Center Operations during COVID-19 

The center's COVID policies are currently under review and will be updated shortly to reflect the most recent ELD guidelines. 03/02/2022

We take the health and safety of our children, staff and families seriously. Our center is operating under state guidelines put in place for childcare centers operating during the COVID-19 pandemic, meeting or exceeding all expectations set forth for certified childcare centers like ours. Effective Monday, August 31, 2020, and until further notice, the following provisions are in place.

See below for our plans related to:

Because the COVID-19 situation is fluid, policies are subject to change in keeping with the most current federal, state and local authority guidance and our program needs.


Our Classrooms and Staffing

The state requires that we maintain stable cohorts or groups of 8, 10, or 20 children each, depending on the age of the group. Classroom spaces have been allocated in order to meet or exceed this requirement as well as requirements related to childcare facilities (e.g., classroom size, configuration, and amenities).

Utilizing consistent professional staff supports expectations that each child be a member of a stable cohort or group.  Our center is committed to meeting-- and exceeding whenever possible-- the state’s teacher-to-children ratios through stable teaching teams assigned to each classroom or age group.


Parent/Guardian and Visitor Access

Parents and other visitors may enter the building only if prior arrangements have been made with the director or an assistant director.   

The Oregon Health Authority recommends that those at increased risk for serious complications of COVID-19, which includes people who are older, pregnant, or who have underlying health conditions, including those with compromised immune systems or respiratory conditions like severe asthma, not visit or enter childcare facilities. These individuals may consult with the director to identify appropriate plans that meet their needs.  


Parent Engagement and Communication 

Communication between parents and teachers is especially important with new limitations to in-person contact, and we learn to communicate differently during this time. Parents may contact their child’s teacher via email to relay questions and concerns, and each teacher will have regularly scheduled time to respond to emails and schedule conversations with parents as needed. Parents will have regular access to information about the child’s classroom experience through photos, newsletters, and other materials that are emailed, shared electronically, and/or sent home.

Parents will also receive weekly emails from the director, and are invited to contact the director or assistant director with questions, concerns and suggestions.  The center’s main phone line will be staffed Monday through Friday, 8:00-5:30.


Arrival and Departure Procedures

Arrival (“drop-off”) and departure (“pick-up”) processes have been adjusted to allow for state-required daily health checks, more formal sign-in and sign-out (which supports any necessary contact-tracing that may become necessary), and to ensure that safety measures like face covering use and distancing are observed.

Drop-off and pick-up will occur only in designated locations. Parents have been provided with maps for both of these activities, and the physical areas will be set up to assist with distancing and pedestrian traffic flow. Only one adult per family may assist in getting the child in/out of the vehicle and, while Olum staff are signing the child in/out, is responsible for ensuring that they and the child maintain appropriate (6 feet or more) distance from other families. Parents must wait for the sign-in/sign-out process to be completed before leaving the site. A staff member will escort each child to/from the classroom from/to the designated location.  

Parents and children aged 2+ are expected to wear a face covering that covers their nose and mouth throughout the drop-off/pick-up process. Staff will wear a face covering at all times while in the center and will wear additional protective equipment while performing the health check.

Parents must make arrangements ahead of time if an early pick-up is needed. 


Daily Health Check Process

At drop-off, center staff will perform a daily health check that includes taking each child’s temperature with a touchless thermometer, and asking the accompanying parent the following questions:

  • Has the child been exposed to a person with a positive case of COVID-19 in the past 14 days?  
  • Has the child been exposed to a person with a presumptive case of COVID-19 in the past 14 days?  A “presumptive” case means the person was exposed to someone with COVID-19 and the presumptive adult or child showed symptoms in the past 10 days. 
  • Is the child experiencing unusual cough, shortness of breath, or fever? “Unusual cough” means something not normal for this person (e.g., allergies, asthma).  
  • Does the child have symptoms of diarrhea, vomiting, headache, sore throat, or rash?

Staff performing the health check will be wearing a face mask, face shield, smock and gloves.


Health and Illness Policy

The Early Learning Division has established guidelines for childcare centers, through which a number of symptoms have been identified as those we are to watch for specific to COVID-19:


     Conditions necessary to return

  • Fever (100.4 F+) within last 10 days
  • Unusual cough within last 10 days
  • Shortness of breath within last 10 days



  • May return after 10 days and 24 hours after resolution of both cough and fever; OR
  • May return with a negative COVID test and 24 hours after resolution of both cough and fever; OR
  • May return with a doctor’s note advising return to care and following a treatment plan.


  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Head Ache
  • Sore throat
  • Rash
  • May return with Doctor’s note advising return to care, while following treatment plan; OR
  • May return 24 hours after symptoms resolve. 


