We thought we would share with everyone what hygiene measures we are taking at Kids College to keep everyone healthy. Since we opened in 2009 we have followed the strictest hygiene measures and are constantly updating, especially during Covid times.

All of our staffing team have been trained in these measures and we are regularly updating to ensure the utmost care for your children. We have the very best health and hygiene practices, policies and procedures informed by recognised authorities’ guidelines. We base our hygiene procedures on the advice of Staying healthy – Preventing infectious diseases in early childhood education and care services, 5th edition We also provide regular opportunities for children to explicitly learn about their health and wellbeing.

Staying healthy-Preventing infectious diseases in early childhood education and care services

Staying healthy-Preventing infectious diseases in early childhood education and care services is a best- practice tool that provides simple and effective ways for educators and other staff to help limit the spread of illness and infectious diseases in education and care settings.

The scope of Staying healthy is to provide advice on infectious diseases in children up to school age, from a public health perspective. It is not intended as a guide to managing individual children who are ill; rather, it is intended for use in controlling and managing the spread of infections that can also affect healthy children

Staying healthy – Preventing infectious diseases in early childhood education and care services, 5th edition (NHMRC)was developed on the principles of infection prevention and control from the Australian guidelines for the prevention and control of infection in healthcare (2010). The NHMRC consulted with ACECQA in drafting Staying healthy to ensure linkages of the advice to the National Quality Standards.

The 5th edition of Staying healthy provides recommendations and information on the following areas: concepts in infection control, hand hygiene, exclusion guidelines and immunisations. Monitoring illness in children, dealing with infectious diseases, exclusion guidelines, environmental cleaning and the role of public health units.

Infection control

The three steps in the chain of infection

  1. the germ has a source from an infected person or the environment.
  2. the germ spreads from the source through droplets, contact with feaces, direct contact with other bodily secretions such as urine, saliva, discharges and blood.
  3. the germ infects another person through the mouth, respiratory tract, eyes, genitals or broken skin.

You can break the chain of infection at any stage. The most important ways to break the chain of infection and stop the spread of diseases are:

  • effective hand hygiene with soap and water or alcohol-based hand rubs. This can be done with soap and water, which removes both dirt and germs from the hands; or by using an alcohol-based hand rub, which reduces the number of germs on the hands
  • exclusion of ill children, educators and other staff based on how easily that infection can spread, infectious periods and how severe that disease could be. The aim of exclusion is to reduce the spread of infectious disease. The less contact there is between people who have an infectious disease and people who are at risk of catching the disease, the less chance the disease has of spreading.
  • Immunisation for children and adults working with children according to the Australian Governments Department of health and Ageing National Immunization program schedule. Immunisation also protects that individual and protects other people who are not immunised, such as children who are too young to be immunised.

Other strategies to prevent infection include:

  • cough and sneeze etiquette 
by covering mouth when you cough by using your hand or preferably the crook of your arm and throwing away used tissues.
  • appropriate use of gloves which create a protective barrier against germs. They are used in addition to hand washing and before touching anything that needs to stay clean and after touching anything that might contaminate your hands.
  • effective environmental cleaning first by washing away germs and then using disinfectants to kills any germs.

Monitoring for signs of illness

Because we care for the children every day, we are used to the way each of them looks and behaves when they are healthy. The signs and symptoms that suggest a child may be getting ill include the following: high fever, drowsiness, lethargy, breathing difficulty, poor circulation, poor feeding, poor urine output, stiff neck, sensitivity to light, and pain. Illness in infants and young children can progress quickly and we will contact families immediately if we become worried that a child is beginning to display signs of becoming unwell.

Dealing with infectious diseases

Within the Staying Healthy resource there are fact sheets designed as quick-reference guides to infectious diseases that may appear in education and care services, and are used as a resource for educators and parents.

Each fact sheet contains the following sections:

  • Description—what germs cause the illness, and what are the symptoms?
  • How does it spread?—how does the disease spread from one person to another?
  • Incubation period—how long does it take for the symptoms to begin after a person is exposed to the germ?
  • Infectious period—how long is the person able to spread the germ to other people?
  • Exclusion period—how long should the person be excluded from the education and care service?
  • Responsibilities of educators and other staff—what should staff do to protect themselves and the children if someone in the service has the illness?
  • Responsibilities of parents—what should parents do to protect their child and other children if their child has the illness?
  • Controlling the spread of infection—what can staff and children do to stop the infection spreading?
  • Treatment—what treatment options are available for the illness?

