Children’s personal hygiene needs can transform substantially during their early childhood stages. They observe, learn, act, and develop habits accordingly to how they were taught and how the “role models” around them behave. For that reason, there is no better time to educate kids about cleanliness and hygiene than now.
Sound hygiene habits should be inculcated from young, in order to protect them from the threat of germs and bacteria at present, and in future. Additionally, children of a young age tend to have a weaker immune system. Hence, adopting good cleanliness and hygiene habits also help in boosting their general health.
Why are cleanliness and hygiene so critical in childcare centres?
In a childcare centre, a big group of children of different age range come together in close proximity. They dash around and lay their tiny hands on every single thing in sight. Naturally, it is a space where a high degree of interpersonal connection comes into play. With that said, the risk of having bacteria, viruses, and diseases spread like wildfire is also significantly high.
While we want our children to explore the environment, we also want to steer away from cross-contamination of infection. Here’s how educators can help the children in childcare centres develop good cleanliness and hygiene habits that they will unquestionably bring along with them as they grow.
1. Expose them to basic hygiene practices
In our previous article titled ‘Keep Your Office Clean in 7 Steps After Returning to Work’, we mentioned that handwashing is one of the most effective methods to eliminate germs and prevent any forms of transmission. The same practice applies to not only adults but children too.
Handwashing, along with proper drying, is a habit that we need to instil in their lives as early as possible. These can be done through positive reinforcements, such as getting them to wash their hands appropriately, multiple times a day. What educators can do is to also remind them to wash their hands before and after mealtime, after they exit the toilet, after playtime and beyond. Surely, these handwashing experiences can be accompanied by favourable commendation and support to give the children a greater sense of satisfaction every time they follow through.
2. Make learning about hygiene practices fun for them
Following through the course of action may bore some children. So, how can we go into detail with them while keeping them engaged? Well, some of the sure-fire methods are to educate the kids through songs, rhymes, games, or even role-playing activities to get every single child deeply involved, turning learning into something fun and exciting for them.
Finding creative ways to cater to the different age groups is important, as this gives them greater sense of motivation to take a significant step towards adopting good hygiene behaviour.
3. Display signs and posters about good hygiene practices as a form of reminder
Truth to be told, something as effortless as displaying signs, posters, or guides can also play a massive part in your reinforcement efforts. We recommend to put up a set of colourful display signs that strike their appeal. These signs can be displayed in high-traffic areas such as entrance, near the washrooms, play area, and dining area, among other parts of the premise.
Go by example: Ensure that all the equipment, toys, and the premise are adequately cleaned
Of course, to educate the children, it goes without saying that the staff should also upkeep the cleanliness of the facilities. Conducting adequate and professional cleaning or disinfection in the premise of your childcare centre in Singapore is fundamental. From toys and mattresses to utensils, tables, and more, keeping these facilities and equipment clean should always be the top priority of stakeholders.
However, in many instances, the staff alone do not have the expertise or capacity to administer a proper cleaning programme internally. If so, working with an external company that can deliver professional cleaning services in Singapore should be the absolute solution. With the right combination of know-hows, experience, knowledge, as well as having the mandatory tools at their disposal, you can rely on your appointed cleaning company to keep your childcare centre clean and free from infections.
Childcare educators play a vital role in children’s developing years. With the right strategy, you will see an immense impact on their developmental milestones. So start taking a step towards empowering your children now.