Cleaning, Sanitizing and Disinfecting in Childcare Settings

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The ChildCare Aware of America (2020) reported that more than 11 million young children below age five undergo childcare arrangements within the United States. That means the childcare facilities’ sanitary status remains one significant factor in achieving a healthier development of such a precious population. Knowing that a child is safe and healthy is every parent’s happiness. And every time you leave these little ones behind when going to work, you need assurance that your child is just that (safe and healthy).

Children play a lot, and they are never cautious when doing so. In fact, they can pick anything from the ground and put it straight in their mouth without fear of consequences, and that is because they are not familiar with germs’ existence. Unfortunately, germs and bacteria don’t care whether you are a child or an adult. They just attack. When putting many children together, you can imagine how messy they can be, and sometimes controlling them can be an impossible task. The only way to ensure that they stay safe and healthy when they play is to make their surroundings clean and free of germs and bacteria.

The importance of childcare programs

Childcare programs play a significant role in society. Parents must work, and while doing so, they need a place where they can take their children, not just a home but a place where they know their child’s safety and health are guaranteed. Dirty toys, bed linens, eating utensils, and surfaces can carry and spread germs and make them sick, and that’s why regular cleaning and disinfection in childcare is necessary. Although disinfectants play an essential role in controlling infectious diseases, some can be harmful to children, especially in a concentrated form.


Use water and soap or detergent to clean every surface and items, then rinse thoroughly with clean water. Children’s durable plastic toys can be washed in a dishwasher; high pressure and water temperatures can eliminate germs and bacteria. You can wash them together with beddings or any other laundry in a washing machine for cloth toys. Just add ½ cup of chlorine bleach to every wash cycle when washing colorfast material and ½ cup of non-chlorinated bleach for non-colorfast material.


Sanitizers are alcohol-based, and for them to be effective against microorganisms, they have to be in a concentration of 60% alcohol and above. You can use Lysol sanitizing wipes or Clorox wipes to wipe down hard, non-porous baby toys. After that, use clean water to wipe the toys to remove sanitizer from the toy, and then use a clean cloth or paper towel to wipe it dry before handing it to the child. Lysol disinfecting wipes can also be used to disinfect plastic surfaces around the room.


Childcare environments and facilities are infamous for spreading contagions. Before you apply any disinfection method, you must always ensure that the room is well ventilated and have appropriate protective gear. It would help if you put on hand gloves when handling bleach, and so on. You can disinfect with bleach and water solution. Using regular household bleach and water is one easy way to disinfect surfaces and objects in childcare programs.

According to the CDC (2019), cleaning and disinfection are an integral part of the broader approaches used to prevent infectious diseases. While these measures slow the spread, bleach, and water solutions are also hazardous to children. The best way to do this is when children are not around or place the objects out of children’s reach while they dry. After the job is done, keep disinfectants and cleaners away from the reach of children.

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