To help prevent the spread of COVID-19, businesses everywhere are adapting to become as contactless as possible. In a hands-on environment like a childcare center, this can seem nearly impossible; however, there are many things that providers can do to help minimize risk — especially in their interactions with parents.
In this guide, we’ll walk through different procedures that you can implement to go contactless and do your part to minimize unnecessary interactions wherever possible!
For check-in, many centers are only allowing children into the building while families remain outside the building. This process can go one step further by having parents confirm that they have dropped off their child from a distance using their phone (rather than touching a pen or shared tablet to do so).
Here’s an example of how that works in HiMama. First, the parent clicks to either check their child in or mark them as absent:
From there, they can add any notes that they would like the teachers to be aware of for that day:
Finally, the parent confirms that they have checked their child in for the day:
At the center, teachers and directors can get a snapshot of the attendance status of all children, or even check them in or out themselves if necessary. They can also see if a child was signed in by a parent using this method or if there are any notes that they should look at.
Alternatively, you could have a staff member update a printed attendance sheet so the parent doesn’t have to touch it, although this method will not have verification from the parent that some centers require.
An easy physical item to go contactless with is switching from paper to digital invoices. Chances are that your invoices are already generated on the computer, so you can simply email these files to families instead of printing them out.
Alternatively, you could opt for a digital billing system, which can also help keep track of when invoices have been sent and their payment status.
Many centers try to be accommodating by accepting different payment forms, but the challenge when trying to contactless is that most of them require contact of some kind; cash needs to be counted, cheques need to be deposited, debit cards need a pin code and credit cards need to be swiped.
If you want to truly go contactless, online payments are the safest option. Parents can pay through their bank or credit card from any location, meaning that they do not have to physically enter your location. Although there is typically a small percentage charged for these services, they may be a worthwhile investment if you want to be as safe as possible. Plus, families may prefer the convenience of online payments rather than having to take cash out of the bank or write cheques.
It can be nearly impossible to keep things 100% contactless within the classroom, which is why we’ve seen centers take the separated classrooms approach. Each classroom is considered one group or family that stays together each day, meaning that the children and teacher assignments never change. When navigating throughout the facility, only one group is allowed in a space at a time, whether this is in a classroom, hallway, or playground, which prevents children interacting with those outside of their group.
At the end of the day, instead of sending home a paper daily report, opt for a digital one through a childcare app or send one via email. This way, there’s no paper being handled that may become a health risk. The same can apply for your other communications like memos or forms.
What are ways that you are going contactless at your center? Let us know in the comments!