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Hand Washing


NOCAC Head Start/Early Head Start staff and all other adults working in the classroom will teach and model appropriate hand washing practices in order to lower the risk of spreading communicable disease.


Staff and children will wash their hands, defined as using soap and water, at the following times:

  1. Upon arrival for the day.
  2. After toileting or assisting a child with toileting/diaper change.
  3. After contact with bodily fluids.
  4. After returning inside after outdoor play.
  5. After handling pets, pet cages or area in contact of pets.
  6. Before food preparation, handling or serving (including setting the table).
  7. Before and after eating meals or snacks.
  8. After coughing or sneezing.
  9. Before and after giving medications.
  10. When visibly soiled (must use soap and water).
  11. In accordance with ODJFS Rule 5101:2-12-13 Appendix B.


The use of Hand Sanitizer by children over twenty-four months of age and staff is an appropriate alternative to the use of traditional hand washing with soap and water at the following times:

  1. Upon immediate arrival to the center with adult supervision.
  2. When approved by a site manager, content area manager or director of the program.
  3. Only hand sanitizer purchased by NOCAC will be used. Children are not permitted to bring hand sanitizer from home.
  4. Manufacturer instructions and label must always be followed.


Children, staff and volunteers using the traditional hand washing procedure, will follow the steps posted next to all sinks. 

  1. Step 1- Wet hands with water then add liquid soap
  2. Step 2- Use friction to work up lather and wash hands for at least 20 seconds, between fingers and on back of hand.
  3. Step 3- Rinse well under a stream of water
  4. Step 4- Dry hands thoroughly with a single use paper towel
  5. Step 5- Turn off faucet with paper towel, if possible


Contact the Health & Safety Assistant for a replacement poster.


Forms and Additional Guidance:

This policy complies with the following

Head Start Program Performance Standard:   1302.47 (b)(6)
ODJFS Child Care Manual:   5101:2-12-13; Appendix B
CACFP Regulation:    
Caring for Our Children:
Other Sources:    


Effective Date:   5/4/15 Reviewed Date:   5/4/15, 9/30/20, 6/8/22
Approved By Policy Council:   5/4/15 Revision Approved By Policy Council:   5/4/15
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