TIP 1: Maintain a distance of at least 1 meter between everyone present at the ECD Centre
Engage with the children. To encourage children to follow the rules, it can be helpful to create a list of things to do and not to do. Develop a list together around how children will greet each other and how they will make sure to keep the distance from others when they play, eat and sleep.
TIP 2: Maintain hand hygiene
Teach the five steps for handwashing
- Wet hands with safe, running water
- Apply enough soap to cover wet hands
- Scrub all surfaces of the hand - including backs of hands, between fingers and under nails - for at least 40 seconds
- Rinse thoroughly with running water
- Dry hands with a clean cloth or sing-use towel
Note You can encourage children to sing a song while washing hands to make it a fun habit. Click here to access the "Itetero" episode on handwashing. If there is limited access to a sink, running water or soap in the Centre, then use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol. Encourage children to get into the practice of regularly washing their hands and/or applying hand sanitizers at key moments, such as entering and leaving the ECD Centre premises, before eating food, after using the toilet, after touching surfaces, learning materials, books and after using a tissue to blow their nose.
TIP 3: Encourage children to avoid touching their eyes, nose and mouth, even with clean hands
COVID-19 can transfer form those areas on to their clean hands and spread around the premises this way.
TIP 4: Limit the sharing of materials among children
Keep each child's belonging separated from others' and if possible, have an individually labelled container per child.
TIP 5: Wear a mask
Wear your mask at all times in the ECD Centre premises. Make sure children know they should wear a mask all the time as required by the current technical guidance on ECD Centres reopening. Make children familiar with when they should wear masks and how to dispose used masks safely to avoid the risk of contaminated masks int he ECD Centre premises.
TIP 6: Clean and Disinfect
- Toys that cannot be cleaned and sanitized should not be used. Toys that children have placed in their mouths or that are otherwise contaminated by body secretions or excretions should be set aside until they are cleaned with water and soap and air-dried.
- Do not share toys with other groups of children, unless they are washed and sanitized before being moved from one group to the other.
- Children's books and paper-based materials should only be provided for an individual use.
- Engage with the children: come up with fun ideas and rules with children for avoiding high-risk and high-touch areas. Create fun reminders/posters that can be hung in the premises to remind others to stick to the sanitation rules.
TIP 7: Keep the air fresh
Windows and doors should be opened at all times as much as possible to ensure plenty of fresh air in the stimulation room. If space and weather allow, the use of open-air spaces should be encouraged.
TIP 8: Monitor COVID-19 Symptoms
Check for signs and symptoms of children daily upon arrival at the ECD Centre. Symptoms of COVID-19 include:
- Fever or chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Loss of taste or smell
- Congestion or runny nose
- Muscle or body aches
- Sore throat
- Nausea or vomiting
If any of the above symptoms are present, encourage the parent of the child to take him/her to the nearest health facility or call the toll-free number 114 to obtain advice. If you or any other support staff have one or more symptoms, do not come to the ECD Centre. Refer to the nearest health facility for a medical check-up or call the toll-free number 114 to obtain advice.
TIP 9: Maintain children's well-being
Encourage children to eat a healthy diet, exercise, and maintain their routines for learning, play and sleep under your supervision and in line with the safety guidelines.
TIP 10: Engage with the parents
Encourage parents to explain to children at home what is COVID-19 and how to follow the precautions using simple language. - Encourage parents to ensure that children eat a healthy diet, exercise, and maintain their routines for learning, play and sleep, interact with their siblings at home and avoid playing outside of the house. - If a child or member of their household is sick with flu-like symptoms or with confirmed COVID-19, the child should not be brought to the ECD Centre and should be immediately taken to the nearest health facility for a medical check-up.