CASE STUDY: Environmental Hygiene Best Practices For Pre-K Schools
Contributed by UMF Corporation
When Andrew and Mary Fratini, independent owner-operators of The Goddard School in Skokie, IL. decided to build and open their school in 2016, they knew they’d be heavily involved in the overall management of the 14,000-square-foot facility. With programs for infants, toddlers, preschool age and pre-K children, the center can accommodate up to 188 students. The school is equipped with 12 classrooms, a kitchen, a laundry room, an indoor gym, rock-climbing wall and two playgrounds.
As owners of one of The Goddard School’s nearly 500 locations across the country, the Fratinis are responsible for everything from making sure operations run efficiently to creating an environment that is pleasing and safe for the preschoolers, parents and staff. They are committed to maintaining the high standards of programming and services that their customers expect.
From the beginning, providing a clean, safe environment for the children was of paramount concern for Mary and Andrew Fratini, who says, “It was our observation that we would need to implement a new set of defined processes for cleaning all areas of the school. Traditional cleaning products and methods were not going to achieve what we were looking for. The various student environments and the level of hygiene we wanted to achieve and maintain was a key issue. Whenever children are together, there’s always the risk of spreading germs – colds, flu and everything else. This is especially true among infants and toddlers whose immune systems haven’t been exposed to many illnesses.”
While the Fratinis had a high-quality cleaning service in place at the school, it wasn’t until UMF Corporation Regional Manager of National Accounts Baldwin Galan visited the school that they fully realized how important training and the right products were for ensuring a safe environment.
A leader in the research and development of high-performance textiles for infection prevention and commercial cleaning, UMF Corporation embraces a multi-modal process that includes:
• A color-coded, ONEperROOM methodology in which specific products are used in each environment – from the kitchen to the nap room – thus reducing, if not eliminating, the risk of cross-contamination.
• Best-in-class products capable of removing everything from a surface that can be physically removed, including chemical residues and germs, and
eliminating these from any environment.
• Regular environmental services (ES) staff training and education to learn best practices for effective hygiene management.
UMF Corporation has worked closely with healthcare, hospitality and education organizations to meet the challenges of controlling germs head-on with its PerfectCLEAN branded products, methodologies and training. The company’s Hygiene Specialist In-Service Training Program teaches participants the proper use of high-performance textile products; protocols to eliminate cross-contamination of infections; and improved cleaning thoroughness and enhanced cleaning methods of high-touch surfaces.
For The Goddard School, UMF Corporation tailored its hygiene program specifically to the needs of the center’s staff as well as Simply Clean Maintenance, the school’s cleaning service.
The solution included PerfectCLEAN products in multiple sizes and colors, made with the highest concentration of micro-denier fiber, which includes built-in, proprietary antimicrobial protection. The PerfectCLEAN SDX bucketless mop, which eliminates three commonly cited problems in today's fluid mops: leaking and clogging, easily breakable handles, and poor worker efficiency caused by unwieldy mops.
PerfectCLEAN products are colored and coordinated with other items used for specific tasks. At The Goddard School, use of orange wipers, mitts and mops is limited to bathroom cleaning. Green products are for kitchen cleaning, blue products are for end-of-day cleaning and, throughout the day teaching staff use yellow products. Once a product is soiled, it’s placed in a color-coordinated bag for specialized laundering. The SDX bucketless mop reservoirs are also color-coded and align with PerfectCLEAN's color-coding system to reducing cross-contamination.
UMF Corporation trained Simply Clean Maintenance in the use of PerfectCLEAN products and protocols. Relevant staff (including teachers) also receive hands-on training on a regular basis.
“With approximately 200 full-time and part-time children in our care, we have a lot of possibility for exposure,” added Mr. Fratini. “With regular training, we’ve been very happy with the PerfectCLEAN system and products, which have helped us keep illnesses at bay and control their spread throughout the school. And, with PerfectCLEAN reusable microfiber wipers, we’re decreasing the amount of paper and disposables going into the landfill.”
Simply Clean Maintenance found the PerfectCLEAN products easy to use, the methods easy to follow, and its employees liked using the overall system.
“Overall, I’d have to say going through this process has helped us raise our own standards and offer these hygiene principles to our other clients,” says Donarska Salwa, Simply Clean Maintenance service proprietor.
“Germs, allergens and other contaminants are a potential issue in community settings, including in the classroom,” says UMF Corporation CEO George Clarke. “We’re gratified to bring our environmental hygiene best practices to The Goddard School to help them reduce such risks.”
In areas such as the Infant and First Steps classroom, with babies exploring and crawling on the floor, quick and safe cleaning protocols and products are paramount, as the floor hygiene level must be extremely high. Parents have been impressed by the high-quality standards maintained by Goddard staff and owners, which result in a clean, healthy environment.
For the Fratinis, knowing they’ve developed and implemented a comprehensive program of best practices supported by best-in-class products gives them confidence and peace of mind that they’re providing their school’s children with a safer environment. “It’s a win-win for everyone,” says Andrew Fratini. “UMF Corporation is helping us maintain the high standards for which The Goddard School is known.”
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