COVID-19 Info

Jack & Jill parents and families…

We continue to take the health and wellness of our children, staff, and families seriously at Jack & Jill Early Childhood Learning. We have developed a Child Care COVID-19 Mitigation Plan in accordance with Executive Order 20-48, to follow the guidance from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

The Mitigation Plan provides specific steps we have taken, that we have informed you of previously. We strive to keep our children and staff safe and in a healthy environment, while operating during this unique health crisis. The Mitigation Plan outlines our continued strategies, such as physical distancing, limiting group sizes, hygiene and cleaning practices, screening, and exclusion criteria. The Minnesota Rule 3 licensing guidelines we follow also safeguard the health and safety of children in care and the Mitigation Plan provides for additional measures we have taken to continue to prevent, mitigate, or respond to the transmission of COVID-19 in a child care setting.

Most of the information contained in the Mitigation Plan is information you have already received from us in the past several months. The MDH and CDC guidelines related to COVID-19 and child care settings continue to change – sometimes weekly – as public health experts learn more about this virus. For this reason, we are sharing our current Mitigation Plan.

As more positive cases occur throughout our community, we want to reinforce the importance of hand washing, physical distancing, and use of masks whenever possible.

Effective July 6, 2020, or as soon thereafter you receive this notification, we encourage parents to wear masks when dropping off their child at curbside and upon picking their child up at curbside of the building. Staff will wear masks for curbside duty.

We will encourage staff to wear masks when entering and exiting the building for the start and end of their daily shift and when in common areas intermixing with other staff.

We will continue to follow MDH guidelines for relating to contract tracing, quarantine or testing for COVID-19 related issues. For the safety of our staff, families, and children, we will continue to take safety measures seriously. Please help keep our staff, children, and families safe and keep your child home if experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19. For anyone experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, we will continue to send home or deny entry into our program.

We will inform you of any laboratory confirmed positive COVID-19 testing in our program as we receive notice from MDH.

Thank you for your continued support of our program. We hope that all of you stay in good health and enjoy the summer.

Warm Regards,
Carol L. Arens,

COVID-19 Mitigation Plan

Hand washing and Healthy Hand Hygiene Behaviors

All children and staff will engage in hand hygiene at the following times:

  • Arrival to the facility and after breaks

  • Before and after preparing food or drinks

  • Before and after eating or handling food, or feeding children

  • Before and after administering medication or medical ointment

  • Before and after diapering

  • After using the toilet or helping a child use the bathroom

  • After coming in contact with bodily fluid

  • After handling animals or cleaning up animal waste

  • After playing outdoors or in sand

  • After handling garbage

  • Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If hands are not visibly dirty, alcohol-based hand sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol can be used if soap and water are not readily available.

  • Supervise children when they use hand sanitizer to prevent ingestion.

  • Assist children with handwashing, including infants who cannot wash hands alone.

  • After assisting children with handwashing, staff should also wash their hands.

  • Posters are placed near sinks describing handwashing steps.

  • Ensure staff wash hands before assisting children with sunscreen and between each child.

Cleaning and disinfection protocols have been intensified, including:

  • Schedule for daily cleaning and disinfecting for surfaces, objects that are frequently touched, including toys, games, doorknobs, light switches, classroom sink handles, countertops, nap pads, and toilet areas.

  • Geneon Mister Cleaning System: An electrolyte solution is used nightly in each building, using a hospital grade disinfectant, that kills 99.99% of all germs, viruses, etc. This cleaning system is used by airlines, cruise ships and hospitals. This system has been in use at our buildings for 5 years and used weekly. We have intensified the usage by spraying the buildings nightly. All areas, toys, surfaces, etc. are misted in this process.

  • Daily cleaning schedule to clean and disinfect all toys in each classroom.

  • Machine washable cloth toys laundered daily.

  • Toys are not shared with groups of children in other classrooms.

  • Infant crib sheets laundered weekly, or daily as needed.

  • Parents required to take home toddler and preschool blankets weekly for laundering.

  • Personal clothing items of each child, including blankets, should be in a labeled bag, to be used at the time of drop-off and pick-up.

