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Childcare OPEN during coronavirus school closings

  • 1.  Childcare OPEN during coronavirus school closings

    Posted 26 days ago

    Dear Colleagues,
    I am curious to know if any of you have guidelines by which you operate and stay OPEN for essential workers (doctors, nurses, grocery store clerks, etc) during mandated school closings.

    My school is currently closed for 14 days as per county executive order, but I am curious to know what other centers are doing or have done to care for children of the essential workers during a world crisis such as as the one that is currently at our front door.

    I know we are all on uncharted territory - and I appreciate any and all suggestions about how we as a CARE-FORCE support those essential members of society who are on the front lines right now.

    With care,

    Carol



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    Carol Murray
    Bard Nursery School
    Red Hook NY
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  • 2.  RE: Childcare OPEN during coronavirus school closings

    Posted 25 days ago
    Hi,

    Many of my parents are having grandparents and/or nannies care for their children during closings. I believe that during this time we should caution anyone from keeping their child in daycare due to the Corona virus concerns. While I understand the impact of both the workers and school staff, it is better to be safe than sorry during such a monumental health crisis. Many centers are sending home "activities" for the children to continue to work on their burgeoning skills or recommending educational apps etc.





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    Jennifer United States
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  • 3.  RE: Childcare OPEN during coronavirus school closings

    Posted 25 days ago
    Yes ! here are the guidelines I am suggesting
    Child care teachers are waiting to get clear directions to support them and the families they care for in light of the recent school closings.
    Here is what I suggest for child care centers who are willing to remain open:
    1. parents should be discouraged from placing their children in child care
    2. Only parents with proof that they are essential infrastructure workers should be placing their children in child care (doctors, nurses, grocery store managers)
    3. only parents who do not have a partner or family member to care for the children and share child care responsibilities at their HOME
    4. Child care centers should then figure out how to care for children in smaller groups with fewer adults for limited number of hours each day for these essential people. Child care centers caring for our essential infrastructure workers should be given support to create the healthiest settings possible (lots of time to play outside, extra people to help clean and sanitize toys daily, etc)
    5. And then we all need to come up with a plan to care for the child care teachers who are on the front line with low pay and little to no benefits as they workat high risk and high exposure


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    Carol Murray
    Bard Nursery School
    Red Hook NY
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  • 4.  RE: Childcare OPEN during coronavirus school closings

    Posted 25 days ago
    We will re-open before our designated closure time only if the Health Department requests it and then we would work directly with the Health Department and Licensing for the safest way to proceed.

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    Lorelei van Peborgh
    Preschool Director
    BOYS AND GIRLS CLUB OF NORTH LAKE TAHOE
    Kings Beach CA
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  • 5.  RE: Childcare OPEN during coronavirus school closings

    Posted 25 days ago
    Our state closed all public schools but want child cares to stay open with regular schedules.  They want everyone to cancel large group activities of 100 or more people.  We have 90 children with parents coming and going all day, so basically 200 people in and out all day.  Now we have the school age children in the center all day as well.  This creates staffing issues.  The biggest obstacles we face are keeping stocked with cleaning supplies and food supplies with all of the local stores being cleaned out by panic shoppers.  We do not use vendors and we don't have custodians.  We do all of the shopping, cooking and cleaning ourselves.  The state also wants us to increase hand washing for staff and children and keep them from touching their faces, and sneezing into elbows or tissues .  I agree with this and we try to do it, but have you ever seen a group of 12 one year olds or 15 Two year old do this correctly?  We already have the burden of not being able to meet community needs for child care in a normal time, but this crisis is stretching us to the breaking point.  If the state wants universal free pre-K then families have to be ready for future school closings because I can guarantee you that the state will sing a different tune when they have the little ones in their system too.

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    Connie Richard
    Hartly Family Learning Ctr
    Hartly DE
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  • 6.  RE: Childcare OPEN during coronavirus school closings

    Posted 24 days ago
    Connie, we are in the same boat.  This is almost an impossible situation.  Sending prayers to you and everyone.

    Blessings,
    C.C. Graves

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    Lisa Graves
    Co-Owner/Co-Director
    Pro-Kids Day Care & Learning Ctr
    Fairview TN
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  • 7.  RE: Childcare OPEN during coronavirus school closings

    Posted 23 days ago
    Our center is also open with regular hours.  We will only close if we are told to licensing tells us to.  Does anyone have any ideas on how to handle tuition if a family chooses to stay home?  Are you holding the child's spot?

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    Cynthia Bohrer
    Director
    Kids International Early Childhood Education Cente
    Ellisville MO
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  • 8.  RE: Childcare OPEN during coronavirus school closings

    Posted 23 days ago
    We are still charging tuition if families stay home while we are open.  They may use vacation days if they have them.  I will hold a family's spot, as this is out of their control.

