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First Steps COVID-19 Protocols

First Steps COVID-19 Protocols
Preschool CoVid-19 Illness Protocol

Our Standard Illness Policy

Our first line of defense in the fight against CoVid-19 is the strict enforcement of our existing illness policies. Any child exhibiting symptoms listed in that document (see LIST A below) must stay home until symptom-free for 24 hours (without fever reducers).


  • Oral temperature of over 100 degrees within the previous 24 hours
  • Vomiting or diarrhea within the previous 24 hours
  • Unexplained skin rash
  • Eyes, ears, or throat inflamed or having discharge.
  • The general appearance of illness
  • Any evidence of lice or nits

Symptoms of CoVid-19

Symptoms of CoVid-19 can mimic many other illnesses common in childhood such as flu, strep, allergies, asthma, and the common cold. These symptoms include but are not limited to:


  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Body aches
  • Headache
  • Loss of taste and/or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

Children exhibiting any of these symptoms should stay home. If, in addition to these symptoms, the child has experienced the following,


  • Had close contact (within 6 feet for at least 15 minutes) with a person with confirmed CoVid-19.


LIST A = Stay home until symptom-free for 24 hours

LIST B = Stay home until symptom-free for 24 hours

LIST B + LIST C = Stay home and see your doctor for possible CoVid-19 testing

LIST C = Carefully monitor for any symptoms of infection


In a preschool setting, we expect children to contract and share the usual illnesses. We do not want to over-react to every cough or sneeze while, of course, being diligent to protect every child in our care to the best of our ability.

These are the Center for Disease Control recommendations:

  • Testing is recommended for all close contacts of confirmed or probable COVID-19 patients.
  • Those contacts who test positive (symptomatic or asymptomatic) should be managed as a confirmed case of CoVid-19.
  • Asymptomatic contacts testing negative should self-quarantine for 14 days from their last exposure (i.e., a close encounter with confirmed or probable COVID-19 case)
  • If testing is not available, symptomatic close contacts should self-isolate and be managed as a probable case of CoVid-19.
  • If testing is not available, asymptomatic close contacts should self-quarantine and be monitored for 14 days after their last exposure, with linkage to clinical care for those who develop symptoms.

Our procedure will be

  • If a child tests positive for COVID-19, all who have been in close contact (within 3 feet for at least 15 minutes) and who are symptomatic will be quarantined for 14 days from the last contact with the infected person. Those who are asymptomatic will quarantine for 10 days.
  • If someone in the child’s household tests positive for CoVid-19, or the child has close contact (as defined above) with an infected person, the child will need to be isolated from that person and stay at home for 14 days. If symptoms develop in the child, First Steps Preschool must be notified so that classmates may be alerted to be watching for any symptoms.
  • It is important that we maintain the privacy of our students and their families. The identity of the patient or other identifying information will not be revealed, alluded to, or confirmed by our First Steps Staff.
Operational Procedures for CoVid-19

Teacher Arrival Procedures:

Masks must be worn in all common areas inside the building.

Use Sanitizer or wash hands upon entering.

Temperature will be taken.

Screening questions will be asked. 

Student Check-in Procedures:

Enter at Atrium as usual.

Only one parent is allowed to come in with the child.

Both child and parent will have their temp taken. Temp over 100 degrees will not be admitted.

All students will check-in at the IPADS in the Children’s Atrium.

Screening questions concerning symptoms, exposure, etc. will be asked.

The parent must have a mask on when inside the building.

Markers and signs will be in place to ensure physical distancing of 6 feet.

Parents will exit through the doors by the Deer Room (near the old laundry room).

At the Classroom Door:

Parents must observe physical distancing of 6 feet.

A separate bin will be provided for each child to place their lunch box, drink cup, and diapers.

Teachers will wear masks at the door during greeting and dismissal times.

Children will receive name tags daily when they enter at the Children’s Atrium and check in at the I-pads.

In the Classroom:

Children will wash hands or use hand sanitizer immediately upon arrival. Hand sanitizer will be available as needed throughout the day.

Masks are not required for teachers in the classroom. However, they may be worn at the teachers’ discretion.

Disinfectant spray bottles will be used throughout the day to clean surfaces.

Each child will have their own supply box for crafts and activities.

Cubbies in both rooms will be used for Backpack, Rest Mat or Pillow, and Bin (Depending on the number of children in the class).

All toys will be disinfected by the teachers (sprayed) prior to being put out in the hallway to be put away.

Any toy put in the mouth will be put aside immediately and disinfected before use by another child.

No toys allowed that cannot be disinfected (i.e. Puppets, stuffed animals). Baby clothes and blankets need to be laundered daily.

Smocks will be worn by infant and toddler staff.


Teachers use gloves when handling and distributing food.

Children spread out throughout the room, using all tables.

As always, no sharing.

Placemats or trays to provide boundaries.


All Teachers and Staff will wear masks in the Hallways and Common Areas.

Opossums and Owls will have Music and Movement in their classroom.

All equipment used in Music and Movement will be sanitized between classes.

*The outdoor playground will be available for all classes.

*The Zoom Room can be used by all classes but must be disinfected between classes.                 

Check-Out Procedures

Parents (preferably the same one that dropped off) will check out their child/children at the desk in the atrium. (A staff member will be there to assist.)

The parent must have a mask on when inside the building.

Teachers will place Backpack, Rest Mat, and bins including artwork outside the classroom.

All Nap Mats, Rest Mats, and Pillows will go home every day to be laundered.

The parent will practice physical distancing as they approach the door and collect their child.

Parents will exit through the doors by the Deer Room (near the old laundry room).

Teacher Departure Procedures

Teachers will clean all surfaces prior to leaving the classroom.

Any toys used afternoon will be disinfected and put away by the teachers.

Any laundry will be taken to the laundry room.

Everything will be taken off the walls and off the counter and put away.

We want to do everything we can to keep everyone safe and still keep the day as “normal” as possible. As guidelines change, we will update our procedures to reflect the new recommendations.