Sometimes doctors can make different diagnoses for children in the same education and care service with illnesses that appear similar. It is the doctor’s role to make the diagnosis, but as an education and care service we can use the information in Staying healthy to decide on our response to an illness and the exclusion period needed.

Environmental cleaning is vital to keeping everyone healthy

The aim of environmental cleaning is to minimise the number of germs that survive on surfaces in the education and care

Cleaning and disinfecting are two different processes

Cleaning removes dirt and organic matter from surfaces using soap or detergents, physically removing germs dirt and organic matter.

Disinfecting means using chemicals to kill germs on surfaces. It’s important to clean before disinfecting because organic matter and dirt can reduce the ability of disinfectants to kill germs. Disinfecting kills both viruses and bacteria on surfaces using chemicals.

A combination of cleaning and disinfection will be most effective in removing any virus. Cleaning reduces the soil load on the surface, allowing the disinfectant to work and kill the virus. We do a 2-in-1 clean and disinfection by using RFS, a combined detergent and disinfectant.

Cleaning washing germs away

Routine cleaning with detergent and water, followed by rinsing and drying, is the most useful method for removing germs from surfaces. Detergents help to loosen the germs so that they can be rinsed away with clean water. Mechanical cleaning (scrubbing the surface) physically reduces the number of germs on the surface, just as hand hygiene using soap and water reduces the number of germs on the hands. Rinsing with clean water removes the loosened germs and any detergent residues from the surface, and drying the surface makes it harder for germs to survive or grow.

We clean surfaces at least daily. Special attention is given to frequently touched surfaces (e.g. tabletops, door handles, light switches, desks, toilets, taps, TV remotes, kitchen surfaces and cupboard handles). Ideally, once clean, surfaces are also disinfected regularly.

We use the following steps to clean an environment:

  1. Wear gloves when cleaning.
  2. Thoroughly clean surfaces using detergent and water. Always clean from the cleanest surfaces to the dirtiest surfaces.
  3. If you need to use a disinfectant, clean the surface first using detergent then apply a disinfectant or use a combined detergent and disinfectant.
  4. Allow the disinfectant to remain on the surface for the period of time required to kill the virus (contact time) as specified by the manufacturer. If no time is specified, leave for 10 minutes.

RFS (Rinse Free Sanitiser) to kill germs

At Kids College we have chosen RFS Rinse Free Sanitiser, it contains alkyl dimethyl ammonium chloride, ethanol, water and non hazardous ingredients.

We use this cleaner that lists “Alkyl dimethyl benzyl ammonium chloride” as an active ingredient on the label and states that the product kills norovirus, rhinovirus, hand, foot and mouth.

It is totally safe to use with children, it was designed as a spray on sanitiser particularly for food preparation areas. We follow all manufacturer’s instructions and read the label and the Safety Data Sheet (SDS). We spray directly into the cleaning cloth to dampen the cloth for use taking care not to generate a mist.

RFS sanitiser has the active ingredients Dodecylbenzenesulfonic acid, L-Lactic acid and Ethanol (Ethyl alcohol).

These ingredients have been scientifically proven to rapidly inactivate SARS-CoV-2 within 15 seconds of contact. Enveloped viruses like SARS-CoV-2—which rely on a protective lipid coating—are the easiest type to deactivate with alcohol-based products disintegrate the protective lipids.  A viral envelope is the outermost layer of many types of viruses. It protects the genetic material in their life cycle when traveling between host cells, our use of sanitiser attacks the protein and lipid structures and effectively kills the virus.

The amount of time a germ survives on inanimate objects and surfaces will vary. Environmental cleaning is one way to remove viruses that causes illness, especially COVID-19. Allow the disinfectant to remain on the surface for the period of time required to kill the virus (contact time) as specified by the manufacturer. If no time is specified, leave for 10 minutes.

Kids College preferred combination cleaner and sanitiser HD Spray and Wipe

HD Spray n Wipe PINK cleaner is also a sanitiser has the following ingredients. Sodium Tripolyphosphate is used in cleaning to penetrate fibres and surfaces.  It aids in foaming. Trisodium Phosphate is also a cleaning agent, stain remover and degreaser.  It kills mould and bacteria by disrupting the cell membrane. Nonylphenol Ethoxylate disolves greases and oils. Ethyl glycol Monobutyl Ether is used as a antimicrobial pesticide used on food processing equipment and utensils.

