MIT Technology Childcare Center (TCC) Re-Opening FAQs

These FAQs are intended to provide TCC families with the safety protocols and operational practices that are in place at TCC. These protocols and practices will remain until the Massachusetts childcare licensing department, EEC, revises its mandates.

TCC Community Safety

Does MIT require COVID-19 testing for TCC staff and families?

TCC/Bright Horizons Staff are required to be tested twice per week until further notice. Testing is conducted by MIT Medical.

MIT Faculty, Staff, Postdoc, and Student TCC Parents who work on campus are required to be tested. These parents should:

  • Follow the MIT COVID-19 Returning to Work Guidelines; and
  • Complete the COVID Access Management Application process prior to testing approval.
  • The application requires various steps: work with your DLC directly to begin the process as soon as possible. 

MIT Faculty, Staff, Postdoc, and Student TCC Parents who do not work on campus may opt-in to a pilot COVID-19 testing program. Only one adult member of each household is eligible to participate. The pilot program is entirely optional and participants must agree to be enrolled in MIT’s COVID Pass system and to follow the appropriate protocols.

If you opt-in to be tested for COVID-19 as part of the MIT testing pilot for TCC, you must:

  1. Provide your name, Kerberos ID, and MIT ID number to Sharon Pinksten (sharonp@mit.edu)
  2. Sign Consent to COVID-19 Testing and Authorization to Use and Disclose Health Information forms
  3. Enroll in COVID Pass in order to be tested

Other Parents/Children/Household Members are not currently required to be tested; however, they must comply with Bright Horizon’s daily health checks prior to each TCC arrival.

What screening measures will TCC be taking and at what frequency?

During the COVID-19 pandemic period, our Health Check & Illness Policy requires that all staff, children, and their household members conduct a daily health check prior to each TCC arrival. Any staff, child, or household member presenting with one or more of the COVID-19 symptoms below must notify the Center immediately, and – consistent with Bright Horizons’ policy – remain outside of TCC for 10 days, unless written medical clearance is provided by a physician (i.e., that presenting symptoms are associated with a non-COVID-19 illness). The physician cannot be a family member.

TCC daily health checklist:

  • 100+°F fever, currently or in the preceding 72 hours, (e.g., current fever may have lowered due to medicine) – you and your children will receive a temperature check (via forehead thermometer) upon each arrival at TCC.
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Muscle aches
  • Difficulty breathing
  • New loss of taste or smell

Do children wear masks at TCC?

Bright Horizons has followed evolving guidance from federal, state, and local public health officials and has conferred with its own pediatric infectious disease specialist on the topic of masks for children in child care centers.

Children who are 2.9 years of age and older, and in a preschool-only classroom, may wear face coverings while at TCC. Face coverings are not required. Each family makes their own decision as to whether or not they will allow their child(ren) to wear a face covering while at TCC.

What is protocol in the event that children, parents, or teachers are exposed to COVID-19?

COVID-19 exposure is a serious and complicated issue that should not be managed by parents, Bright Horizons, or MIT alone. Each exposure situation is unique, and therefore the response must be handled with the assistance of expert guidance, on a case-by-case basis. Accordingly, in the event of a possible exposure, Bright Horizons will immediately contact and work directly with experts from the Cambridge Public Health Department (for on-campus TCC) and the Lexington Department of Public Health (for TCC Linc) to minimize risk and maximize containment.

If our family travels outside of Massachusetts, are we expected to self-quarantine for 14 days before our child(ren) return to TCC?

TCC enrolled children who have traveled outside of Massachusetts to a high risk state (see Mass.gov for list) or internationally, must quarantine for 14 days upon their return or quarantine for 7 days and then be tested for COVID-19 with a negative test result. This is consistent with MIT’s travel policy.

TCC parents, household members, and household visitors who have traveled, or are considering travel, outside of Massachusetts or internationally, and visitors arriving in Massachusetts must carefully review Mass.gov Travel Information Related to COVID-19 for guidance related to self-quarantining measures. Regulations can change based on state-by-state travel restrictions and new public health policies and information, so please review state guidelines regularly, and as close to your travel date as possible. Please inform TCC of your out of state or international travel plans as well as any post-travel quarantine measures you are required to take.

