K. Plants and Animals (if animals and plants are never permitted, skip this section) K.1 Only allow animals for educational or Do you only permit animals for developmental purposes. educational or developmental purposes, and not merely as Remind staff to check with the director before pets? bringing pets. Check rooms for problem or not approved pets signs pets visit (cages, food, bowls) dirty animal habitats (for approved animals). Check health records to ensure nobody has a sensitivity to the animal. Give preference to animals without fur or feathers. Keep approved animals in proper containment, in a location inaccessible to children. The responsible staff must clean the containment daily Allow service animals. Ask parents not to bring their pets into the building when they drop off or pick up their child. OK See Notes Inform parents about the presence of animals at the time of enrollment. OK See Notes
Animal dander, urine, feathers, and saliva may trigger allergies and asthma in sensitive individuals. Also, pet habitats, including reptile terrariums and fish aquariums, can develop mold or bacteria if not maintained carefully. The benefits of having animals need to be periodically weighed against the health risks to specific children.
K.2 If pets are permitted, are parents informed about the presence of pets at the time of enrollment? K.3 Are animals permitted to roam around the classroom?
Keep animals on tabletops, and away from flooring and fleecy materials. The table should be immediately wiped with a disinfectant after returning the animal to the cage. OK See Notes Limit plants in center to up to three per room. Remove moldy plants. Instruct staff to limit watering or place tags with watering instructions. Prohibit all flowers and flowering plants Place plants away from the reach of children. Make teachers and staff responsible for maintaining their plants. OK See Notes
Notifying parents may help center staff and parents take appropriate precautions to accommodate the health needs of children with allergies. This is required under Minnesota rules for child care centers. Animals will deposits dander and other allergens in areas that they roam. Fleecy items, such as carpets and furniture are difficult to fully clean.
K.4 Check for plants in rooms: more than 3 potted plants plants moldy or overwatered flowers present
Plants can contain mold in the soil. They may be over-watered causing mold in and around the pot. In addition, flower pollen and plant odors may trigger allergy and asthma symptoms.