Our COVID-19 response
Update February 2022:
Our first priority continues to be the safety of the children in our care, as well as the safety of our staff. However, we also understand that frequent quarantines are a burden for our families, and are therefore constantly reviewing CDC and Department of Health guidelines for childcare in order to find the best policies for our families and staff.
We have therefore decided to reduce our quarantine period from 10 days to 7 days, under the condition that proof of a negative test can be provided for each child, taken on day 5 or 6 of the quarantine period. Please see details below.
Updated Quarantine Guidelines:
- We will reduce the quarantine period from 10 days to 7 days, on condition of proof of a negative test for each child.
- Your child must be tested on day 5 or 6 of the quarantine to return to CELC on day 7. Tests administered before day 5 will not be accepted.
- Parents must provide proof of the negative test. This may be a copy of a web-based or app-based result, or even a picture of the rapid test results.
- The test can be a PCR or rapid test. It does not need to be done in a lab or clinic. CELC will be offering an on-site testing option to parents. Details are listed below.
- If your child tests negative on day 5 or 6, they will be able to return to CELC on day 7.
- If a child tests positive on day 5 or 6, we will not be extending the quarantine period for the whole classroom. Only the child who tested positive on day 5 or 6 will be affected by a longer isolation period.
- We reserve the right to switch back to a 10-day quarantine period if several children test positive on day 5 and 6.
- Parents can choose to continue to observe a 10-day quarantine period. If you choose to keep your child out for a full 10-day quarantine, please inform our office staff.
- Every positive case presents different details and specifics, so it is important for families to read their emails carefully when a positive case has been found in their child’s classroom. Quarantines are not always cut-and-dry, and every scenario will be unique.
Rapid Testing On-Site for Families:
- We have received a shipment of rapid tests from the Department of Health. The tests must be administered on-site as they require a special test reader to process the tests. If you have trouble finding a test site and would like to test your child on site at CELC, please contact Mesa about setting up an appointment time.
- Our rapid tests are nasal swab tests, they must be administered by the child’s parent/guardian. CELC staff will not nasally swab any child.
- Each test takes approx. 20 minutes to process, and we only have access to one testing reader. We will only be able to test a max of 12 children per day. The parent must be present to administer the test to their child, however, once the test is processing, the parent and child may leave the site, and the results of the test will be sent directly to the parent.
- These testing slots will be first come, first served in the order in which email / phone requests are received.
- These rapid tests are only available for CELC staff and children.
- Like with any testing site, sometimes trouble-shooting errors may occur. If a nasal swab is not conducted properly, the test will come back as invalid. If your child’s test comes back as invalid, we will have to schedule a retest. An invalid test will not qualify for your child to return to CELC. A retest will not count as one of the 12 testing spots available.
- If days 5 and/or 6 of the quarantine period falls on a weekend, we will not be offering rapid testing for families. Families will have to find a testing location off site or find an alternative rapid test.
If your child has Covid:
- If your child is feeling ill, please keep them home and test them before returning to CELC. We know this is not always a fool-proof method in detecting Covid, as more and more children are asymptomatic.
- If your child ends up testing positive for Covid, please alert the CELC main office as soon as possible.
- If your child has Covid, you must observe a 7-day isolation period for your child, starting with the day of the positive test result.
- Your child may return on day 7 of their isolation period if their symptoms were mild, if their symptoms have subsided and they have been fever free for at least 24 hours.
- Your child must follow a 10-day isolation period if they experienced severe symptoms from Covid, if their symptoms persist beyond day 7, and they continue to run a fever.
If your child has had Covid within the last 90-days:
- If you can show your child’s positive test within the last 90 days of exposure, you will not have to submit a negative rapid test on day 5 or 6 in order to return on day 7. The positive test must be provided to Mesa or another CELC administrator.
- If you cannot provide your child’s positive test within 90-days of exposure, you will be required to provide a negative test for your child on day 5 or 6 of the quarantine in order to return on day 7 after exposure.
- CELC understands that while your child is within 90 days of testing positive, they have a natural immunity and do not need to quarantine, as guided by the CDC. However, we are currently not able to keep a classroom open only for those children who have had Covid within the last 90 days. We may re-examine this policy in the future.
If you have Covid in your household:
- If someone in your family has tested positive for Covid, alert CELC immediately to determine the specifics of your isolation/quarantine from CELC.
- If your child happens to be at CELC when your family learns of the positive case, please call CELC immediately. Your child would then need to be picked up as soon as possible.