  • High touch surfaces such as doorknobs, light switches, counters, tables and chairs, and program equipment are regularly cleaned and disinfected.

  • Toys and shared supplies are cleaned, and mouthed toys are sanitized after use.

Arrival and departure:

Drop-Off and Pick-Up Changes Effective April 20, 2020

Contact between parents and staff members will adhere to the social distancing recommendations.

  • Staff will greet children outside as they arrive.

  • Designate a parent to be the drop-off and pick-up daily to limit direct contact as much as possible. Ideally the same parent/guardian should drop off and pick up the child every day. We ask grandparents or those with serious underlying medical conditions should not pick up children.

  • Infants may be dropped off in their car seats. All infants will need to be awake upon arrival to be accepted in a car seat. Families should label their child’s car seat with a luggage tag and the child’s first and last name. Car seats will be stored out of reach on the car seat holders.

  • Upon arrival in the building children will wash their hands with soap and water before joining their classroom for the day

Screening of Children Upon Arrival

Jack & Jill will assess children at the time of drop-off for illness, and families may be asked the following screening questions:

Does the child have any of the following symptoms:

  • Temperature/Fever of 100.4 degrees F or above: Yes/No
  • Cough: Yes/No
  • Shortness of Breath: Yes/No

If all of the ABOVE are NO, the child can now enter the program. If ANY of the ABOVE are YES, the child WILL NOT BE ALLOWED to join the program for the day.

Plans for sick children, staff, and volunteers

Jack & Jill has a protocol in place to handle a laboratory confirmed positive COVID case at our program. We will continue to communicate information as we receive it from MDH.

  • Regarding other communicable illnesses (i.e. strep throat, hand, foot and mouth illness, etc.) you will receive a notice via email informing you of the classroom and illness reported. We do realize you are unable to see the signs posted outside of the classrooms any longer due to the curbside drop off and pick up.

  • Before attending work, all staff must pass the screening process daily and before entry to the building.

  • Staff are asked to call in advance of their inability to work for the day and advised not to come into work to discuss your symptoms.

  • Staff may not attempt to enter the workplace, staff lounge area, kitchen, or classroom setting with any sign of illness or COVID like symptoms of any type.

  • Jack & Jill will ensure sick policies are supportive of children and staff and they will be asked to stay home when sick.

  • Children and staff are asked to stay home if they are waiting for COVID-19 test results.

  • Alternate staffing is in place in the event staff are ill or need to stay home from work.

  • Jack & Jill does not have any volunteers.

We remain fully committed to sharing information we receive from MDH and informing you of reported communicable illnesses. MDH has provided us with the following form letter to inform you if and when your child has had contact within your child’s classroom with a lab confirmed COVID-19 case. MDH will notify us directly of a lab confirmed positive case. Upon notice from MDH, you will receive via email the following information:

  1. The Exposure Exclusion Recommendation letter for children who were present in the classroom of the infectious case.

  2. The Contact Fact Sheet for children who were present in the classroom of the infectious case, as it is provides additional detail on the quarantine recommendations.

• Sample Exposure Form Letter Notice

Resources that families may find valuable are: • CDC Coronavirus • MDH Coronavirus

For anyone experiencing symptoms consistent with COVID-19, we will continue to send home or deny entry into our program.

• The COVID-19 Exclusion Guidelines have been updated as of 6/2/20

• What to do if you have had close contact with a person with COVID-19

Social distancing throughout the day

Social Distancing Strategies

  • Each group of children are kept in a separate classroom with the same daily staff.

  • Children currently attending will remain in their existing classroom setting with the current daily staff.

  • The mixing of children will be staggered for playground times, transitions in the corridor and lobby areas.

  • Classrooms have been separated by partition walls to allow for a maximum group size of 10 children for active learning and active play areas.

  • Staggered learning times for learning, including art, large motor, fine motor, and active play time.

  • Playgrounds have been separated into separate play areas to allow for a group size of 10 children in each assigned space. Staggered entry and exit times to allow for transition in and off the playground, on the sidewalk, and in the building commons space.

  • Nap mats and cribs spaced out as much as possible and children will be placed head to toe for napping.

  • Visual cues (arrow stickers) have been placed in the hallways and common corridors to direct one-way traffic flow and distancing.