Earth Care Seasol Organic Weed Killer

Glyphosate free, it is a non-selective natural contact herbicide containing pelargonic acid (nonanoic acid) which kills and controls a broad range of weeds and lichen, algae and moss. Use it in and around the house and garden, on paths, driveways and as a spot spray on lawns. Non-residual and bio-degradable – breaks up rapidly in the soil, no reside build up. Rapid action, visible results are seen within hours

Cleaning equipment

Our cleaning equipment includes mops with detachable heads (so they can be laundered in a washing machine using hot water), disposable cloths or cloths that can be laundered, and vacuum cleaners fitted with HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filters to reduce dust dispersion.

We ensure that cleaning equipment is well maintained, cleaned, and stored so it can dry between uses.

We have colour-coded cloths or sponges for each area (e.g. red in the bathroom, green in the kitchen) so that it is easier to keep them separate.

When we choose our cleaning products, we considered the product’s effectiveness against germs and the length of time the product must be in contact with a surface to properly clean it.

Cleaning schedules

We have stringent hygiene cleaning routines and have routine cleaning hourly, daily, weekly and monthly.

We also hold two cleaning busy bees each year to get into those hard to get to tasks that need deep cleaning.

Floors are regularly cleaned and sanitised weekdays and on the weekend they are deep cleaned with an intense sanitiser and cleaner combination with very hot water.

Our carpets are Flotex, which have a unique construction which allows it to release soiling like no other textile flooring can. Unlike the looped and twisted fibres of a conventional carpet pile, the smooth straight fibres of Flotex do not trap particles of soil, allowing them to be removed without difficulty during cleaning. Flotex binds the dust of indoor air, and Sanitized antimicrobial protection ensures that the mites and bacteria it contains are rendered harmless. Not only allergy sufferers but also the material itself benefit as a result. This prevents the formation of mould and unwanted odours.

Bathrooms are regularly cleaned and disinfected weekdays and are deep cleaned with steam cleaner on the weekend.

Public Health Unit

Public health staff play a critical role in protecting people from infectious diseases and preventing harm from hazards involving chemicals, poisons or radiation. Public health units carry out disease surveillance and control initiatives, including responding to disease outbreaks. They also make sure that public health laws are followed.

Public health staff provide advice and support to education and care services about infectious diseases, infection control practices and public health issues.


Teaching hygiene practices to children

An example of our hygienic practices are our stringent hand washing procedures developed on the recognised advice of the Staying healthy resource which are displayed around the centre for adults and children. We use a pictorial depiction of routines so children can follow along, understand and implement the steps to washing hands. This helps us actively support children to learn and implement hygiene practices.

Another great example of our hygiene and nutrition practices is how we have developed an easy way to celebrate each child’s birthday at Kids College making a special day for them without compromising hygiene or nutrition. For each child’s birthday we make them a special cupcake so only they have a treat and we allow them to blow out a birthday candle on their own personal little cupcake.

In helping children to take growing responsibility for their own health and physical wellbeing, educators’ model and reinforce health and personal hygiene practices with children.

We use a variety of resources to back you up at home and teach children the importance of hygiene. Books like the Toddler be good series which include titles and puppets help teach children hand washing, tidying up, toileting and manners.

Maslow’s physiological needs and safety needs for children

Abraham Maslow suggested that before individuals meet their full potential, they need to satisfy a series of needs, this led to his creation of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. At Kids College we use the first two levels of needs that children require to set the best base for their learning and wellbeing. A child’s physiological needs for water, warmth, rest and their safety needs for security and safe practices set the base for our program. If a child is not healthy and safe from harm they are not able to engage and fully enjoy the benefits of our early childhood education at Kids College.

Kids College Philosophy quote

‘We have stringent hygiene, health, nutrition, maintenance, safety and protection standards. We take our duty of care very seriously and will safeguard the safety and wellbeing of our children at all times as a matter of utmost priority.’

National Quality Standards

2.1.2  Health practices and procedures. Effective illness and injury management and hygiene practices are promoted and implemented.

Kids College family

At Kids College we work each day embedding our values and philosophy into each facet of what we do. We continually improve our practices by critically reflecting and engaging in meaningful relationships with our community and for this we need your support and input. Please let us know if you have any comments, queries or recommendations.

Make sure to follow Kids College Childcare on facebook, watch for our regular emails and keep an eye on our Kids College website. Join our Kids College family community and share in our vision of creating the very best childcare where children experience love, laughter and learning every day. You can reach us on Jennifer@kidscollege.com.au

With love, laughter and learning from your friends in the
‘village it takes to raise a child’
Teacher Jen and the Kids College team