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    Paula Hance
    director
    Zion Early Childhood Center
    Hopkins MN
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  • 9.  RE: Childcare OPEN during coronavirus school closings

    Posted 23 days ago
    Thank you, Paula.  This helps. That is what we were thinking.  Just trying to see what is going on nationwide.

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    Cynthia Bohrer
    Director
    Kids International Early Childhood Education Cente
    Ellisville MO
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  • 10.  RE: Childcare OPEN during coronavirus school closings

    Posted 23 days ago

    Connie, and everyone who is open, I am advocating for you.  I believe parents should keep paying through the crisis (and we know many will not be able to do so). AND, I hope you have an opportunity to apply for emergency funding to keep your centers going in the coming months.  If you are open and caring for children today, please consider these recommendations for emergency child care (below) and please read every word on the new position statement from NAEYC which is powerful and smart and safe and will be a tool we will be using all over the country as we advocate for child care teachers.  

    IF YOU ARE WORKING IN CHILD CARE TODAY please consider these recommendations
    1. include taking each child's temperatures as a part of the morning drop off routine.
    2. Reduce the number of children in each group - find creative ways to practice distance and small gatherings
    3. Give staff more breaks for emotional health and hand washing
    4. Do NOT apply for a waiver to suspend regulations so you can accept more children
    5. Ask parents to shorten their child's day to reduce everyone's exposure to group settings
    6. spend as much time OUTSIDE as possible
    7. Do not serve family style snacks and meals - practice adult lead meals and reduce child to child contact during meals
    8. Throw out playdough and sensory materials that were used last week make new ones or do without for awhile
    9. Consider closing one day per week for extra cleaning and peace of mind
    10. Remember, you have the right to close if you choose and many child care centers have made that decision to protect their own health and the health of their family members
    11. Ask the administration or governing body that employs you what plans they have in place for considering hazardous duty pay.
    12. Use this as an opportunity to talk about child care as essential work during emergency times and remind people that plans will change day to day and you are keeping everyone's best interest in mind as you navigate this new territory



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    Carol Murray
    Bard Nursery School
    Red Hook NY
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  • 11.  RE: Childcare OPEN during coronavirus school closings

    Posted 23 days ago
    Hi Carol,
    These are great suggestions thank you for sharing.

    I am a group home-based in Illinois, I am currently open and sent notice to my parents this weekend of new drop off and pick up policies.  I or a staff member are taking the children from them, not allowing anyone to enter the home.  We are washing hands constantly, and did a through clean and disinfect of all materials and furniture.  I have also removed toys that tend to be mouthed more than others, ie kitchen and other small manipulatives.  We have been rotating rooms and taking little adventures today, looking for leprechauns and gold..  Haven't found them but the children have been engaged and having fun.

    I am following the CDC and my state Rep and NAEYC for all information, the news is stressful and forget Social Media, the amount of crazy.

    I too am slightly concerned about cleaning supplies but I can go old school, if anything this has been a great reminder to my parents the importance of handwashing and the proper method.

    Regarding tuition, I have told my parents if I am open it is due, if they would like to use their vacation time they can.  If I have a parent who is not getting paid I will of course work with them, but my operating costs with insurance and payroll are still real.  Confusing times for many!!

    Everyone stay safe and healthy,
    I look forward to ideas of verbiage for updating our policies, this is going to be difficult.

    Peggy
    Successful Starts
    Lisle, IL

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    Peggy Pierce
    Owner
    Successful Starts Learning Center
    Lisle IL
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  • 12.  RE: Childcare OPEN during coronavirus school closings

    Posted 23 days ago
    Carol, I sent the paper straight to the Governors office and shared it on Facebook.  It is excellent!

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    Connie Richard
    Hartly Family Learning Ctr
    Hartly DE
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  • 13.  RE: Childcare OPEN during coronavirus school closings

    Posted 23 days ago
    Hi,

    Wondering if you can share the link to the position paper. Thanks for starting this thread!
    Janet

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    Janet Zamudio
    Redwood City CA
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  • 14.  RE: Childcare OPEN during coronavirus school closings

    Posted 17 days ago
    Hello,

    Many Family Child Care Homes are still operating and giving their services to families that are "essential" workers. But on the other hand many FCC homes are closed as many parents are working from homes! In both the scenarios, providers are affected - might get infection and are loss of income - I am one of them.
    Please share the article so that we can give a voice to an integral part of ECE and the Community.
    Thanks,

    https://thehill.com/opinion/finance/488690-babies-dont-do-social-distancing?f


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    Jagruti Patel
    Owner/Provider
    Patel Family Child Care
    Redlands CA
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  • 15.  RE: Childcare OPEN during coronavirus school closings

    Posted 17 days ago
    I completely agree and in the same boat over here in Tennessee.  We have a center and have been operating nearly 30 years, and the Federal and State government is NOT on the same page with the CDC as far as early educators are concerned. I'm very upset and do not want this for my kids, families, staff, community, or anyone for that matter, but I'm furious with how they are asking us to put ourselves at risk.  Not ok!!!

