Finding a child care that deals well with illnesses

Often children catch more illnesses when they start a group care situation such as child care, compared with spending time at home with their family. This exposure to illnesses can be very stressful for carers who need to stay home to look after their sick children. If you are on the hunt for a childcare that deals well with illnesses here are some things to look for.  

Impeccable hygiene

Many illnesses are passed on through direct contact with bodily fluids. Unfortunately, when dealing with young children it's common for them to put fingers in their mouth then play with toys (especially when teething) or placing toys directly in their mouth as part of the natural exploration process. Additionally, when carers change nappies and assist with toileting it's important to be extremely hygienic when switching to serving food from other activities. This can be dealt with by exceptional hygiene, including hand washing and washing toys during the day. You can check this by observing hand washing and cleaning during a trial session at the centre. 

Exclusion policy

Most viruses are most infectious during the earliest stages of their infection. For that reason, it's a great idea when centre sends home kids with certain infectious diseases including skin rashes and gastro issues. This can limit the transmission of diseases through the centre. Be sure to check that the carers are also covered by an exclusion policy as they can also spread viruses through the population.

While it can be annoying and frustrating to have your child sent home due to illness, it's well worth it to have an environment with a lower transmission of illnesses.  

A get well room

When there has been an outbreak of a virus it can be a good idea to transition children back into child care with the use of a get well room. This lowers the chance of transmission and provides a quieter and lower energy/stress environment for children still recovering from a virus. 

While it is upsetting to see your child getting sick, catching minor illnesses and building immunity in a group care situation is an important part of childhood. Children who don't build the immunity in child care often catch illnesses once they reach group situations such as schooling later on. Finding a child care centre (like One World Children’s Centre) with good policies around illness management can lower the amount of illnesses you child contracts and minimise the stress for you.