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Childcare Cleaning Tips for Daycare Centers and How Easy It Is!

Running a daycare is a lot of work, and there are a lot of things you have to handle each day in addition to caring for the kids. You have to prepare food, come up with craft activities and games for the older kids, keep track of everyone’s food needs, and manage disputes and tantrums. But one of the biggest tasks you have to handle as a caregiver is keeping your daycare clean.

Childcare cleaning can be daunting, especially depending on the size of the facility you run. Read on to discover some tips that can help you keep your daycare clean and safe for all your kids.

Importance of Childcare Cleaning

Before we get into all the best childcare cleaning tips, let’s talk some about why it’s important to clean childcare facilities. As we all know, kids are messy and haven’t yet learned to cover their mouth when they cough or sneeze or not to stick their fingers in their nose or mouth and then wipe them on things. Even in normal times, keeping a daycare clean can keep everything from getting covered in snot or spit. 

However, in the last year and a half, childcare cleaning has become more essential than ever before. With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, which spreads through respiratory droplets (snot and spit), cleaning has become our first line of defense. Since children can’t yet get the COVID vaccine, cleaning is the best way to prevent a daycare from becoming the center of a major outbreak.

Cleaning vs. Sanitizing vs. Disinfecting

When we talk about cleaning a childcare facility, it’s important to distinguish the differences among cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting. Cleaning is the process of removing visible dirt and debris, as well as some germs, from a surface. You usually use soap and water for this process, and it may leave some germs behind.

Disinfecting kills or removes more germs than cleaning does, but it doesn’t necessarily remove enough of them to make the surface or object safe. Disinfecting usually involves using a chemical like bleach or ammonia to kill viruses. Sanitizing aims to remove most or all germs, including both viruses and bacteria, to reduce populations to a safe level.

Set Up a Routine

When you’re cleaning a childcare facility, one of the most important things you can do is to set up a routine. There are a lot of potential sources of infection spread throughout a daycare. If you’re trying to remember which ones have been cleaned and which haven’t, chances are you’re going to miss a few.

Set up a specific routine for your cleaning that follows the same path every day. For instance, you may start by wiping down all the objects in the diaper changing area, then the area itself, before moving on to the play area. You might repeat this in all the zones of your daycare and then wrap up by mopping the floor.

Focus on Body Fluids

Although a daily cleaning is critical for a childcare facility, you’ll need to do smaller cleanups throughout the day. As you no doubt know, kids can spread body fluids to a lot of surfaces. This may include snot, spit, urine, feces, vomit, and even blood, and all of these can be potential sources of infection.

As much as possible, try to clean up body fluids right away. Of course, if feces, urine, vomit, or blood gets on a surface, you need to sanitize it immediately. But try to clean up the more innocuous-seeming fluids, such as snot and spit, right away, too, to prevent other kids from getting exposed to them.

Tackle the Diaper Changing Area 

The diaper changing area is going to be one of your biggest focuses when you’re cleaning your daycare. Naturally, this area gets exposed to more body fluids and more germs than the rest of your daycare. And in this area, kids don’t have clothing to protect them from exposure to these germs like they do in other areas of your daycare. 

Always wipe down the diaper changing area after every child, and be sure to keep all used diapers in a trash can with a lid. At least once a day, you should sanitize all surfaces and tools in this area. And daycare workers should wash their hands before and after changing a diaper to prevent spreading germs from and to other parts of the daycare.

Sanitize Play Areas 

Play areas can also get dirty as kids pick their noses, sneeze, stick their fingers in their mouths, and pass around toys. It can be somewhat tricky to keep the play area clean, but working on it in little chunks throughout the day can make things more manageable. Try to wipe down surfaces in the play area throughout the day, and give any high-use toys a quick wipe during nap time or outdoor playtime.

You’ll also need to give the play area a deeper clean at the end of each day to keep things sanitary. Spray down any hard plastic toys with disinfectant and allow them to dry, and give storage bins, playmats, tables, and chairs a good wipe down. It may be a good idea to have professional cleaning services come in, too, to help you get all the difficult-to-reach spots where germs could be lurking.

Wash Fabric Items

Fabric items can be some of the worst places for harboring germs in a childcare center. Unlike hard plastic and metal surfaces, you can’t spray these down with a disinfectant. However, it’s important to clean these, too, especially if they’re frequently exposed to bodily fluids.

Every day or two, round up all the fabric items in your daycare and run them through the washing machine. This should include soft toys, pillows, blankets, rugs, towels, paint aprons, and low-hanging curtains. If possible, run the washing machine on the hot cycle and use a scent-free sensitive soap to avoid triggering any kid’s allergies.

Sanitize High-Touch Surfaces

When you’re cleaning your childcare facility, it’s important to pay special attention to high-touch surfaces. These are spots that a lot of people, both children and adults, touch throughout the day. Germs can build up on these surfaces, and when someone else touches them, they can transfer germs to themselves.

Make sure to wipe down doorknobs, light switches, faucet handles, appliance handles, and other such surfaces at least once a day. You may also want to spray them down with disinfectant in between to keep germ levels down. It’s a good idea to pay special attention to bathroom and exterior door handles as those can carry the highest levels of germs.

Wipe Down Food Areas

Keeping food handling areas sanitary is always a good practice, but it’s especially important right now. High chairs, tables, and food prep areas can get very messy, not to mention bottles, plates, bowls, and utensils. You don’t want to pass germs among kids, especially babies who are still drinking from bottles.

Be sure to always run dishes on sanitizing cycles with hot water, extra rinses, and heated dry. Wipe down all meal prep and eating areas at the end of mealtime and at the beginning of the day. And, of course, be sure staff members always wash their hands before handling any sort of food.

Tackle the Bathroom 

Naturally, the other area at your daycare that will need a lot of cleaning attention is the bathroom. It should go without saying that your toilet should get scrubbed every day, and you should wipe down the seat and any potties, too. But you should also make sure to wipe down your sink, paying special attention to the faucet handles, and spray disinfectant on the light switches and door handles, too. 

It’s best to always keep toilet lids closed when you flush them to avoid the toilet plume effect. When you flush with the lid open, a puff of gas is expelled into the surrounding air, carrying germs and bacteria out onto surrounding surfaces. It’s also a good idea to keep trash cans with lids that close for this same reason. 

Get Help With Childcare Cleaning

There’s a lot that goes into maintaining a childcare facility, and keeping things clean is a huge part of that. Make sure you give special focus to high-touch areas or spots where there are likely to be more germs. Wash your hands frequently, keep the toilet lid closed when you flush, and consider hiring a professional cleaning company to help you keep things sanitary.

If you’d like help managing childcare cleaning, check out the rest of our site at Pro Cleanings We provide commercial cleanings done professionally to keep your business clean and safe. Request a quote from us today and discover the partner in facility rejuvenation that you need.