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Developing Environmental Hygiene Best Practices for Pre-K Schools

The Goddard School/Skokie and UMF Corporation Team Up


By George Clarke
June 17, 2019


The Challenge


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. The Fratinis 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. They explained, “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‘s Regional Manager of National Accounts, Baldwin Galan, visited the school that they fully realized how important training was for ensuring a safe environment.


The Solution


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.
  • 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.


Color-coded PerfectCLEAN products used once then put into corresponding color-coded containers


For more than a decade, UMF Corporation has worked closely with leading healthcare, hospitality and education organizations to meet the challenges of controlling germs. 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.




UMF Corporation trained Simply Clean Maintenance in the use of PerfectCLEAN products and protocols. Relevant staff (including teachers) also received hands-on training on a regular basis.


The Results


“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 system and products, which have helped us keep illnesses at bay and control their spread throughout the school.”


Color-coded ORANGE used exclusively in the washroom prevents cross-contamination


Germs, allergens and other contaminants are a potential issue in community settings, including in the classroom. In areas such as the Infant and First Steps classroom, with babies exploring and crawling on the floor, quick and safe cleaning protocols and high-performance products are paramount, as the level of hygiene on the floor must be extremely high. Parents have been impressed by the high-quality standards employed by Goddard teaching staff and owners, which result in a clean, healthy and safe environment.


For the Fratinis, knowing they’ve developed and implemented a comprehensive program of best practices 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.”


George Clarke (, Founder and CEO, UMF Corporation