need to follow CDC guidance for quarantining yourself and your family before returning to KinderCare.
- Testing and vaccinations: We’re requiring weekly COVID-19 testing for all unvaccinated staff starting October 18, 2021. We’re working with each of our unvaccinated teachers and staff members to make sure their weekly testing is performed accurately and thoroughly, and that anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 remains out of the center until they’re back to full health.
Please reach out to your center director for specific protocols in your area, or if you any questions about our health and safety measures. We’re all in this together!
Frequently Asked Questions
If you have further questions, please visit our FAQ page.