Kiddie Sinks Make ECE Center Safer
Center Renovates Offering a Healthier Enviornment
March 10, 2005 9:01 PM
The Early Childhood Education Center will start renovation in mid-March, adding sink units that will make the center a more health-friendly environment for its teachers and children.
The center is adding six sink units - four sinks for children and two sinks for teachers. The renovation will also include installing counter lights, which will allow direct light for teachers to work with, and wall cabinets for additional storage space in the infant/toddler rooms.
With the addition of sink units in infant/toddler classrooms, the children will be able to wash their hands in the eating area after snack time instead of proceeding to the bathroom to wash their hands, making it a more sanitary environment.
“We want the children to wash their hands frequently because they are so oral,” said Sarah Johnson, director of the ECEC center. “Hand washing prevents germs.”
Since not all classrooms are equipped with infant/toddler sinks, the children are put in a difficult situation when they have to wash their hands in an adult sink. Currently, teachers must lay the child stomach down onto a diaper-changing table while the child washes their hands.
According to Johnson, the positions of some sinks in the center's infant/toddler rooms are also a cause for concern. Because of the lack of adult sinks, teachers can strain their backs while washing their hands in the children sinks.
“The sinks are definitely a problem because it can become a workers' comp issue, and it is dangerous,” said Yoshi Watanabe, a 22-year-old student teacher and a double major in business and child and adolescent development. “Otherwise I think the center is quite complete.”
The center has been owned and operated by Associated Students Inc. since 1984, and accommodates 100 children that are divided into two programs of infant/toddler and preschool.
The construction will cost $71,500. Bright Beginnings, a program of the Children’s Council of San Francisco, will pay some $68,000 of the renovation cost, with another $3,188 from a grant through the city’s Low Income Fund.
The reason for the current reconstruction is based on two assessments done annually to examine space and furnishing, personal care routines, language reasoning, activities, interaction, program structure, and staff. Last year, the center got a rating of five on both assessments, which use a seven-point scale.
“Everybody would like to score a seven, but not everybody is perfect,” said Johnson. “(A score of less than seven doesn’t mean) we have to make these changes, but to receive a better score it is recommended.”
Reconstruction will be started during spring break and continue for the next eight weeks, after business hours and during the weekends.
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