How Do Preschools in Singapore Keep Their Facilities COVID-19 Safe?

How Do Preschools in Singapore Keep Their Facilities COVID-19 Safe?

It’s been more than a year since the COVID-19 pandemic started, but with the rise of one new strain after another, it’s likely that it will take more time before this worldwide crisis can be fully resolved. Now that the new school year is about to begin, many parents can’t help but feel worried about the health and safety of their children in schools and care facilities. This is a particular concern for parents whose children are still below 12 years of age and are therefore too young to receive COVID-19 vaccines.

How Do Preschools in Singapore Keep Their Facilities COVID-19 Safe?

The good news is that the government, preschools, and childcare facilities in Singapore remain proactive in tackling the current crisis. Reflecting on their experiences in controlling the spread of the disease in the previous year, government agencies have come up with protocols for keeping childcare and educational facilities safe from COVID-19. These protocols have been continuously studied, tested, and refined so that they can offer better protection to young learners, educators, and the rest of the populace.

Early Response to COVID-19 in Preschools and Care Facilities

The World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 outbreak a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHIEC) on January 30, 2020, but as early as January 23, the Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA) has released an advisory alerting early childhood facilities about the disease. This memo indicated the need for health checks and monitoring, proper hygiene, and regular cleaning, and seeking medical assistance for sick students and suspected COVID-19 cases. In the days following the initial advisory, the ECDA also released memos concerning travel declarations and mandated 14-day leaves of absence (LOA) for students and staff members who have traveled to areas heavily affected by the disease.

By June 2020, the agency announced the launch of the COVID-Safe Preschools Fund, an initiative that provided one-off financial assistance to preschools. This program was intended to cover the cost of the tools and implements preschools purchased in order to promote COVID-Safe behaviors among their staff members, students, and guests.

In the months that followed, the safety guidelines were adjusted depending on the current alert level. Some classes were moved online to reduce the possibility of transmissions in preschools. At the same time, circuit breaker measures were also implemented to help halt the sudden surge of infections. Indeed a simple online search of “early childhood Singapore” topics relating to the COVID-19 pandemic will reveal the multifarious ways public schools, private schools, and international schools have excellently managed the spread of the disease.

A Closer Look at What Happens in Preschool Facilities

Wearing masks and following social-distancing guidelines are essential to controlling the spread of COVID-19. But simple as these measures may be, it can be difficult to implement them in a facility that mainly cares for infants, toddlers, and very young children. Parents, educators, and administrators need to work together to ensure that childcare centers and facilities remain safe places for young learners. By observing COVID-Safe access, behaviors, and classrooms (ABCs) and making sure that their children understand why these practices are needed, parents are doing their part in securing the health and well-being of their children at school.

What are the COVID-Safe ABCs? On top of wearing masks and other protective equipment, here are some of the practices, behaviors, and habits that are carried out in preschools and childcare centers.

● Parents are not allowed inside the facility. The only visitors allowed in the area are essential to support workers who need to carry out functions vital to the care facility’s operations.
● Enrichment classes are moved online during times of heightened alert. During this period, though, some in-person programs can continue as long as they adhere to safety measures.
● Children and staff members who have to undergo swab testing or those who have family members who have received notification from the Ministry of Health will be placed on LOA.
● Children and staff members who are unwell are encouraged to stay at home until they have a clean bill of health.
● Outdoor activities can still be done by small groups outside the preschool. However, large group activities and those that make use of external venues have been suspended.
Despite these measures, there’s still a possibility that the infection can spread in preschools. Currently, the goal is to minimize COVID-19 transmission by identifying cases as soon as possible and preventing new clusters from forming.

To support this goal and safeguard everyone’s health, preschools have also made soap and sanitizers more visible and accessible and installed partitioning equipment like desk shields. They also started using sanitizing products and tools to routinely clean the toys and high-touch surfaces handled by the children and staff members. Supportive digital solutions, such as health trackers and temperature screening equipment, are now being used in many childcare facilities to make it easier to monitor the health and movement of the students and staff members.

In the face of a pandemic, it can be quite a challenge to provide children with a stimulating environment where their physical, cognitive, motor, social, and emotional needs can be acknowledged and nurtured. A strong partnership among parents, educators, support staff members and government agencies is a crucial element to ensuring that the current crisis will not get in the way of the next generation’s holistic development.

COMMENTS

BLOGGER: 6
  1. Very good information. Hope it can be implemented here as well to avoid clusters in schools.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes we need to be really careful as the virus s getting more contagious and deadlier as we speak.

      Delete
  2. They just need to be extra careful and take things seriously. Many simply carry on like nothing is happening. Sad.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Perhaps some simply could not care less already.

      Delete
  3. China set the earliest example to control and prevent this Covid at all their schools. Many countries have not even started. Good for Singapore.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Malaysia should take heed as well...but knowing our useless politicians and government officials...

      Delete

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Tekkaus | Malaysia Lifestyle Blogger | Influencer: How Do Preschools in Singapore Keep Their Facilities COVID-19 Safe?
How Do Preschools in Singapore Keep Their Facilities COVID-19 Safe?
Find out How Do Preschools in Singapore Keep Their Facilities COVID-19 Safe? Is it safe to send your children to their preschools now?
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