What is Sprouts doing about covid-19?
You may be wondering what precautions we are taking as childcare providers to keep the children safe while in care. Luckily for us, many of the recommendations to childcare from the CDC, Illinois Dept of Public Health, Champaign-Urbana Public Health, DCFS, and the Governor’s Office are a normal part of life at Sprouts.
We are also very lucky to be working with SEDAC, a University of Illinois program helping entities all over Illinois lower their carbon footprints. SEDAC has a special task of assisting local child-centered businesses with reducing COVID-19 transmissions, and we proudly follow their recommendations. You can read more about their work here. One main recommendation? Fresh air – and Sprouts has plenty of that!
Sprouts has a maximum group size of 10 and a maximum enrollment size of 20. Sprouts has two teachers, one substitute, and a limited number of families. This significantly increases the amount of social distancing possible at Sprouts. Because this is our standard operating size, we were not required to reduce capacity for COVID-19 restrictions.
While the Sprouts interior is the standard sized per child as according to DCFS, the Sprouts exterior space has more square footage PER child than DCFS requires for the entire school. At over 1700 sq ft, our Nature Playground is where we not only spend most of our time, but also where we ensure each child gets plenty of fresh air and sunshine.
We take germs seriously, and have a low-risk program where children rarely get ill. As the only two staff members, Caity & Ellen can assure you that we have sanitized, washed hands, cleaned, disinfected, and personally ensured the safety of each student. Inside at Sprouts we use high-efficiency HVAC filers (MERV 15), have at least four large operable windows in each classroom to ensure maximum ventilation, and run an air-purifier while indoors. All teachers and substitutes have been vaccinated as well as most family members of Sprouts students.
As the directors and owners at Sprouts, we are able to make physical, procedural, and behavioral updates quickly and easily to adapt to the needs of the families, children, and community. We have updated all of our policies to create physical and behavioral barriers against illness. We have hand-sewn fitted masks that are worn inside for each student that we keep and wash at Sprouts to ensure fit, sanitization, and availability. Outdoors, we installed an outdoor sink for frequent easily-accessed hand washing, an outdoor heater to allow us to stay outdoors in many types of weather, and serve meals and snacks outside whenever possible, to name a few.