- After learning of a positive case in the household, please have your child tested right away. If needed, parents please feel free to reach out to the CELC main office to schedule a rapid test for your child on-site. At CELC, so much depends on the results of a test after a household exposure, so it is our preference for tests to be administered (on-site or off-site - parent’s preference) as soon as possible.
- If your child tests positive after learning of the household exposure, your child would have to observe a 7-day isolation period. If your child experiences intense Covid symptoms, they would be required to isolate for 10 days. Please alert CELC as soon as possible, as in this scenario, the child’s classroom would have to quarantine.
- If your child tests negative after learning of exposure, the child should still follow the 7-day quarantine period along with the positive household member. The child would then have to be tested on day 5 of the quarantine.
- If on day 5 or 6 of the household quarantine, the child tests negative for Covid, the child would be able to return to CELC on the 7th day of quarantine. These results must be provided to CELC.
- If the child tests positive for Covid on the 5th day of quarantine, their quarantine period would then start from the day the child tested positive, and their 7-day isolation period would begin. These results must be provided to CELC.
If your child has had their Covid Vaccinations:
- Children 5 years and older are eligible to get their Covid vaccinations.
- While it is not required for children who are 5 and older at CELC to get their Covid vaccinations, it is strongly recommended.
- Those who are fully vaccinated do not have to quarantine after exposure. However, at this time, CELC will still require all children to quarantine after exposure, regardless of vaccination status. We expect to re-examine this policy in the future as vaccinations become more widespread.
Masking for Preschool Children:
- CELC will continue to recommend and strongly encourage our preschool families to supply a mask for their child, but we will not be making child masking a requirement.
- If a child asks to wear a mask, CELC will supply the child with a disposable one, but we are not able to provide masks for every child, every day.
- We have found that for the majority of preschool aged children, they cannot responsibly wear a mask for the entire duration they are in our care.
- If a parent provides a mask for their child, CELC staff will make their best effort to encourage the child to wear their mask.
- CELC will never force a child to wear a mask if they do not want to.
- Cubs, Teddy Bears and Tigers are not encouraged/allowed to wear masks due to their age.
- Children who are napping, regardless of age group, are not permitted to wear a mask. This is a safety hazard.
Masking for School Age Children:
- School age children will be required to wear a mask any time they are at CELC.
- Parents are encouraged to supply masks for their school age child.
- School age children will not be required to wear masks while they are eating or playing outside.
- School age children can take breather breaks while in the gym if they are running around and being active.
Parent and Staff Masking:
- Parents are required to wear masks while in the CELC building. There are masks hanging from the doors, so if you do not have one, please find one to wear. Parents should still make every effort to provide their own masks, as our supply relies heavily on shipping and resources.
- Staff should be masked at all times while they are in the CELC building, with the exception of drinking and eating.
- If a parent sees a staff member without a mask on (when they should be masked), please let our office staff know so that they can remind the staff member to properly wear their masks.
- Vaccinated staff can take their masks off while on the playground.
- CELC will still try to keep the integrity of our classroom “bubbles” intact.
- We will try to limit indoor interactions between the classrooms as much as we can.
- Please understand that there may be situations where the classrooms will have to combine (in the gym only) due to staffing. Classrooms may not combine in other classrooms. (EX: The Love Bugs can’t combine in the Happy Face room at the end of the day)
- Classrooms may only be in the gym together in the case of a staffing emergency. Classrooms have individual times in the gym and should not combine unless necessary.
- Classrooms may combine on the playgrounds. The chances of transmission while outside is considered low.
- For now, the Teddy Bears and Tigers may stay combined. We are looking at solutions to this but may take time due to staffing. Please bear with us while we find a way to fully separate the classrooms.
Covid Quarantine Credits:
- For now, CELC will still be following our most recent protocol on our quarterly quarantine credits. If your child’s classroom is closed for a full week due to Covid, please alert the office if you would like to use your quarterly quarantine credit.
- Parents have the option to continue to observe a 10-day quarantine period. Depending on the circumstances, you may be able to use your quarantine credit to cover your extended quarantine.
- Parents also have the option to use their quarterly quarantine credit if their child has Covid, or there is Covid in the household, and your child will have to miss a full week of care.
- If you ever have a question about your quarantine credit, please reach out to our office staff.
- Please note that due to our billing system through Kangarootime, a credit issued for a quarantine week will most likely be applied to the week following the quarantine.