Daycare cleaning is a high priority now that many childcare facilities are reopening for the fall. While some locations are closing or delaying opening, others are resuming operations. During COVID-19, many daycares shut down to protect their staff, families, and most importantly, kids.
But now that things are somewhat returning to normal, daycares will face a big challenge: cleaning their facilities to eliminate the spread of common germs as well as COVID-19 while cases surge across the U.S.
Effective cleaning procedures are critical to keep kids from contracting the virus and to curb the spread. Although data shows that adults with underlying health conditions are the most affected, cases among children have risen by 90%.
Given all of this, it’s no surprise that parents everywhere are worried about sending their children back to schools and daycares. But directors and childcare providers can make them feel safe by implementing efficient and frequent daycare cleaning practices.
A QUICK Q&A WITH DAYCARE OWNER TAMMIE RODRIGUEZ
We interviewed 2XL customer Tammie Rodriguez, owner of Tammie’s Home Daycare. As a State of Illinois group daycare home, Tammie’s facility has plenty of little bodies running through her center.
As a teacher, daycare provider, mother, and grandmother, safety is her #1 priority. In this article, she shares her daycare cleaning challenges and how she’ll be making cleanliness her main focus.
2XL: What challenges do you face keeping your daycare center clean?
Tammie: My biggest challenge is that I have lots of little bodies running through the daycare. Children tend to touch everything – doorknobs, toilet seats, tables, chairs, you name it. If it can be touched, they touch it.
With everything that’s happening with the pandemic, it is important for me to make sure that all my high traffic areas are kept disinfected after each child touches or uses it. That means I’m pretty much cleaning and disinfecting all day.
2XL: What are your best practices for cleaning your daycare center?
Tammie: Disinfecting consistently is my secret weapon for keeping toys, markers, etc. germ-free. I just couldn’t bear it if one of my kids got sick. Not just from COVID-19, but from anything. My priority is always the safety and health of my kids.
2XL: What products should not be used for daycare cleaning (in your opinion)?
Tammie: Nothing that has not been proven [EPA registered] to kill germs should be used. Now more than ever, verified disinfectants approved by the EPA is necessary. Also, products that contain chemicals shouldn’t be used. Bleach and ammonia can be dangerous for kids so I stay away from them. Lastly, degreasers shouldn’t be used for daycare cleaning.
2XL: What surfaces do you prioritize during cleaning?
Tammie: I consistently clean high-traffic areas and high-touch surfaces. This includes walls, doors, doorknobs, and bathrooms.
2XL: Have you tried any new methods of cleaning due to COVID-19? Have they been successful?
Tammie: Yes! I am currently using 2XL Force Disinfecting Wipes. I absolutely love them! They are super easy to use. I’m not lugging a ton of bottles (with chemicals) with me.
SIMPLE DAYCARE CLEANING TIPS
Daycare cleaning doesn’t have to be complicated, it just has to be consistent and thorough. Follow these steps to keep your space safer.
Clean up bodily fluids ASAP
- Create a system so that vomit, blood, spit, and urine or feces get cleaned up immediately.
- Use easy-to-use disinfectant wipes to kill pathogens that spread via bodily fluids.
- One surface to have on your radar is changing tables.
- Wear PPE while you clean up bodily fluids and wash your hands after.
Wash porous items daily
- Porous toys like dress-up clothes and stuffed animals need to be washed daily. You can do this by washing them in a washing machine.
- Germs can live in the loose fibers of these items which makes them high risk for spreading infections.
- Follow these steps to properly sanitize and disinfect porous toys in your daycare center.
Disinfect toys and surfaces sick kids use immediately
- If a child is showing clear signs of an infection, you’ll need to clean each and every surface they’ve touched or come in contact with.
- You will have to make sure you remove all toys that they have played with to prevent germs from spreading to other kids. Disinfect contaminated toys ASAP.
- If you don’t do the above, the next child playing with the contaminated toy could become infected or if several children are exposed, an outbreak could occur.
Use non-toxic products
- Toxic chemicals like bleach, ammonia, phenols, hydrogen peroxide, and alcohol are ingredients are in almost all products. They’re also highly dangerous to children.
- Toxic products can cause breathing problems, asthma complications, lightheadedness and dizziness, skin irritation, burns, and blindness.
- Look for non-toxic, non-hazardous formulas that won’t pose a threat to the children in your facility.
Clean up spills
- If something spills, be sure to clean it up to keep other kids from playing in it or potentially slipping.
- If a liquid is left too long on a surface, it can accumulate bacteria. This will then make it dangerous for consumption.
- Floor spills are especially important to watch for. Beware of spills during meal times and around any shared sinks and in bathrooms.
Give your bathroom special attention
- Bathrooms are notorious places where germs spread.
- Many infections spread via bodily fluids.
- When you’re dealing with a shared space where children don’t have good control of their bodily functions and aren’t known for their handwashing skills, you’re going to get some gross stuff on toilet seats, handles, and on high-touch bathroom surfaces.
- Make sure you’re disinfecting all surfaces when cleaning your daycare bathroom. This includes nooks and crannies around your sink and toilet and all high-touch surfaces that children come into contact with frequently.
DAYCARE CLEANING IS ESSENTIAL
Daycares have been on the front lines of this pandemic. They allowed millions of essential workers childcare so they could do their part to keep our world safe. Now they’re stepping in to fill the childcare void created by school closures and online learning for the 2020-2021 school year.
Daycare cleaning has never been more important and challenging than it is now. In these COVID times, it helps to have expert advice, trustworthy cleaning products, and a plan to keep your facility clean. At 2XL we’re here to help you do just that.