Our Response to Covid-19
Enhanced Health and Safety Practices
We are following guidance from state and local officials as well as health and childcare authorities, as we develop protocols for safe and healthy childcare environment for children, families, and staff, such as:
- Protective Masks: Face coverings are asked of parents entering the building during pick-up and drop-off (we provide them to all staff members during the day or for travel from or to work). In the cantone of Zurich all caregivers wear masks from 11.9.2020 onwards, based on the recommendations of the childcare associations. Visitors to centers must wear face coverings.
- Limited Room Access: To prevent the spread of germs, we are asking parents to remain in common areas of the center only with limited access to the rooms.
- Enhanced Health Practices: We have strengthened our cleanliness and hygiene practices (including more frequent hand washing; diaper-changing with gloves, frequently cleaning and sanitizing surfaces and items, shoe-coverings for visitors). Hand sanitizer are available throughout the center.
- Staff Wellness Checks: If a staff member feels unwell, teams are quick to screen for mild symptoms as well as raised temperature. Teachers who show (even mild) Covid-19 symptoms must wear face coverings and must leave the premises immediately. They must follow official healthcare protocols regarding testing and quarantine until results are in.
- Child Wellness Checks: If your child does become ill during the day, we will call you immediately so they can be picked up as soon as possible. Should that occur, please be sure to pick up your child promptly for their well-being, and to help us limit the spread of illness. In case of Covid-19 symptoms parents must contact a physician regarding official health protocols.
- Sick at home: Please remember your child must be kept home if they display any signs of illness.
- Events and field trips: We reduce our children and staff’s health exposure by refraining from center-wide events or trips, but groups may participate in either trips or events if there are no increased health risks.
Please reach out to your center director for local protocols in your center and area, or if you any questions about health and safety matters. We are all in this together!
FAQs for Childcare Families: Responding to the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)
The safety and well-being of our children, families, and staff is our top priority.
What enhanced health and safety protocols are you taking in general?
We are following guidance from state and local health as well as childcare authorities to maintain a safe and healthy childcare environment. 94% of our teachers agree that protection and hygiene protocols have been implemented well by staff members, parents, and children. This includes – face coverings during pick-up and drop-off, restricted classroom access, frequent hand washing and cleaning and disinfecting surfaces and items in our centers. Our teachers build handwashing and age-appropriately learning about germs and Covid-19 right into their curriculum. Next to our hygiene, cleaning and sanitation protocols, our teachers are very sensible to how well children and colleagues feel throughout the day to respond appropriately.
What about emotional well-being of children with all these protocols?
Our focus is on the health, safety and well-being of each child, family, and staff member; this also includes emotional well-being. Covid-19 has put a strain on everyone, and children feel the anxiety we adults experience in this pandemic. Our classroom activities include age-appropriate explanations of Covid-19, a pandemic, recognizing emotions, showing vulnerability, empathy development and friendship building. We are proud that 97.5% of our teachers agree that children have enjoyed going to childcare during the lockdown period.
Will you stay open if there is a confirmed diagnosis in your community?
Our goal is to maintain our normal schedule in our centers as long as it is safe for children and teachers. The safety and well-being of our children, families and staff is our top priority. In any case of a confirmed diagnosis in the community (e.g. at the School of the Apprentices) however, we follow the guidance of state and local healthcare departments regarding contract tracing and quarantine.
What happens if someone at the school is diagnosed with COVID-19?
If a child or teacher at our center was diagnosed with COVID-19, we follow guidance from the state and local health departments, which include contact tracing, quarantine, potentially group or full center closure.
What if my child does not have symptoms, but a family member has been diagnosed with the coronavirus?
Following guidance of childcare and health departments your child must stay home for 10 days following the most recent exposure to any member of your household, or any other person in contact with your child, who has a confirmed case of COVID-19.
What about traveling to risk countries?
The health authorities have indicated that traveling abroad can increase risk of exposure. If you or anyone in your household (or any of our staff) has returned from or has plans to travel to risk countries, they must wait 14 days after returning to Switzerland before entering our childcare center again. The list of risk countries may be updated regularly. Please plan to check the state’s website for updated travel guidance before returning to the childcare center.
If a childcare center closes due to coronavirus, do you have other options for care? (Can families attend at another one of your locations if our location closes?)
To prevent the further spread of illness we strictly follow the guidance of state and local health departments. If we must temporarily close a center following their guidance due to a case involving one of our children or staff in that center, children, staff and potentially parents from that center will most likely be contacted by the local health departments, quarantined and thus not be permitted to attend any other of our centers.
Learning at Home
As the coronavirus situation continues to evolve, we understand the stress it puts on parents, and we are striving to support you as best as we can. One way our teachers are doing that is with fun learning resources you can share at home with your child or whilst home-based holidays. Get in touch with our teachers for their advice and the many resources they have created for families during the lockdown.
Looking for Immediate Care?
Are you a family in need of back-up care? Please contact our family services department at 044 536 55 32 or 043 243 06 49 for more information. Are you a major healthcare provider, hospital or employer of any other system-relevant field that needs back-up care for your employees? Or a healthcare industry worker with immediate childcare needs? We are here for you.