Daycares prepare for ‘new normal’ with COVID-19

Local News

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — For the past few months, parents in Indiana have been adjusting to working from home, while helping their kids with e-Learning. However, with many parents headed back to work and schools still closed, who will watch the kids?

Governor Eric Holcomb made daycare centers essential so facilities were not required to close due to the COVID-19 pandemic. WANE 15 reached out to daycares across the area to find out how they’ve been affected.

Many chose to close their doors or reduce the number of children they watch due to the virus. Other facilities have chosen to stay open but have taken extra precautions for the safety of everyone involved.

“Lots of extra cleaning, sanitizing everything, the rooms, the toys,” Cornerstone Daycare Learning Center director Becky Abbott said. “When the children and staff come in in the morning if they have any type of low grade fewer they need to go home.”

Cornerstone Daycare Learning Center has stayed open during the virus outbreak to make sure front line workers and first responders had a place to take their kids while they worked. Abbott said the facility has been a blessing and is grateful none of her staff or kids have come down with the virus. The daycare has also been able to take children from other facilities that have closed. Staff at the facility that were high risk or felt uncomfortable working as the virus spread were allowed to stay home. The daycare is licensed to care for more than 250 kids. However, due to the virus, at one point the number dropped into the 60s.

“We are really excited, of course everybody is ready to get back to work, to have all our staff back,” Abbott said. “It was sad to walk around the daycare and see so many of our classrooms without the children.”

The number of children being cared for has moved back up to around 100, however, now the facility is having a hard time getting enough milk to give everyone. Last week the daycare even partnered with the church and had a big food drive give away. Any families who have kids that attend the daycare or staff who work at the center were able to drive by and get a box of food.

Overall, Abbott says she is counting her blessings.

“It’s been great to know that we’ve been able to help where we’ve been able to,” Abbott said. “The real concern of course was wanting everybody to be safe and making sure nobody comes down with it.”

If you have questions about your daycare, it’s best to call your child care provider. If your daycare is not open, other facilities may have room to take on more children. All you have to do is call and ask.

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