Managing Child Care During a Pandemic
Many parents, especially mothers, across the United States will agree that one of the largest struggles posed by the COVID-19 pandemic was that of child care. As of October, it was estimated that up to 4.5 million extra women were unemployed in comparison to the previous year, many of whom are unable to seek new job opportunities. And, approximately 33% of these women left their job due to child care responsibilities.
While both parents have bared the brunt of the pandemic restrictions when it comes to child care, working mothers seem to be faring worse. Many are continuing to take on the time, cost and stress of trying to support their children in hitting their developmental and educational milestones. In fact, many mothers are reporting spending up to 15 hours more each week on child care duties while also juggling their careers.
It is clear to see that for many Americans, child care during the pandemic has not been sustainable and with many child care providers having to shut their doors at different stages over the course of the year, the flexibility that parents relied on was a dream many were holding on to.
How Have Child Care Providers Adapted to the Challenges Posed by COVID-19
For those child care providers that have been fortunate enough to stay open for extended periods of time during the COVID-19 pandemic, the need to adapt to the challenges posed by the Coronavirus was evident.
Naturally, many parents were nervous to allow their children to return to their child care providers without knowing fully what measures would be put in place. Besides that, even the challenges that commuting now posed left many feeling uncomfortable. This was understandable and expected. However, as many working parents are now aware of, the need for child care support is not just a luxury – it’s a necessity.
Many child care providers had to adapt quickly to make sure that they were continuing to provide a safe place and learning environment that their students had grown accustomed to while also dealing with staff shortages, lack of funds and arduous cleaning protocols.
For those parents who were looking to receive outside child care support but were working full-time from home or were worried about letting their child interact with others, many child care providers started to offer in-home learning support to ease the pressures on remote parents.
The Vivvi In-Home program allows your child to receive the full benefits of the Vivvi learning model but right from the comfort of their own home. Our expert teachers are trained in health and safety by our Head of Compliance in conjunction with the New York Presbyterian Hospital Network to ensure that your child and family are kept safe from COVID risks.
Which Health and Safety Measures Should Parents Be Looking Out For?
For those child care campuses located in New York, there were clear and stringent state regulations that all child care providers needed to implement prior to reopening their doors back in July, 2020. These regulations included but were not limited to:
- No more than 15 children in a room
- All adults and children (expect those under the age of 2) were required to wear face masks
- Daily health screenings of the children and staff were to be carried out
- Frequent cleaning and disinfecting of the day care centers were required especially of high traffic areas such as bathrooms, classrooms and any kitchen facilities
- Social distancing was to be adhered to
- Limited sharing of toys and supplies
If you are a parent who is looking for a child care and early learning provider for their child for the very first time or you are looking for your child to return on-site, it is important to ensure that you’re comfortable with the health and safety measures that have been put in place.
Before agreeing to send your child back to the campus, make sure that you are asking what protocols they have in place in regards to social distancing, disinfecting, health screening, staff training and pick up/drop-offs.
Additionally, understanding which HVAC systems the child care provider is using to improve airflow in the building and whether their staff is being provided with adequate PPE equipment can be comforting for parents.
In most cases, including here at Vivvi, we will be happy to answer any questions that parents have regarding the new regulations in place and will ensure to put your mind at ease.
How Vivvi Have Adapted and How We are Preparing for the Future
At Vivvi, our main focus has been supporting families and keeping children safe. That will never change. So, in light of the Coronavirus pandemic, we have made sure that our campuses are safer than ever before.
As part of our cleaning protocols, we are cleaning and disinfecting all surfaces every hour and more frequently, if needed. All toys are sanitized regularly and after a child has finished playing with a toy it is moved out of circulation in order to limit cross-contamination. Each night, the campuses are deep cleaned which involves steaming of all furniture and rugs.
To protect staff and families, we are requiring all parties to submit medical forms before they are allowed on campus. Temperature checks are carried out on a daily basis before a parent, child or teacher is allowed to enter. Additionally, all staff members are required to be tested for COVID every three weeks. If a child or team member is to fall ill while on campus, they leave the facility immediately in the case of a teacher or they will be removed from a classroom in the case of a child and cared for until a parent can collect them.
Our team wears masks at all times during the day. While, for children, we work with families to ensure that children over 2 years old wear masks while on and commuting to and from campus.
We have restricted classroom sizes as outlined by state regulations and will not be allowing children to go for outdoor walks in order to limit cross-contamination.
As mentioned above, for those parents who are unsure about sending their children back to the Vivvi campuses, we are providing an in home option that allows you to work productively from home while your child is being cared for and taught by one of our teachers. .
For more information on how Vivvi is preparing for the future, contact us today and we’ll be happy to discuss any concerns that you may have.