For almost two years now, we have watched our nation bow down to the aftermaths of Covid-19. We have made changes to our personal routines at home, workplaces, and schools. The CDC continues to release guidelines in efforts to help with navigating the virus however, we are all still majorly at a loss. The bottom line is...our children are taking the biggest hits through all of this. Schools bounce between virtual and in-person. Parents are having a hard time balancing work and their younger children. We can agree, this is a huge ball of mess! So what is the best option? Is there a "one-size-fits-all" solution? The simple answer is no.
No there is not a simple solution and no there is not one straight forward decision to please everyone. For many parents like you with small children who cannot stay home, even if you work from home- you still rely on childcares to remain open.
For the past year, childcare centers and home daycare providers have tried to find ways to stay ahead of the pandemic. We have watched them exercise rigorous sanitary precautions, limited traffic in/out of their establishments, some even putting a cap at their numbers. We have watched them go through the toughest of times finding staff. Understandably-we're all scared for our personal sakes. In all honesty, daycare will never be the same again. At least not for a very long time. The pandemic may be bad, but there is some good to take away from it in regards to how your child's daycare navigates through it.
A few of these best practices have worked wonders and made the biggest difference for parents;
Thorough communication between admin staff & parents.
-Keeping the line of communication has never been more important. Parents MUST know what's going on pertaining the environment their children occupy. Letting all parents know should there be an outbreak, goes a long way instead of letting them "find out" or worse, not saying anything at all.
Commitment to Serve
-Remembering why the childcare business was started in the first place. There was a vison to serve. NOW is the time to keep that same commitment. Families deserve transparency and quality.
Take Pride in the Facility
-Without your facility there is no business. Whether that be in-home or in a center, you have to treat it as such. Stay tour ready. Keep your space neat and tidy. Cleanliness means everything these days! Invest in a cleaning service or follow a cleaning chart to help stay on top of specific common areas. This matters! During this time, everyone is looking at how clean you are.
Separate and Label Children's Belongings
-The times of sharing are over. Parents are looking for the reassurance that wherever their children are, they are cared for with the best level of cation as possible. Organize your children’s sleep items & dishes. This will also make it easier for your staff to keep up with each child’s belongings while cleaning or if you need to send those things home.
Stick to Everyone’s Best Interest
-It’s hard to make decisions that’ll please everyone however, that shouldn’t be your goal. Make the best judgement at all times that work for the best interest of your entire program. If you need to close, close! If you require documentation before kids can return, so be it! The biggest thing during these times is communication. Communicate the “Why” even when you feel you don’t have to (or didn’t have to in the past)!
Will daycare return to ”normal”? No, but together we can create a “new normal” and take this thing by the horns!