When I used to work with kids the first thing I did when entering a kid's house was wash my hands. And, after the session clean the toys with some sort of sanitizer.
I'm embarrassed to admit I don't remember what the hygiene procedure was when I worked in a day camp. Did we wash/wipe kids' hands before we fed them???
I know I made them wash their hands after they used the toilet. And since I worked for large institutions it was assumed that housekeeping would clean the toys.
As a mom of a toddler I wonder how much of my attempt to instill good hygiene habits can be retained by the kid if I spend mere 3-4 of her waking hours with her? I'm hoping and praying that washing hands before meals/snacks and after the bathroom is the accepted routine everywhere she will go. Why has it before such a hot topic now? Because there is no comparison between learning something right the first time vs trying to break bad habits...
And the toys (especially outdoor toys) in day camps and day cares, how often, if at all, do they get cleaned?
One of my friends told me that she chose to send her daughter to a nursery in a big school rather than send her to a local, less expensive and already familiar to the child, play group because the play group was "dirty'. I thought the friend was mean. And that my experience with grody toys in one day care was not a typical depiction of the general picture.
I've checked out a few local establishments since. Now I can't help but wonder- do parents accept discolored-with-dirt toys as part of the toddler play group experience? Do parents just not care one way or the other? Or do I have a knack for picking run down places for generalizing current trends?
Zooey update: Two years
4 days ago