Selecting an early learning centre is one of the first major decisions you’ll have to make for your child’s education. Childcare is an important part of your little one’s life and can often determine how they perform in school later on. This is why it is extremely important that you take time and care when choosing where your child will spend their time. Most parents usually have high-quality care, prime or central location, and services offered (availability of nappies, wipes and bed linen, etc.) on their priority list, however, many forget to include cleanliness. Cleanliness is without a doubt in the top 3 of the most important qualities in an early learning centre. Understandably, many parents think that it is given that a centre is clean and so, don’t often pay particular attention to this quality however, many centres falter in this crucial quality.
The importance of cleanliness in an early learning childcare centre
Sending your child to a clean early learning childcare centre is obviously important, however, many parents don’t exactly know just how important it is. A clean early learning centre is crucial for stopping the spread of viruses and diseases and for keeping everyone at the centre healthy. Here are specific reasons why cleanliness is important at an early learning childcare centre.
Protects the health of kids and staff
Keeping the early learning centre clean, practising excellent hygiene, and preventing those with diseases or cases of flu onto your premises will not only keep the kids safe but also staff and parents. When germs circulate in an early learning centre, it can cause caretakers as well as parents to become ill as these are who children are in frequent and close contact with.
Reduces flies and other insects at the centre
Unclean areas usually draw the attention of flies, cockroaches, and rats. Apart from being dangerous to children (they can bite persons), they also carry germs and many diseases. Cockroaches, flies and rats are usually attracted to unclean, dusty, and dark areas with improper disposal of garbage–the indicators of a dirty centre.
Ensures that surfaces and floors are kept clean at all times
It is no surprise that the surfaces and floors of early learning centres are some of the dirtiest areas. After all, this is where children play, run, eat, and are changed. It is important that they are kept clean to ensure that bacteria like Escherichia coli (which is present in faeces) does not transfer to children via food or otherwise. Children love to play on the ground and touch everything so it is important that these areas are spotless and sanitised, even if they appear tidy.
How should early learning childcare centres keep clean
When you decide to send your child to a centre, you should look our for specific practises that indicate that the centre takes cleanliness and hygiene seriously.
Frequent handwashing and proper hand hygiene will reduce the number of germs spread inside the centre. Though it was important before the COVID-19 pandemic, it is now, more important than ever to ensure that you send your child to a centre that not only practises excellent hand hygiene, but that also encourages children to do the same. This is especially important after nappy changes, playing outside, eating, and using the bathroom.
Proper food storage and preparation
While special attention should be paid to the flu and viruses, it is important to understand that improper food preparation and storage can also make kids sick. Improperly cooking meat or, letting it contaminate salad or vegetables on your child’s plate can cause severe ailments such as salmonella poisoning. Additionally, food should never be prepared near where children’s nappies are changed in case of contamination. Food should also be stored in airtight containers and at the right temperature. Ask your prospective centre about their food preparation and storage practises to ensure that your child is safe from potential harm.
Separate diaper and changing areas
Though mentioned previously, this cannot be stressed enough. Children should always be changed with disposable latex gloves in a separate and private area, especially away from food preparation. After each change, the area should be cleaned with diluted bleach solutions in order to prevent the spread of germs and diseases.
We hope that this article helps you make a decision that’s healthiest for you and your child. Keep in mind that cleanliness does not only mean appearing tidy, but it also has a lot to do with the hygiene and sanitisation policies that a daycare centre upholds.
Remember that childcare centres also play an important role in the emotional, cognitive and social development of your child, so, it is important that you select one that your child loves, and that treats them like family.