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    Lisa Graves
    Co-Owner/Co-Director
    Pro-Kids Day Care & Learning Ctr
    Fairview TN
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  • 16.  RE: Childcare OPEN during coronavirus school closings

    Posted 17 days ago

    Lisa, my heart is breaking to see what is happening right now.  Our already strained system is being put to the test and, quite frankly, abused, in this crisis. I am so sorry this is happening. Please think about what you need to do to take care of yourself.  I am also very angry and sad that our governing agencies are not protecting us right now.
    With care,

    Carol



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    Carol Murray
    Bard Nursery School
    Red Hook NY
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  • 17.  RE: Childcare OPEN during coronavirus school closings

    Posted 17 days ago
    Hi Carol, my stomach is in knots about all of this.  I can't make everyone happy.  We chose to close for two weeks to help slow this virus down.  I pray GOD will abolish covid19.  I don't like that we are all not on the same page.  I understand about our medical professional, but ultimately it would help them if we stayed home so it wouldn't spread.  I have heard several doctors say that.  Prayers for you and all of us.  Be blessed throughout the craziness.

    C.C. (Lisa)

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    Lisa Graves
    Co-Owner/Co-Director
    Pro-Kids Day Care & Learning Ctr
    Fairview TN
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  • 18.  RE: Childcare OPEN during coronavirus school closings

    Posted 16 days ago
    @Jagruti Patel

    This is such an interesting article. I love the title and shared it with some work friends.

    Thank you!

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    Kayleigh Francis
    Ivy Tech Community College
    Indianapolis IN
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  • 19.  RE: Childcare OPEN during coronavirus school closings

    Posted 16 days ago
    Thank you Kayleigh for reading it. Yes, the title compels you to read it and it makes lots of sense on how infants and toddlers need touch and one-on-one interactions.

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    Jagruti Patel
    Owner/Provider
    Patel Family Child Care
    Redlands CA
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  • 20.  RE: Childcare OPEN during coronavirus school closings

    Posted 16 days ago
    This article really made some good points. Thanks for sharing!

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    Dora Agyeman Ampaw
    Provider/Owner
    Little Angel Childcare Center Llc
    Milwaukee WI
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  • 21.  RE: Childcare OPEN during coronavirus school closings

    Posted 14 days ago

    Feel free to borrow and send letters to Washington today.

    Jon_Cardinal@schumer.senate.gov (Schumer)
    angelica_annino@gillibrand.senate.gov (Gillibrand)

    I am a director of a NY state licensed campus child care center in the Hudson River Valley, and I have been working in child care for 25 years. In the past few years the child care industry has been struggling in what we have described as a "care crisis" with a shortage of high quality programs, with working families unable to pay the high cost of care, and with child care providers working at poverty wages in our neighborhoods. We have been a blind spot for far too long. Now with the COVID-19 pandemic, our already strained industry is crumbling.

    The National Association of Young Children reported today that without immediate relief, it is estimated that more than 50 % of child care centers in our nation will close in April. I am writing this letter to request stimulus funding to keep the child care industry from collapsing.

    Childcare centers need your strong leadership immediately. I respectfully request that you work with Speaker Pelosi to significantly INCREASE the ask for childcare to $50B. Without this funding, our child care infrastructure will disintegrate.

    Never in my long career have I experienced such confusion, neglect, and dangerous lack of protection and disrespect for children and their child care teachers. While schools close and the public is told to stay at home, child care centers are asked to increase their capacity and suspend their standards and loosen their regulated safety measures. Caring for children in the best of times is an honorable profession which demands profound knowledge and expertise. An infectious disease pandemic is not the time to lower standards and loosen regulations. More than ever, child care centers need professionals, increased materials and resources, and strengthened health and safety standards to operate in emergency conditions and to survive during and beyond this pandemic.

    Emergency relief is urgently needed to protect our children and our care grid. Without supporting the infrastructure of care givers that allows nurses, doctors, grocery store workers, and all essential personnel to be of service, we will leave our entire workforce stranded and weaken our society. The cost of damaging the care-force that sustains our economy and is the heart of our community will have long lasting consequences on our national strength. The way we respond to children, families and their caregivers in this crisis will reveal our values for decades to come.

    Carol Garboden Murray
    cmurray@bard.edu



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    Carol Murray
    Bard Nursery School
    Red Hook NY
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