Green janitorial services will improve the overall health and wellbeing of your daycare and children while improving its appeal to prospective parents.
Green Janitorial Services for Daycare Centers
Daycare and childcare facilities, due to the inherent susceptibility of their charges, require specialized janitorial services to maintain a clean, healthy environment, absent toxins from chemical cleaners.
The primary cleaning challenge for daycare centers is that everything is a high-contact surface and, if not well out of the children’s reach, stands a distinct possibility of ending up in a child’s mouth.
The second challenge, by a narrow margin, is the rugs and carpeting–likely home to a significant volume of dirt and other bacteria that can make children ill, or cause severe reactions in susceptible groups, especially those with asthma.
The trick is to clean and sterilize everything on a daily basis without adding toxins and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) to the air, while keeping costs down.
Disinfecting High-Contact Surfaces
Children, especially when they are very young, tend to cough, sneeze, and drool on nearly everything they come in contact with.
Toddlers insistence on placing everything they find in their mouth is the easiest way to spread two of the most common, and often dangerous, germs–E.coli and norovirus.
A recommended cleaning schedule would be to:
- Clean throughout the day as required by removing debris and liquids from spills and accidents.
- Sanitize toys and other common, high-contact surfaces several times a day with an EPA certified green cleaning wipe.
- Disinfect all high-contact surfaces at the end of each day, especially during cold and flu season.
To keep costs down and, in the absence of any practical alternative, many nursery owners will dilute bleach to address their disinfecting needs.
While bleach is effective at eliminating infectious germs and virus’ from non-porous surfaces, there are drawbacks that could lead to unintended consequences.
- It is deadly to children in concentrated form and must be stored securely, and only used when children are not present.
- It must be diluted to avoid damaging surfaces, as well as minimizing the risk of poisoning.
- Bleach requires a lay time to function effectively against germs and bacteria, often requiring repeat applications–the more diluted the solution, the longer the lay time, meaning the longer it takes to disinfect any surface or room.
There are several alternatives that are non-toxic, biodegradable, and eco-friendly.
- Hydrogen-Peroxide – A standard bleach alternative that does not leave behind a toxic residue.
- Benefect – An EPA-registered botanical disinfectant.
- Certified Green Disinfectants – Green does not have to imply less useful; look for products with the Green Seal and EPA certifications for daycare use.
For More Information:
Given the amount of time children, specifically infants and toddlers, spend on the floor, daily rug and carpet cleaning will need to be a top priority, just below regular disinfection.
We track a significant amount of toxins, germs, and bacteria in from the outside on our shoes, as well as high volume of dirt into buildings every day.
A primary function of carpets is to absorb dirt and microbes to prevent them from entering the indoor air supply.
Depending on the size of the daycare, the number of staff, and the number of children plus parents, there is a real possibility that pounds of soil and other microbes will be tracked in from the outside and all over the floor–the same floor where the children will spend most of their day.
Rugs and high-performance entry and walkway matting can significantly reduce the volume of dirt deposited on the carpet, but they are still on the ground and, just like the carpets, require a thorough daily cleaning.
Green Cleaning Tips
- Use Triclosan-coated microfiber towels and mops to clean up liquid spills and accidents immediately.
- Clean carpets, rugs, and walkway matting daily with a HEPA filtered vacuum.
- Only use EPA and Green Seal certified disinfectants to avoid triggering allergic or asthma related reactions.
- Ventilate the room as often as possible to reduce humidity and prevent rapid bacteria growth.
- Sterilize often, and disinfect daily, especially during cold and flu season.
- Don’t go it alone–consult with a janitorial services provider certified in green cleaning practices and product use and sales–emphasis on product use certification.
- Green cleaning for early childhood educators
- Green Cleaning in Child Care Settings
- Cheat Sheet for safer, healthier cleaning in childcare facilities
If there was ever an ideal environment perfectly suited to reap the benefits of green cleaning, it is daycare centers.
Kids, by nature, tend to go through most days with varying levels of gross occurring, compounded by the ever-present hand in the mouth.
Their inquisitive nature often leads them to places that aren’t safe, such as the storage cabinet for toxic cleaning chemicals.
Placing several of them into a confined space with an average level of foot traffic, 5 days per week, year-round, exposes them to a significant amount of dust, dirt, bacteria, and germs.
Using conventional cleaning products on exposes them further to toxic chemicals, which have been tied to everything from asthma to cancer and death.
There is a better, safer, more cost-effective method that will allow your center to align with increasing social pressure for sustainable and eco-friendly business practices, as well as ensure the health and wellbeing of children and employees.
If you would like to learn more about the benefits of outsourced janitorial services for your daycare or childcare center, contact us today for a free quote!
In Bakersfield CA, call (661) 395-3009
In Fresno CA, call (559) 473-1790