As we come to the end of our first month back I can honestly say it could not have gone any better and in many ways went better than we could have hoped for. All of our parents, kids, and teachers have done a fantastic job of adapting to all of the new rules and regulations with a positive attitude and cheerfully went along as things changed week by week.
Going into our second month we have seen a slowdown in rule changes being handed down by the State of Illinois. The month of June felt a little like a whole new ballgame each day but now for July, we feel like we are really going to be able to start creating our “new normal” for the duration of this health crisis.
You will still see a few changes as we streamline the rules and procedures that we need to continue and eliminate things that no longer apply to us now that we have proven we can safely reopen to provide care and education to our TTLC children.
Although we will continue to do drop off and pick up outside we will move back to our normal sign-in sheets for parents and the staff will conduct and fill out the health screening each day. We have already moved to sanitize shoes on arrival rather than changing shoes each day.
Masks will continue to be required of all adults and children during drop off and pick up. In addition, staff will continue to wear a mask or a shield at all times inside the building and children will wear a mask or a shield whenever they are in a common area but not in the classrooms. No one will wear any face covering when eating, drinking, napping, or outside.
The State of Illinois has issued new DCFS licenses for childcare centers with reduced capacities allowed. These reduced capacities reflect how many children we can care for each day while following the rules for reduced class sizes and not using rooms for more than one group. Our Alton center will be operating at 52% of their former capacity and our East Alton center will be operating at 60% or their former capacity.
In addition to decreased capacity, we also have to deal with increased staffing requirements. So we have to have more teachers to care for fewer children, because of this we have to be extremely rigid about scheduled days and times of attendance.
We used to allow parents to drop off and pick up whenever they liked but that is no longer the case and won’t be for the foreseeable future. All parents will be required to schedule specific days and times and will be required to stick to them and not allowed to come early or stay later.
We are also required by the Illinois Department of Public Health to verify the reason for every single absence so if you child is not going to attend a scheduled day we need to know at the soonest possible time so that we can adjust staffing and if we do not hear from you we will have to call until we reach someone to verify the reason for the absence
Since parents are still not coming inside the building we will continue to post daily pictures and videos so you can see what we’re up to each day. We hope you are enjoying seeing them as much as we enjoy taking them for you.