Any parent, household member, or household visitor who travels to a restricted area and is directed to quarantine will not be permitted to drop-off or pick-up their child at TCC until the self-quarantine timeline is completed.

TCC Enrollment and Tuition

Is there an enrollment priority policy?

If demand exceeds EEC-regulated capacity requirements, we will uphold our standard enrollment priority system, while simultaneously working to meet the needs of those impacted.

Full-time enrollment is preferred due to current Massachusetts Early Education and Care (EEC)-regulated capacity requirements. Where possible, TCC will accommodate a Monday/Wednesday/Friday or a Tuesday/Thursday schedule, for families who wish to enroll part-time. This schedule enables us to maximize families’ access to child care while minimizing the overall impact on Center enrollment

What is the withdrawal policy?

If you decide to withdraw from Technology Childcare Centers (TCC), you must give a minimum of 30-days' written notice. If you provide less than 30-days' notice and your TCC space remains vacant for more than one month, you must also pay tuition for the additional time your space remains vacant (up to a maximum of 30-days). Your space will no longer be considered vacant when the Enrollment Agreement begins for a new child's family.

TCC Environment and Daily Operations

How should parents prepare their children for the transition into TCC?

TCC staff are committed to partnering with parents and children in preparing for a smooth first day at TCC. Directors and teachers will facilitate Parent Orientations for each new family. These orientations will include an overview of drop-off and pick-up procedures, recommended items that children may bring to TCC, and teacher information.

What is the TCC staffing model under new COVID-19-related guidelines?

EEC regulations state that the "number of adults assigned to each cohort of children should be minimized." Accordingly, we are assigning three (3) teachers per classroom to support staffing patterns for each school day. This will include break coverage, parent outreach, playground support, and cleaning support.

What is the TCC drop-off and pick-up procedure under new COVID-19-related guidelines?

We are committed to working with families to make drop-off and pick-up as smooth as possible. Center-specific drop-off and pick-up information and procedures will be covered during our Parent Orientation sessions (outlined above). The following standardized procedures were developed based on EEC guidelines and Bright Horizons policy and will be implemented across all TCC locations:

  • Upon drop-off, all adults and children will complete a Health Screen (including temperature checks) in the entryway, prior to children entering their respective Centers.
  • Following their Health Screen, children will transition from their parents and enter into their classrooms, accompanied by a teacher or Center administrator.
  • Upon pick-up, a teacher or Center administrator will accompany children to meet their parents in the entryway for departure.
  • Parents and children must maintain social distancing protocals at drop-off and pick-up.

How much outdoor time will my child receive under new COVID-19-related guidelines?

We will work to maximize outdoor time in Center playgrounds. TCC must, however, operate within EEC regulations in order to maintain our license. These parameters do, unfortunately, limit outdoor access. Bright Horizons will closely monitor such regulations and extend outdoor time whenever possible. For example, we are currently exploring how walking field trips, recently permitted under EEC regulations, may be used to support additional outdoor time for our classrooms.

How will I remain abreast of my child(ren)’s progress at TCC?

As parents may not enter classrooms under EEC regulations, we will make efforts to increase connectivity and convey your child(ren)’s classroom experience through various methods of communication. This will include a combination of Zoom activities, daily pages, email updates, and phone calls, facilitated by classroom teachers. We will continue our daily pages practice. Directors will also schedule weekly virtual check-in sessions with parents, to discuss children’s progress. The My Bright Day application will remain available to Centers that have used it already, and will be rolled out to all Centers over the coming months.

What are the hours of operation?

The hours of operation for each Center are 8:30 AM to 5:30 PM. All Centers require additional steps to ensure safety standards are met. These abbreviated hours support the staffing patterns and enhanced cleaning protocols necessary for compliance with state guidelines.