Have choices about childcare in our age of pandemic left you with a range of emotions you can’t quite put into words?
Have you had the unusual sensation of being in a strange new world you never could have imagined?
As K-12 schools decide whether to serve students through remote, hybrid, or in person learning, many child care centers have remained open. In the early months of pandemic early childhood stood as an essential service for essential workers. Now, as summer shifts to fall and a new school year begins, many more families are returning.
Some have had children in care throughout the pandemic, while others have recently returned. Some are considering returning, while others are quite certain they want their children to be cared for at home. Regardless of your choices, you may well be experiencing a wide range of emotions.
I invite you to check in on how you are feeling about your children leaving quarantine.
Like me, it may not be only how you are feeling, but who you are feeling like as we navigate this strange new reality we all face.
Providing daycare and learning throughout the pandemic, I’ve felt all of the above. It is as if overnight we have been transported to a new world, without ever having actually leaving home. Things are both different, and yet the same, as we have adjusted to our new reality. Through it all we have focused on implementing health protocols in a playful and non-stressful manner.
We have actively designed an environment that is safe and nurturing, creative and calm. We have designed a haven of hope and happiness in a world filled with challenge. Ultimately, we have supported one another and the children in our care to feel at ease, playful, and calm. While the world outside us continues to be full of challenges, at school we are caring for one another, playing, creating, and learning. We have found stability in a world of uncertainty.
The answer as to whether or not to place a child in care outside the home is, as it has always been, a highly personal one. What is right for one family is not right for another. Yet, childcare is designed with safety in mind. There are very small class sizes, a high level of supervision, attentiveness to hand washing and disinfecting, health checks and more. As a result, the choice to return, or to start childcare, nursery school or preschool, has been one that does make good sense for many.
If you are on the fence, wondering if the time is yet right to send your child back, you may be interested in Voices of Child Care. This documentary shares stories of child care centers in Westchester county New York that have been open through the pandemic. Discovery Village – children, teachers, and leadership – have been featured in several episodes.
I invite you to a glimpse into what the experience has been.
If you are interested in returning to, or starting childcare, I invite you to reach out. Schedule a visit – either virtual or live. See the children and teachers. See what learning and care looks like with COVID health and safety protocols. Ask to speak to some of our families who have been attending throughout the pandemic, or have recently returned or started.
To those of you who have been with us, we are grateful to be on this journey with you!
To those of you considering daycare, nursery school or preschool, we look forward to the possibility of meeting you!