2021-2022 School Year – COVID-19 Policies

Welcome to the 2021-2022 school year. These are your COVID-19 policies and they serve as an outline of our practice and procedures we have put in place to maintain a safe environment for your children and our faculty. The practices and procedures described in this guide have been updated and will be in place for the duration of this pandemic crisis. This is our new normal.

Many things about our centers are the same as they were before the pandemic crisis. There is still laughter and learning. There is still creativity, curiosity, and inspiration! However, some things are different. To keep the children and our faculty safe, we have implemented some new practices and procedures as mandated by the Washington Department of Child, Youth, and Family and in keeping with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We continue to monitor all of the federal, state, and local guidance, and make all necessary changes to our practices to ensure everyone’s safety.

Implementing health screenings, enhanced hygiene and disinfecting, physical distancing whenever possible, and wearing face masks is how we are maintaining a safer environment. Safety practices like ours have been successful at keeping educators and children safe in childcare facilities like Hilltop in Washington and around the country that have remained open the entire time, during a global pandemic crisis.

The intent here is to provide as much detail as possible about our enhanced safety protocols and to give you some tools, such as the daily health screening questionnaire and touchless sign in/out processes. This will help things run as smoothly as possible for everyone. It is essential that we are as communicative and transparent as possible through these challenging times. Should you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out to us at covidcare@hilltopcc.org.

We look forward to partnering with you,

Darline Guerrero
Executive Director

Updated COVID-19 Practices and Procedures

Now that the winter holidays have ended and the omicron variant is spreading quickly, we are hearing about more people testing positive for COVID every day. It is important that we all take responsibility for the health and well-being of our entire Hilltop Community, which includes you. We received new guidance from our Seattle & King County Public Health Nurse that align more with CDC recommendations but meet the requirements for licensed childcare providers.


  • Quarantinestaying isolated and monitoring the emersion of any symptoms 
  • Isolationisolating after confirmed symptoms or positive test 
  • Close contacta cumulative 15 minutes of contact over a 24-hour period 
  • Outbreaktwo or more positive cases among staff and students within 14 days of each other that cannot be linked in another setting 
  • Adequately vaccinatedcurrently two weeks after the complete vaccination series 


At Hilltop Children’s Center, we commit to keeping a clean and safe environment. We ask that, to help us accomplish this, you:

  • follow Hilltop Children’s Center COVID-19 protocols and adhering to our precautions, like wearing masks, physically distancing, and reducing carpooling
  • read all school communications to stay informed about health and safety updates
  • follow current CDC guidance for travel precautions
  • notify Hilltop Children’s Center of any positive COVID-19 test or close-contact exposure
  • monitor yourself and your family for COVID-19 symptoms and complete daily health screenings honestly and accurately
  • keep your child home when they are sick with any illness and report the child’s symptoms to Hilltop Children’s Center faculty
  • understand that if a community member tests positive for COVID-19, that person has a right to privacy and must not be viewed with blame or judgment.
  • understand that we share a community value and commitment at Hilltop Children’s Center to treat one another with respect regardless of personal experiences and attitudes regarding COVID-19
  • understand that for our organization to operate as safely as possible, every community member must be vigilant in avoiding disease transmission and take on all possible steps to do so.


In the event of a positive COVID-19 case in our organization, Hilltop Children’s Center will consult with Public Health of Seattle and King County (PHSKC) to determine the length of school closure. For a close-contact exposure (see above), the classroom or center will close for a minimum of 7 days from exposure. In the event of a COVID-19 outbreak (see above), Hilltop Children’s Center will close for no less than 14 days. In either event, all students and staff will need to present a negative PCR test before returning to the center regardless of vaccination status. In the event of a closure, the tuition obligation will continue to be honored, and tuition must still be paid. 

Your child must stay home if they or anyone in your household:

Show symptoms of COVID-19

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chills
  • New loss of taste and/or smell
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea (at least 2 loose stools in the past 24 hours)


Have been in close contact (see above) with someone who tested positive for COVID-19. May return to school after a minimum of 7 days from exposure with a negative PCR test completed no earlier than day 5 of exposure.

/out and Drop-off/pick-up Procedures

You will sign your child in and out using the Brightwheel sign-in/out mobile app.

  • Each family member and authorized pick-up is assigned a 4-digit PIN, if not using the Brightwheel app. There are several QR codes posted around the building for your convenience.
  • You will need to answer a few health and safety questions regarding COVID-19 and your child.
  • Provide your signature. Once you hit ‘Submit’ the sign-in process is complete.
  • Adults will walk their child up to the front or back door of the building. Families and others will not be permitted in the building.


We ask that any questions or concerns are expressed to your child’s teacher(s) via the messaging feature in Brightwheel, or through contacting the teacher(s) directly via email. The reason for this is to navigate physical distancing protocols, and to allow teachers to fully concentrate on children as they come in.


Please bring at least 2 face masks per day for your child. Please ensure they are clean.

Spending ample time outdoors, rain or shine, is an integral part of our program. Please ensure that your child has the appropriate rain gear, like boots and a raincoat, and extra clothing each day. We recommend at least one full outfit.

Returning to Hilltop Children’s Center after Airplane Travel

These guidelines from Public Health of Seattle and King County (PHSKC) and WA Department of Health (DOH) provide information on when it’s safe to return to Hilltop Children’s Center.

Adequately vaccinated children and staff can return to school after obtaining a negative PCR test after travel by air.

Unvaccinated students who travel by air can either:

  • obtain a negative PCR test no sooner than 5 days after their flight and can return to school 7 days after their flight, OR
  • quarantine for 14 days after their flight and can return to school on the day 

Returning to Hilltop Children’s Center after Quarantine, Isolation, or Illness

These guidelines from Public Health of Seattle and King County (PHSKC) and WA Department of Health (DOH) provide information on when it’s safe to return to Hilltop Children’s Center.

Returning to Hilltop Children’s Center after being in Close Contact to someone with COVID-19 

If a vaccinated or unvaccinated member of your family, has been in close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19, their first step should be to quarantine for a minimum of 7 days, have a PCR test no sooner than 5 days from exposure, and monitor for COVID-19 symptoms. If no symptoms develop, your child may return to Hilltop Children’s Center on the day 8.

Returning to Hilltop Children’s Center after Suspected Signs of COVID-19 

If you develop COVID-19 symptoms, you should isolate and get tested for COVID-19. If you test positive, isolation should continue for 10 days. Any fever needs to be resolved without fever-reducing medication for at least 24 hours and symptoms need to improve before returning to school regardless of test results.

Returning to Hilltop Children’s Center after Testing Positive for COVID-19 

If you or your child have tested positive for a COVID-19 infection, you must isolate until you have recovered. Signs of recovery include fever resolution without the use of medications and improvement in respiratory signs like cough and shortness of breath.

You must meet these criteria to return to Hilltop Children’s Center:

  • 10 days since symptom onset AND
  • 24 hours after fever resolves without medications, AND
  • Symptoms have improved