Guidelines for pre-schools, daycares post lockdown released

Updated: May 16, 2020, 07:46 IST | Pallavi Smart | Mumbai

Keeping in mind current difficult times and the COVID-19 threat, experts have released universal guidelines which are to be followed by all pre-schools, daycares

A few of the guidelines issued by the experts
A few of the guidelines issued by the experts

With the lockdown 3.0 about to get over soon and the state governments across the country planning guidelines for lockdown 4.0, the Early Childhood Association (ECA) and Association for Primary Education and Research (APER) has issued a thoroughly designed Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for pre-schools and daycare centres to follow.

With guidelines as detailed as to how to maintain social distancing in schools, centres, usage of mask and sanitizers, the guidelines also prohibit anyone from taking library books home and discontinuing groups activities such as sand or clay plays.

Coming from the association of pre-schools, the guidelines are very specific and provide minute details for each pre-school and daycares to follow during post-COVID-19 times.

The idea is to allow schools to open with proper preparedness once the lockdown is lifted. So it will be necessary to take adequate precautions and change the regular norms. In addition to the guidelines, each school has been advised to appoint a safety coordinator who will ensure all safety measures are taken care of at the centre.

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Talking about the guidelines, Swati Popat Vats, President of the ECA, said, "Even as Mumbai does not seem to be opening up anytime soon, we have members registered with us from all across India. In many places, life is likely to get back to normal by June, for example, Bangalore. They are planning to open up everything and we were receiving queries regarding the precautionary measures, guidelines. So we felt it would be right to issue universal guidelines so that it would give schools and parents ample time to prepare well in advance."

As explained in the guidelines, the new normal in pre-schools is to emphasize on hygiene and distancing not only for children and staff but also for transport vehicle staff such as bus-driver and attendant. Thermometers will be one of the essential items in each centre along with sanitizers and nobody would be allowed to enter without a mask – even parents coming to drop or pick-up their children will have to wear masks. To ensure social distancing, centres can follow different policies such as alternate day attendance or having shifts.

These guidelines will be sent to all ECA members and circulated among several groups of parents across the nation and also on the ECA website. The idea is to ensure more and more pre-school and day-care centres take advantage of the thoroughly designed COVID-19 measures and are safe.

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