  • Staff lounge area seating has been spaced out to restrict staff from close gatherings. Separate staff areas have been formed to allow staff to each their lunch privately and maintain physical distancing guidelines.

Cloth face coverings

Effective July 6, 2020, or as soon thereafter you receive this notification, we encourage parents to wear masks when dropping off their child at curbside and upon picking their child up at curbside of the building. Staff will wear masks for curbside duty. We will encourage staff to wear masks when entering and exiting the building for the start and end of their daily shift and when in common areas intermixing with other staff.

Information we have received from the State of Minnesota regarding masks:

  • Cloth face coverings are an important piece of mitigating the spread of the virus, but are only effective if it can stay in place without being pulled on or touched by the person wearing it or others. Within this context, the provider, staff members, and volunteers are encouraged to wear cloth face coverings during the work day as much as possible.

  • Children should not wear cloth face coverings unless they can reliably wear, remove, and handle the cloth face covering throughout the day. Cloth face coverings should NOT be put on infants or children younger than 2 because of the danger of suffocation.

  • Face covering guidance is available here
  • Additional face covering guidance

Outdoor activities

Jack & Jill owns and maintains its buildings and private playgrounds. We continue to use our playgrounds daily and the following safeguards are in place:

  • Playground use is staggered, and daily playground time is scheduled to a maximized consistent group POD of 10.

  • PODS refrain from intermixing as much as possible.

  • Children wash hands before and after using the playground structures.

  • Each POD has its own bag of toys and balls and are only used by their POD daily. The toys and balls are sanitized after each playground use.

  • Bicycles, sand toys, and other summer toys are not in use on the playground.

  • Playground structures are routinely sanitized.

  • Public and community playgrounds will not be used.

Meals and snacks

Jack & Jill Childcare contracts with Premier Catering, a separate entity of the program, and its staff prepare all meals and do not work within the caretaking of the childcare setting.

  • Meals continued to be prepared in a commercial kitchen setting.

  • Meals are served to the child’s disposable plate.

  • Food preparation is not done by the same staff who diaper and/or caretake for the children.

  • Classrooms have separate food preparation sinks and are not used by the children.

  • Children continue to wash their hands prior to and immediately after eating.

  • Staff wash their hands before preparing food and after helping children to eat.

  • Children eat in their PODS of 10 children to prevent the intermix with other children as much as possible.

  • Meals are not served family-style.

  • Kitchen staff will wear masks preparing and serving food.

Field trips and events

Jack & Jill Childcare and its school age program, JJ’s Jam, has revised its summer programming and will not be taking any field trips off campus for the summer 2020.

  • The JJ’s Jam summer picnic and the annual Family Appreciation picnics scheduled for July and August have been cancelled.

  • JJ’s Jam will use virtual formats for guest speakers and reading programs.

  • JJ’s Jam Art Curriculum Teacher is a staff of the program.

  • JJ’s Jam uses the outdoor coned off vacant parking lot areas for outdoor large motor play.

  • School age Children are reminded of the importance of social distancing while using the restrooms.

  • Floor signs are posted for the children STAND HERE and BE SMART STAY 6 FEET APART and are used within the hallways and corridors and restroom entry.

  • If PODS do become intermixed, cleaning and sanitizing occurs between any groups.

Reducing the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace

Staff will continue to keep their social and physical distance at work.

  1. Keep 6 feet apart in the staff lounge areas and near the timeclock to the best of their ability and follow the “Stay 6 Feet Apart” signage throughout the work place.

  2. Wash hands upon arriving at work, returning from break, entering a different classroom than assigned.

  3. Preferably keep a different non-street pair of shoes at work only to be worn when you are in the classroom daily.

  4. Do not hug or have physical contact with other adults in the building.

  5. Keep 6 feet apart from all parents at the time of drop-off and pick-up daily.

  6. Wipe down the chair in which you or the children have sat in for each meal or daily activity. This includes the infant room rocking chairs.

  7. Clean and sanitize the microwave and kitchen area after each use.

  8. Bring and remove daily food items stored in the staff refrigerator.

  9. Maintain a proper distance at staff lockers to avoid additional interaction with staff.