Two girls sitting in a plastic tub


Cleaning and Disinfecting

The Center cleans and disinfects to effectively control germs by frequent and thorough hand washing and cleaning and disinfecting surfaces.  The Center does it whether dirt is visible or not, knowing that germs are invisible.  Disinfecting is the process of destroying harmful germs on surfaces using specific products, and in the child care industry household bleach is the product recommended by the Centers for Disease Control, American Academy of Pediatrics, and US Health Department.

The Center bleaches tables, changing tables, high chairs, and other hard-surface center items. Staff make bleach fresh each morning in the following proportions:

Type of Surface

Amount of Bleach ULTRA

Amount of Water

Hard Surfaces: Changing tables

1 ¼ tsp.

1 pint = 2 cups

Tables, high chairs, mouthed toys

¼ tsp.

1 pint = 2 cups


Each classroom maintains a Cleaning and Sanitizing Checklist (example in this folder) at least by task, and some also by named teaching staff responsible. Teaching staff perform these cleaning and sanitizing tasks daily. These Cleaning and Sanitizing Checklists are designed from the above-mentioned Cleaning and Sanitation Frequency Table adapted from Healthy Young Children, A Manual for Programs, NAEYC 2002, and maintains alignment with it.

Our custodian is responsible for toilets, mopping floors, vacuuming, carpet cleaning monthly, trashes, and these tasks are taken care of on a nightly basis.

We identify the following:

  • Cleaning: washing dirt with soap and water
  • Sanitizing: removing dirt and bacteria, i.e. bleach water

Depending on the classroom, we either sanitize hats after each wearing (toddler room) or we do not use hats in that dramatic play area (preschool and infant rooms).

  • Floors, toilet seats, and changing table tops can all be sanitized, and we also use a disposable barrier on all changing tables. Additionally the custodian mops floors every day with disinfectant.
  • Staff uses vinyl gloves when managing blood and bowel movements.
  • Children with impetigo are asked to wear bandages over their lesions.
  • Staff cleans blood with blood-born pathogen clean up kits supplied by St. Cloud State University.
  • Toilet accidents are cleaned with soap and water.
  • Vomit is cleaned up using special clean-up kits, followed by immediate shampooing of carpets if the vomit hits a carpeted area.
  • Staff sanitizes nonporous surfaces using bleach water.
  • Staff clean infant and toddler carpets of spit-up immediately by spot cleaning with detergent, and bleach water;
  • Staff disposes of contaminated materials and diapers in closed plastic bags.
  • All mouthed toys are washed in the dishwasher.  There are containers in both the infant and toddler rooms where staff place mouthed toys, and these are washed in the dishwasher daily, and BEFORE they are again presented to children.  Preschool toys that go into the mouth are removed from the children’s area and washed and sanitized with spray, or are placed in the dishwasher.

All surfaces are cleaned using a 3 step process:  1)soapy water 2) clear water 3) diluted bleach solution sprayed and sit for 2 minutes.

All staff use gloves when changing BM diapers, or dealing with blood.  Vomit and blood clean-up kits are kept in the center for use by staff.  Immediate calls to custodial or hazardous waste pick-up staff is made when these substances are cleaned up, and the collected materials includes any paper towels and gloves used in the clean-up. 

If vomit, feces, or urine gets onto carpeting, we also immediately call custodial staff to clean the area commercially.  Until the clean-up occurs, the area is covered with cloth and a chair.

Small area rugs are laundered weekly, our carpets cleaned monthly by the custodian.  When small ‘urps’ happen on the carpet in the infant room, they are cleaned with water and detergent, then clear water, then sprayed with diluted bleach solution.

All diapers are placed in closed hands-free diaper receptacles in their respective changing areas. 


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