Running a daycare facility efficiently poses many challenges. With current events putting an extra emphasis on the cleanliness and well-being of everyone and everything we come in contact with, it may seem more overwhelming than ever. Providing the best possible environment for children means keeping the classroom safe, clean, organized, and germ-free. Cleanliness is so much more than just vacuuming, putting toys away, and taking out the garbage at the end of the day. Creating or updating your cleaning checklist is an easy way to keep things running like a fine-tuned machine. So, where do you start when it’s time to implement a new cleaning plan?
Organization is key
There are endless amounts of cleaning tasks to tackle when it comes to keeping your childcare center clean and free of germs and viruses. The best way to stay on top of it is to keep things organized. Create a list that divides cleaning duties up into categories and figure out which tasks need to be done continuously, every day, once a week, once a month, and what tasks need to be done with the help of professionals. A specific cleaning schedule will not only help you stay on top of everything that needs to be done but will divide up the work and help you prioritize the important things first.
Make Cleaning Lists Easily Accessible
Make sure that the staff and those responsible for cleaning duties can easily access the list and check things off as they go. Posting an updated cleaning checklist in a designated spot will ensure tasks are not only getting completed but that the same things aren’t getting cleaned multiple times when it’s not needed.
These are ongoing tasks that should be done throughout the day. This list will include things that need to be cleaned before and after each use.
- Clean and disinfect all diaper changing tables and potty chairs. Make sure they are free from any bodily fluids before and after each use.
- Use hand sanitizer or disinfectant wipes after each diaper change or trash is emptied.
- Empty trash receptacles and diaper pails before they are full.
- Toilet seats and handles should be wiped down with bleach or disinfectant after each use.
- Keep play area surfaces wiped down after each activity.
- Food prep stations, and countertops need to be disinfected before and after food is prepared.
- Dishes must be washed after each use. Do not leave unwashed dishes in the sink to pile up.
- Sinks must be clear and free of food and debris.
- Tables, highchairs, and all other seating and surfaces need to be wiped down before and after snack time.
- Make sure toys that are not being used are picked up and stored away. Toys that have been chewed on or are dirty should be put away out of reach for cleaning. Spray toys or soak in a sanitizing solution at the end of the day.
Making a daily cleaning schedule will help child care center staff stay on task and make it easier to divide up the cleaning duties. These are the things that need to be cleaned daily; some more than once a day.
- Wipe and spray down toys at the end of each day and return them to their designated spot.
- Clean up and organize all art and craft supplies.
- Check mats, linens, and sleeping pads for soil and wash after each use.
- Clean and sanitize kitchen equipment, sinks, and countertops.
- Sweep and mop your daycare center’s floors and vacuum all rugs and soft surfaces.
- Disinfect doorknobs, cabinets, and light switches as well as all phones and computers.
- Clean bathrooms by scrubbing toilets with bleach. Disinfect all countertops, sinks, and surfaces at the end of each day.
- Wash all linens before returning them to beds or changing tables.
These are things that can be done weekly. You can divide these tasks up to be done on a specific day. This will make an overall cleaning practice seem less substantial and ensure that they are accomplished thoroughly.
- Clean and wash all soft toys, dress-up clothes, or special play items.
- Wipe down and disinfect books and bookshelves.
- Take everything out of cubbies and wipe inside and out with disinfectant wipes or spray.
- Do a deep clean of art supply and craft areas.
- Wipe down cribs and changing tables, thoroughly clean with bleach or disinfectant; making sure to get under the mats and pads.
- Change out linens and wash and fold the old ones.
- Do a deep clean of the center and all activity rooms. This should include dusting
- hard-to-reach places as well as wiping down the walls.
- Deep clean the bathrooms and be sure to get hard-to-reach places like behind the toilet and underneath the countertops. Spray and wipe down bathroom walls and stalls.
- Deep clean the kitchen and food prep areas, including kitchen equipment and utensils. This should include a deep clean of the fridge and cabinets. Check all food and beverages for expiration. Throw out anything that is old or will not be used.
- If your center uses a car or van for transportation, do a deep clean of the inside. Make sure to vacuum thoroughly. Wipe down all door and window handles as well as all surfaces inside the vehicle, including windows.
The things on this list should include areas that require regular maintenance. You can rotate these tasks to everyone on staff throughout the year, so the load is shared by all.
- Check the plumbing and drains. Look for leaks or possible clogs.
- Deep clean windows, blinds, and curtains.
- Deep clean behind furniture; vacuum and dust baseboards and windowsills.
- Deep clean shelves, closets, and all storage areas and containers. Be sure to take everything out and wipe down with disinfectant before reorganizing.
This list should include things that are best left to the professionals. Things that may require special equipment or need to be done during off-hours.
- Deep clean carpets or upholstery a few times a year to ensure there is no buildup of bacteria in heavy traffic areas. This will also help to treat stains as well as prevent them from happening.
- Clean air ducts to ensure air is free from mold and dust buildup.
- Deep clean and polish hardwood floors
- Deep clean bathrooms and kitchens. Extensively cleaning the grout will minimize the accumulation of germs, mildew and bacteria.
In addition to a safe and routine cleaning practice inside your center, it is crucial to let parents know what they can do when picking their kids up from daycare to help prevent the spread of germs.
Tips for Parents During Pickup
- Keep hand sanitizer or disinfectant wipes in the car.
- Wipe down backpacks and lunch boxes before getting into the car.
- Discard of any old or uneaten lunch or snack items that cannot be kept.
- Keep a separate bag for soiled or dirty items that are returning home with your child.
Having a regular cleaning routine is place will ensure that the children and parents that visit your center frequently stay healthy, happy, and germ-free. And that, in turn, will help to keep you business healthy as well!