As the nation rushes to reopen, it is pertinent to have the child care talk. As of April, the Wall Street Journal reported that nearly half of child care centers across the country were completely closed. Although a few child care centers remained open to some capacity during the pandemic, it is no doubt many child care centers hit rock bottom during this time. With only a handful of child care centers to handle the ever-increasing demand, it wouldn’t be out of place to say we might have a child care crisis even after the global pandemic.
Consequently, the government is beginning to embrace the fact that the state cannot reopen with kids at home, especially now that school is out of session. Many states are already dishing out guidelines to help child care centers reopen during the pandemic. Irrespective of the state you are in, I would like to share a few tips to keep your child care center safe for reopening.
1. Know the Rules in Your State
Generally, the federal government has left the decision to different states and localities. This means there are varying rules and guidelines to adhere to. Before you decide to open your doors to kids, be sure to meticulously read, understand, and follow the necessary guidelines laid down by your state or locality.
2. Train Your Staff
Now more than ever, it is highly critical to train your staff. These are unprecedented times. A pandemic has various effects on people – adults and kids alike. Before you ask your staff to resume, be sure to prepare them for the new normal. Make them understand that times have changed. Teach them on safety measures and how to go about the new daily normal. Be sure they are completely ready to resume before sending them to classrooms.
3. Adhere to All Safety Measures
As much as parents are worried about leaving their kids alone at home, they are even more scared of sending them to a child care facility that is unsafe. As you decide to reopen your facility, be sure to put impeccable safety measures in place. If you do not already have one, it is time to employ a regular cleaning procedure to ensure the facility is disinfected at all times. A thorough clean should be compulsory before you open. And the same energy should be extended to your regular cleaning procedure. Everyone above 2, including the kids should be made to use a face mask both inside and outside of the facility.
4. Prepare Your Facility
Times have changed. I wish I can stress this enough. Therefore, we are required to employ new measures to cope with the changing times. For starters, your classroom should be redecorated. By this, I mean introducing social distancing squares and lines. In fact, this shouldn’t be exclusive to classrooms only. To encourage social distancing among kids, you will have to be on top of your game at all times. You can introduce squares and lines in the bathrooms, hallways, and even check-in stations. Remember, you can never be too careful.
5. Lastly, Limit the Numbers
Whatever you do, I strongly recommend child care centers maintain a decent population this time. While it is yet uncertain how the Coronavirus affects kids, it is very clear that these little bundles of joy are not immune to the virus. Knowing kids, they will be very good at spreading the virus if they ever got it. To keep everyone safe, including their families and your workers, it is a no-brainer to limit the number of kids you enroll at a time and the number of people entering and exiting your facility. Car drop-off should be the new norm.
As the nation gets ready to reopen, child care centers should start gearing up to reopen too. The nation cannot open with kids at home. Therefore, more child care facilities will be needed to achieve a semblance of normalcy in these unprecedented times. That said, these facilities need to prove they are indeed safe and ready to reopen. Do you have what it takes to reopen?