We have always been committed to having a clean and safe environment! Now more than ever, our dedication to ensuring a clean learning environment makes us stand apart.
What cleaning materials should a child care center use?
At a minimum, all daycare centers should follow state licensing requirements. In Rhode Island, this is “Any product used for cleaning, sanitizing and/or disinfecting is approved by the United States Environmental Protection Agency and is used in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.” (1.8 Health, Safety, and Nutrition, Section G. Environmental Health, #2)1
However, traditional cleaning products like bleach and quats (quarternary ammonium compounds) are toxic to humans, corrosive to materials, and harm the surrounding environment. Quats & chlorine bleach can exacerbate or cause asthma. When diluted, bleach is effective for only hours. 2
Buckets, rags, mops, and wipes are still relied upon at most facilities today, despite the fact that they leave up to 75% of room surfaces untouched. Inconsistent application, worker error, and time constraints further complicate the challenge of keeping facilities clean and sanitary. These challenges become more alarming in the face of increasing threats.4
At Dr. Day Care, we use PURTABS for a safer clean.
PURTABS are effervescent disinfecting and sanitizing tablets that deliver accurate strength solution every time, eliminating “measure and pour” guesswork. PURTABS dissolve in water to produce a variety of strengths that meet the range of needs for every facility. From the low-level sanitization required for food-contact surfaces, to powerful infection control for C. diff in healthcare settings. 3
PURTABS unique chemistry is less toxic and safe enough for daily use, yet powerful enough to kill dangerous microbes. It is proven to disinfect 99.999% of a wide variety of bacteria and viruses, including “super bugs” like MRSA and H1N1, without causing the mutation of other “super bugs. 2
These EPA registered tablets dissolve quickly in water to form a sanitizing solution that is NSF D2 certified safe for food contact surfaces with no rinsing required.3
Coronaviruses are large enveloped viruses. PURTABS kills similar viruses and therefore can be used to effectively kill COVID-19 on hard surfaces when used in accordance with directions for use against Norovirus on hard porous/non-porous surfaces.4
Know the difference between cleaning, disinfecting, and sanitizing
It is especially important at a child care facility that cleaning and sanitizing occurs throughout the day. Surfaces and objects that are touched often should be cleaned daily, such as desks, countertops, doorknobs, computer keyboards, hands-on learning items, faucet handles, phones, and toys.
Understand the difference, as explained by the CDC5:
Cleaning removes germs, dirt, and impurities from surfaces or objects. Cleaning works by using soap (or detergent) and water to physically remove germs from surfaces. This process does not necessarily kill germs, but by removing them, it lowers their numbers and the risk of spreading infection.
Disinfecting kills germs on surfaces or objects. Disinfecting works by using chemicals to kill germs on surfaces or objects. This process does not necessarily clean dirty surfaces or remove germs, but by killing germs on a surface after cleaning, it can further lower the risk of spreading infection.
Sanitizing lowers the number of germs on surfaces or objects to a safe level, as judged by public health standards or requirements. This process works by either cleaning or disinfecting surfaces or objects to lower the risk of spreading infection.
Educate children on preventing the spread of germs
We have always focused on teaching children how to stay healthy and safe. Handwashing has always been a big part of our culture at Dr. Day Care!
Teach children to wash their hands:
upon entering the classroom
after each diaper change / after toileting
before & after eating
before & after playing in sensory table, including after playing in water table, or other shared water experience
after handling dirt, sand, etc.
We also teach children to cover their coughs and sneezes! Here is a quick explainer video from the CDC you can watch with your child:
At Dr. Day Care, we have always valued a clean environment for your child.
Read below for an excerpt of our Cleaning Policy:
Clean using soap and water with a paper towel.
Sanitize to kill most germs. Clean first, then sanitize. Sanitize items that have been in a child’s mouth. Sanitize food preparation surfaces and tables used for eating before and after meals, according to ServSafe® guidelines.
Disinfect to kill all germs. Clean first, then disinfect. Disinfect bathrooms, diaper changing areas, or any area that came in contact with bodily fluids.
All products used for cleaning, sanitizing, and/or disinfecting are approved by the United States Environmental Protection Agency and are used and prepared in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. All products are to be stored and kept away from children.
For surfaces that are cleaned, sanitized, or disinfected:
Step 1: Wipe up.
Remove any visible dirt, food, etc. using a paper towel, as needed
Step 2: Clean.
Use soap and water with a new paper towel. Use a new paper towel for each surface. Remove soap residue with water and paper towel.
Step 3: Sanitize or Disinfect.
Spray the solution directly on the surface or on a paper towel used to wipe the surface.
Let the solution air dry (based on the solution strength, typically 1 minute).
Step 4: Wash your hands.
Dr. Day Care Sanitize & Disinfect Plan:
To sanitize and disinfect, Dr. Day Care sites use PURTABS.
To sanitize, PURTABS solution should be measured to equal 100 ppm.
To disinfect, PURTABS solution should be measured to equal 538 ppm, to make hospital grade disinfectant solution.
To ensure a clean environment and to minimize the spread of COVID-19, we have made the following amendment to our cleaning policy:
Only individual sensory activities will be allowed and labeled with the specific child’s name. No large group sensory tables can be used or shared sensory experiences can happen. Soft toys/fabric pillows will not be used in the classrooms. All toys will be cleaned and sanitized at least daily or as needed to prevent the spread of germs (i.e. a child puts a plastic toy in his/her mouth immediately taken out of rotation until properly cleaned). Outdoor equipment needs to be cleaned and sanitized between groups in order to reduce spread of germs. For bathrooms that are used for more than one stable group/classroom, the toilets and sinks are labeled for the specific stable group/classroom (i.e. Toddler 1 and Toddler 2 share a bathroom with 2 sinks and 2 toilets, one sink and one toilet labeled Toddler 1 and second sink and second toilet labeled Toddler 2). For programs within an elementary school, each stable group will have their own bathroom. Water fountains that require physical contact (i.e. need to press a button to operate) will not be used.
Training our teachers
We ensure every teacher understands the importance of proper cleaning. Cleaning procedures are covered during new employee orientations, staff meetings, and as part of ongoing annual professional development. Dr. Day Care offers online trainings, including a full training on Cleaning In A Child Care Center.
1 RI Department of Human Services (DHS) Child Care Center and School Age Program Regulations for Licensure