  • Exposure to positive COVID-19 case within the last 14 days, or  
  • Exposure to presumptive COVID-19 case (in the case’s first 10 days of showing symptoms) within the last 14 days


  • Quarantine for 14 days, with day 1 being the first AFTER the last exposure to positive or presumptive case. 

NOTE: Quarantine cannot be shortened with Dr. note or negative COVID test. 


Other symptoms. Examples include:

  • Unusual yellow color to skin or eyes; 
  • Skin or eye lesions that are severe, weeping, or pus-filled; or 
  • Complaints of severe pain; or  

Note: this also applies to an unwell child who requires more attention and care than is available by the regularly scheduled staff 


  • May return when symptoms are resolved.  


Any time your child is identified as needing to go home as result of these, all symptoms that have been observed will be reported to the parent at pick-up. While a child awaits pick-up, they will rest in the director’s office, with one staff member in protective gear to keep them company until the parent arrives.

We are reliant on parents help in managing the health risks and dangers associated with the transmission of the COVID-19 virus, and other communicable diseases in the center. Parents should not bring their child to the center if they have had contact with a person who:

  • is currently
  • has a presumptive or confirmed case of COVID-19.

Anyone with a known exposure to a person with a presumptive or confirmed case of COVID-19 is expected to quarantine at home for 14 days or as advised by the local health authority.

Pursuant to the parent handbook, tuition will not be prorated or reimbursed for absences related to the health and illness policy.


Use of Face Coverings

As of August 2021 the university updated its face covering regulation to include indoors setting and for children over the age of two, to the extent tolerated. 

Please provide your child with a clean, dry face covering each day.  Children of any age should not wear a face covering if they have a medical condition that makes it difficult for them to breathe while wearing a face covering, if they have a disability that prevents them from wearing a face covering, if they are unable to remove the face covering independently, or while sleeping.

The University COVID 19-related face covering regulation is to be observed by all UO employees and visitors to the center, which means that all center employees will wear a face covering while in the center facilities. Parents will be required to wear a face covering during drop-off and pick-up (as outlined above). Face coverings must be properly worn, covering both the mouth and nose.


Other COVID-19 Mitigation Strategies

The center facility will be altered to support staff and children’s ability to maintain appropriate physical distance in line with university and state childcare regulations. Members of the center community are expected to observe physical distancing expectations.

As hand hygiene is key to reducing the spread of COVID-19, teachers and staff will ensure that they and the children’s hands are washed properly and regularly throughout the day.

Classroom furnishings, fixtures, and materials will be cleaned/sanitized at least daily in accordance with state childcare regulations.

The university’s COVID-related self-health check regulation is to be observed by all UO employees and visitors to the center. The Early Learning Division also requires employee health checks.


Walks, Field Trips and Community Events

Children will occasionally go on walks outside on campus and in the surrounding community. Indoor walks and all planned field trips will be curtailed until further notice. 

Although we are currently unable to have traditional in-person gatherings at the center, we are thinking creatively and will let families know about virtual community-building opportunities as they come up. 


Emergency Protocols

All emergency protocols, e.g., fire drills, have been adjusted to allow for appropriate physical distancing.


Clothing and Toys 

Parents must provide adequate extra clothing to allow changes when clothing becomes unsanitary, and may consult their child’s teacher for guidance. Teachers will wear smocks and over-garments, changing them as needed to minimize the likelihood of transmission through contact with individual children during feeding, diapering, etc.

Children may not bring any toys from home to the center until further notice.  Special circumstances will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Parents may consult the director or assistant director.


Nutrition and Meals

Each child must bring a ready-to-eat lunch in either a disposable paper bag or a reusable lunch container that is sanitized daily (sorry, no cloth lunch bags).  Food items must cut and/or cooked to avoid choking risks for children under age 4.  Snack menus are provided in email updates and on request. Snacks will be portioned and served to individual children by teachers and will not be served “family style” for safety reasons. Parents may not send food for group consumption.   


Operating Hours  

Operating hours have been affected by COVID-19. Effective Monday, August 30, 2021, the first day of the 2021-2022 year, our center’s hours of operation will be 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.  Additionally, the center is currently offering only full-time care for children.   


Health and Safety Plan

The Early Learning Division (ELD) requires all centers to have on file a health and safety plan based on an ELD provided template. Our center’s plan is posted here in keeping with this expectation.

In addition to this, the center received university approval of its department resumption plan on August 6, 2020. This plan addresses how we meet general workplace safety guidelines related to COVID-19, and the adjustments we’ve made to offices, staff common areas, cleaning supplies, entries and exits in order to enhance the safety of the center as a workplace.