We understand there are many questions and concerns about the future of programming and when the center will be opening. Most importantly,we are waiting for the Governor’s Office and DCFS to reinstate our early care and education license.
The only operable childcare licenses at this point are programs providing emergency care to first responders and essential workers. All other childcare licenses in the State were suspended for COVID-19. We anticipate this reinstatement of our license will come in Phase 3 of the Governor’s reopening plan. The earliest we could possibly prepare to open would be July 1st, 2020. That being said, safety of our children, families and staff is our highest priority.
We will not open our center until we are fully prepared and safety procedures are clear and in place. We want to make you aware of some of the changes in procedures and policies in this new environment:
•Arrival & Departure: Changes to entering and exiting the center as well as parent drop-off/pick up procedures.
•Classroom Management: Smaller group sizes, no mixing of students or teachers.
•New health and safety policies :Daily temperature check and monitoring.
•Heightened cleaning and sanitizing: We are looking into purchasing foggers, sanitizing stations and hiring professional cleaning companies for this support,on top of daily staff cleansing of toys, materials and surfaces.
*Possible changes in opening and closing times.
•Staff training: Increased professional development on health and safety as well as new guidelines and protocols.
•For the past few months, we have ordered more Personal Protective Equipment (PPE):Masks, gloves, etc. We will also need to acquire new cleaning supplies we do not currently have. We will work with the City of Evanston and the City of Chicago for support of obtaining supplies.
•We are also requesting a COVID-19 testing protocol with the City of Evanston in partnership with Presence Health, Northshore and Erie Health systems. We hope they will be responsive. There will also be an expectation that parents will follow our new guidelines. We will develop additional parent policy handbook guidelines that will need to be signed. We understand all of this is challenging. We want to ensure you that our centers stay true to what has made Toddler Town so special in the field of early care and education. We will continue to be a nurturing, caring, loving and supportive environment that focuses on healthy development, social emotional learning and a strong commitment to the growth of your children. We are asking for everyone’s cooperation as parents and staff assist us with these changes. Everything we are implementing is for the health and safety of everyone: children, family and staff.
It is critically important we work together and support these changes. There will be more communication and surveys going out in the coming weeks to ensure we understand your concerns and needs.These adjustments will be challenging, but with the support of one another we will overcome this challenge and move forward.
In the next week we will be contacting all families that have emailed their essential worker documents and remaining spaces will be given int he order of completion of the survey that was emailed out and discussed on the Toddler Town Facebook Live event May 26, 2020
Once our Plans and procedures are completed for reopening and approved by DCFS, we will email all parents a copy of the new procedures and plan and we will also hold another Facebook live event to discuss and go over everything with you.
*Thank you to IWSE for their assistance