As always, we are putting safety first to protect our families and staff.
We continue to work closely with our expert medical advisors, and follow CDC guidelines on protocols for centers in communities that are slowly lifting some restrictions.
Stay home if sick. If you or your child has felt unwell, or displayed signs of COVID-19, we ask that all household members stay home until they’ve been symptom-free without medication for at least 48 hours (in some centers, 72 hours. Check with your center director for your location’s policy). Classrooms will be open to well individuals only.
See what we’re doing to keep our community safer:
Pick-up and Drop-off
- Same person drop-off and pick-up: Families are asked to assign one family member for drop off and pick up to minimize exposure to multiple people. If this is not possible, we ask parents to call the center upon arrival and the staff will bring children in from, and out to, the car.
- Temperature 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 sanitize their hands, put on gloves, and take their child’s temperature with the center’s no-touch thermometer. Parents will share their child’s temperature reading with the center staff and it will be recorded at sign-in.
- Health screenings: Parents and staff will answer some health screening questions at drop-off, and we will monitor staff and student health throughout the day.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
- Masks for adults: All teachers are required to wear masks while inside our centers. Fully vaccinated staff members have the option to remove masks while outside if they can maintain social distance, in keeping with CDC guidance. You’re considered “fully vaccinated” 14 days after your second Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, or 14 days after your single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine. While outside our program, fully vaccinated families arriving for drop-off or pick-up do not need to wear a mask per the updated CDC guidance, but must put their mask on before entering the building.
- Masks for kids: We recommend students ages 3 and up wear face masks in our centers. In some states, younger children may be required to wear a mask. Check with your center director for your location's policy.
- Smocks: Teachers in infant and toddler classrooms will wear smocks during close contact.
In the Classroom
- Restricted classroom access. To minimize potential exposure, we ask that families not walk children to the classroom. Instead, please check in with staff in the lobby, and they’ll escort your child to their classroom. Classrooms will be reserved for teachers and children only.
- Classroom cleanliness. Toys, books, craft materials, cubbies, and other high-touch surfaces will be routinely disinfected and rotated. We will pause the use of sensory tables, play dough, large pillows or stuffed animals, and other materials that are difficult to clean.
- Sick space: Centers will have a dedicated space (in or out of the classroom) where teachers can care for sick children while being separated from others until a family member can come to pick 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 also 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.
- Teacher Absence Protocol: To protect the integrity of our center’s pod structure, and to make sure student and staff safety is prioritized, if a teacher cannot make it to class (due to illness or otherwise), we will attempt to bring in a substitute teacher from the same pod or ask the pod manager to teach the class.
- Class closures: As a last resort, we might need to close the classroom if there are no pod-appropriate teachers available to lead the class. 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 be serving themselves.
- Naptime adjustments: Children will continue to sleep (without masks) six feet apart whenever possible and be positioned alternating head to toe or toe to toe. Bedding will be laundered nightly. Stuffed toys and personal items will be sent home nightly for laundering to help combat germs in the center.
- On the playground: Outdoor play structures will be utilized by one class at a time, with increased time between play to allow for thorough cleaning of all surfaces.
- Field trips and events: There will be no center-wide events or trips, but classes may participate in either trips or events if there is no close contact with students from other classrooms or the public. In some centers, trips and events could be cancelled or postponed until further notice.
- Handwashing and sanitizing: Everyone who enters the building will need to wash 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 our students under 5 years old who are not wearing masks, we will continue to model and teach them how to safely cover coughs and sneezes with tissues or elbows. We will help students remember to wash 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.
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.