Early Childhood Education Guidelines

Early Childhood Education Programs Information | Summer 2022

ABOUT VMFA’S EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION PROGRAMS

In VMFA’s Early Childhood Education programs, infants, toddlers, and preschool-aged children discover the world around them through playing, singing, exploring, and creating. Held throughout VMFA’s campus, these programs support a child’s natural sense of wonder and curiosity, and promote self-expression and social development.

CLASS PROCEDURES + GUIDELINES

WHAT TO BRING
A mask! Following the CDC’s Early Childhood Education and Child Care Guidance, the museum requires the use of masks for all participants and faculty/staff in Early Childhood Education programs. Participants and teachers, while remaining physically distant, are welcome to remove their masks when outdoors.

CHECK-IN PROCEDURES
VMFA has a “no contact” check in process. Upon arriving, please wait patiently and practice physical distancing until child/adult pairs are ready to be checked in by staff. Caregivers will assist their children with check in by providing verbal confirmation of registration and a voluntary temperature check using a touchless forehead thermometer.

CHECK-IN PROCEDURES
VMFA has a “no contact” check in process. Upon arriving, please wait patiently and practice physical distancing until child/adult pairs are ready to be checked in by staff. Caregivers will assist their children with check in by providing verbal confirmation of registration and a voluntary temperature check using a touchless forehead thermometer.

PLAY MATERIALS
Upon entering the studio, students will be offered hand sanitizer. Toys and manipulatives will be placed on yoga mats throughout the classroom to encourage physical distancing. All toys will be disinfected immediately after class.

CLASS SIZE
Enrollment is limited to 6 children and 6 adults. In order to maintain the adequate distancing and safety requirements, only one adult per student is permitted to attend class with students. At this time, no extra adults or children are allowed to join.

CLASSROOM SANITATION AND SAFETY MEASURES
The classroom, studios, restrooms, and high traffic areas will be thoroughly cleaned and restocked, and trash removed daily. All check-in stations, toys and toy areas, door handles, tables, chairs, counters, sinks and wash stations, and reusable art supplies will be thoroughly cleaned before and after each class, and as needed. Programs will use disposable products in place of shared supplies, when possible (e.g. paper plates instead of paint palettes). Handwashing stations and hand sanitizers are available in all studios and restrooms.

CANCELLATIONS
Fees are nonrefundable except when VMFA cancels a class. Classes may not be substituted or switched once registration is complete. Be sure to mark your calendar and save your confirmation email upon registering. If VMFA cancels a class due to insufficient enrollment, issues with technology, or health concerns, participants will be notified as soon as possible and reimbursed fully.

SCHOLARSHIPS
Scholarships are available for Early Childhood programs! For more information, or to request a Scholarship Application Form, call 804.340.1343 or email earlychildhood@vmfa.museum.

EVALUATIONS
We value your opinion and may ask you to complete a survey upon exiting the class session or via email at a later date.

QUESTIONS ABOUT PROGRAMS
EMAIL: earlychildhood@vmfa.museum
PHONE: Lori Coffey, 804.340.1343


COVID-19 PROTOCOL

EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION PROGRAMS RESPONSE TO COVID-19
VMFA camp staff are committed to providing a safe and healthy space for our students, teachers, staff, volunteers, and visitors. While there is an inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 with any in-person experience, we make sincere efforts to mitigate this exposure. Programs and procedures have been modified and we continue to implement select mitigations, specific to our programs, that have proven effective throughout the pandemic.

Following the CDC’s Early Childhood Education and Child Care Guidance, the museum requires the use of masks for all participants and faculty/staff in Early Childhood Education programs. Participants and teachers, while remaining physically distant, are welcome to remove their masks outdoors. Along with the mask requirement, VMFA will maintain strict safety guidelines within studios and classrooms, including social distancing and frequent cleaning.

COVID-19 SYMPTOMS & SCREENING QUESTIONS
Please self-screen prior to attending camp or class. If a student, caregiver, teacher, or other staff member can answer “YES” to one of the following questions within 24 hours of class, they should remain home and notify VMFA’s Early Childhood Staff of their absence.

  1. Have you or a member of your household been in contact with someone in the past 14 days with suspected or confirmed COVID-19?
  2. Do you or a member of your household have any of the following symptoms that cannot be attributed to health conditions? Fever (100.4°F or higher) or chills, cough, sudden shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea.

