Cleaning, sanitizing + disinfecting


General Guidelines

General Tasks

All educators are responsible to:

cleaning guidelines

Cleaning is essential to classroom management. It maintains safety, provides children with an organized and healthy environment, and preserves the longevity of furniture and equipment. All tabletops, diaper areas, toys, and school materials used by children must be cleaned and sanitized with a sanitizer, laundered in a washing machine, or washed in a dishwasher. The frequency of usage and whether the object is mouthed determine the frequency of cleaning. The chart posted in each classroom lists cleaning frequencies which must be followed with no exceptions.

Daily tasks

Weekly Tasks

All educators are responsible for coordinating with their classroom team to accomplish the following tasks weekly, or as needed:


First Circle employs a professional cleaning company to clean the building nightly including ONLY:

The carpets are cleaned and disinfected on a quarterly basis. To minimize airborne bacteria and improve air quality, the duct system and air vents are cleaned and deodorized periodically.


Types of infections

There are four types of infectious diseases:

Virus (colds, chicken pox, flu, Covid)
Bacteria (strep throat, TB, e-coli)
Fungus (ringworm, thrush, diaper rash)
Parasite (head lice, Giardia, malaria)



Viruses can spread in the air as small droplets or tiny aerosol particles. Germs can spread to the hands by sneezing, coughing, or rubbing the eyes and then can be transferred to others. Simply washing your hands can help prevent such illnesses as the common cold or eye infections.


Germs such as norovirus and rotavirus can cause gastroenteritis, leading to diarrhea and/or vomiting. Usually, germs are transmitted from unclean hands to food or hands by someone who didn’t wash their hands after using the toilet. This is easily prevented by always washing your hands after using the toilet and before preparing food items.


Some infections spread directly when skin or mucous membrane (many parts of the body such as the nose, mouth, throat, and genitals) comes in contact with the skin or mucous membrane of another person. Infections spread indirectly when skin or mucous membrane comes in contact with contaminated objects or surfaces.


Each staff member is trained in infection control procedures upon hire and every year thereafter.


To reduce the spread of germs and the risk of exposure to disease, use single-use vinyl gloves for:


We do not use bleach and water because it irritates skin, is corrosive, and stains furniture and clothing. Most importantly, bleach can exacerbate symptoms in those with asthma and breathing issues.

We use a hospital-grade disinfectant cleaner called Oxivir Five 16. Oxivir is an EPA-approved cleaner and disinfectant that kills a variety of bacteria and viruses and is environmentally friendly. Oxivir is effective against the AIDS virus, hepatitis B and C, staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), salmonella, avian flu, COVID-19, and norovirus.

Oxivir Five 16 comes in a concentrate that we dilute (10 oz. to 5 gallons of water).

Dishwasher/Washing Machine

Some locations have a dishwasher and washing machine to launder and sanitize toys, bibs, and cleaning cloths.

Disposable materials

Any items that come in contact with blood, vomit, or other bodily fluids must be cleaned thoroughly with disposable materials and a sanitizing solution. For vomit, scoop it up (either with paper towels or paper plates) and then sanitize and dry the area (any materials used in cleaning up vomit must be bagged before disposal). All contaminated materials and/or clothing must be double-bagged and sent home, all clean-up materials placed in a plastic bag and disposed of in a covered trash can.

Building Air Purification System

Most of our schools have an air purification system installed directly into the HVAC system. The Reme Halo system kills microbes in the air and on surfaces. Dual ionizers reduce airborne particulates (dust, dander, pollen, mold spores), which help alleviate allergies, and are proven to kill up to 99% of bacteria, mold, and viruses.

Zono Sanitizing Cabinet

Most programs have a ZONO Ozone Cabinet. The Zono kills 99.99% of common viruses on surfaces and can sanitize items used for play and education like books, puzzles, game pieces, exersaucers, mobiles, sleeping mats, and even crayons. It requires no wiping or rinsing of items and leaves no residue.

difference between cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting

When it comes to germs, the most effective steps to take are cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting. What’s the difference? Based on Department of Public Health (DPH) guidelines, we define them as follows:


Cleaning is the process of removing soil from surfaces with a cloth or wipe and detergent, soap, or sanitizer. Cleaning does not kill or thoroughly remove bacteria or viruses from surfaces, but it is still essential. You should always clean before sanitizing and disinfecting because it improves the effectiveness of each process.

To clean hard surfaces, spray with Oxivir Five 16 and wipe/scrub using cloth towels whenever possible. (Note: if a surface is particularly dirty, you can also use soapy water as a first cleaning step without harmful interactions using Oxivir.)


Sanitizing (after cleaning) is the proper treatment for most equipment and surfaces in Early Childhood Education (ECE) programs. Sanitizing reduces germs to levels considered safe by public health codes and regulations. We sanitize using Oxivir Five 16 or using the Zono cabinet.


For fabric and mouthed toys, sanitize in the washing machine, dishwasher, or Zono.


After sanitizing with Oxivir, any surfaces that come into contact with food or a child’s mouth must be wiped, sprayed with water, and wiped again to rinse off any residue.


Disinfecting (after cleaning) is the proper treatment for surfaces or equipment where safe contact requires a more powerful response to germs (such as surfaces involved with toileting and diapering).

To disinfect, clean first and then spray hard nonfood contact surfaces with Oxivir Five 16 and allow to air dry (should remain wet for 5 minutes).

cleaning supplies

Oxivir is our go-to cleaner. For bigger messes, in schools with a washing machine, use the mop and fill it with water (not sanitizer) to avoid any corrosion. In schools without a washing machine, we use a Swiffer.

schedule of cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting

The frequency of usage and whether the object is mouthed determines the cleaning frequency. The chart posted in each classroom lists cleaning frequencies which must be followed with no exceptions. Oxivir is our cleaner, sanitizer, and disinfectant, depending on the amount of time left on the surface.