HEALTH & SAFETY PRECAUTIONS
While the following list is subject to change based on updated recommendations and restrictions, here are some of the precautions we take in effort to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19 during our programs:

  • Enrollment has been reduced to six (6) or fewer students per class.
  • Properly worn face masks are required for students 2 years and older, at all times, unless they are eating or physically distanced outside.
  • Teachers must wear a mask and/or face shield when indoors.
  • Six feet of physical distancing is practiced, when possible.
  • A “no contact” check-in process has been implemented, which includes a brief screening and no contact temperature check.
  • Teachers and other staff are screened prior to class.
  • Only registered students, caregivers, teachers, and staff are allowed in the studios. To keep occupancy low, extra adults, siblings, and other visitors are not permitted.
  • Products such as hand soap, hand sanitizer, disposable masks, disposable face shields, and disinfectant wipes are readily available to students and staff, as needed.
  • Air purifiers are installed in all the studio and classroom spaces, museum ventilation systems meet approved standards.
  • Teachers and staff clean and disinfect studios, equipment, and frequently touched surfaces before and after each class, as well as during class, when necessary.
  • Students do not share supplies or workstations unless disinfected between uses.
  • Any materials used in class that cannot be properly disinfected will be discarded or offered to students to take home.

STUDIO SAFETY & CLEANING PRACTICES

  • VMFA Facility Services Associates thoroughly clean studios, restrooms, and high-traffic areas; restock supplies such as soap, hand sanitizer, and paper towels; and remove trash and recycling daily.
  • Staff uses approved disinfectant cleaner to wipe down surfaces.
  • Areas that are cleaned before and after each class, and often during class, include check-in stations, door handles, tables, table dividers, chairs, sinks, wash stations, counters, and reusable art supplies.
  • Staff cleans frequently touched surfaces such as workstations, door handles, and sink areas throughout class, when possible.
  • Staff uses disposable products in place of shared supplies, when possible (e.g. paper plates instead of paint palettes).
  • Sanitize all tools and supplies that can be reused for another class, such as scissors and easels.
  • Handwashing stations and hand sanitizers are available in all studios and restrooms.

PROTOCOL FOR POSITIVE CASE
VMFA Staff coordinates with Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Human Resources for assistance in guiding and advising us on appropriate steps to ensure the safety and well-being of our patrons, staff, and volunteers. Please keep in mind that protocols are subject to change.

If a student, Early Childhood Staff member, or someone in their households, tests positive for COVID-19, all participants, parents and guardians, and VMFA Staff and Faculty will be notified, via email, within 24 hours of Early Childhood Staff becoming informed of the positive test results. After the email is sent, you may receive a follow-up phone call by the next day to ensure you received the message.

Closure of studio(s) and other areas where an individual with COVID-19 was present may be necessary for deep cleaning and disinfection. Areas could close for the day, or up to the remainder of the week, depending upon the severity of the case.

  • A student who tests positive cannot return to the program until they have shown a negative COVID-19 test result and/or a doctor’s note to the Early Childhood Education Coordinator; are fever and symptom-free for over 24 hours without assistance from a fever-reducing medication; and/or has completed appropriate quarantine. They must also receive clearance from the coordinator prior to return, who will work closely with our Human Resources Department to ensure safe practices. Email Lori.coffey@vmfa.museum or call 804-340-1343.
  • A Staff person who tests positive for COVID-19 must be cleared by HR; staff cannot return to work until their symptoms subside and they have received two negative PCR tests within 24 hours after completing 10-14 days of quarantine.

PROTOCOL FOR IN-CLASS DISPLAY OF SYMPTOMS

  • Anyone showing symptoms such as a high fever, persistent cough, shortness of breath, chills, sore throat, muscle aches, nausea, vomiting, headache, fatigue, diarrhea, or loss of taste or smell, will be removed from the group and required to leave the museum as soon as possible.

VMFA will respond to the situation as a “positive case” and begin taking appropriate action. Attendees and families will be notified accordingly, and cleaning protocols will go into effect. Classes may be suspended as a matter of safety, pending further details.

Should a student become ill: A student exhibiting symptoms of covid will need clearance before returning which may include a proof of a negative test or a doctor’s note and/or completion of quarantine. Students should also be fever-free and have little to no symptoms remaining

Should a teacher become ill: Class will be dismissed and refunds will be issued. The teacher will be required to stay home and coordinate with their supervisor and HR; they will not return to work until all necessary protocols are complete.

In the event that symptoms become life threatening VMFA Security Staff will dispatch EMS and provide first aid.