COVID-19 has affected almost every facet of our lives, including childcare. If you leave your home and go to work, your kids may be learning remotely and need supervision. If you work from home along with your children, there are probably a lot of you under one roof, trying to make things work. And if it’s some combo, there will be sometimes that you just need help watching your children. But how can you be sure that you’re doing it safely? How can you make sure that your child is well-cared for, but also kept safe for the sake of their own health and yours? Here are some steps you can take to manage the risks of pandemic childcare.
Family Members for Child Care
If you’ve already quarantined with your parents, siblings, or close friends, they can be built-in babysitters. Or if you have a small circle of people with whom you’ve interacted from the start, they can also be a safe bet for low-risk childcare providers. If you must rely on people outside your immediate network, make sure to check on their health and quarantine status before you allow them into your home or drop your children off at theirs. Do they and their immediate family members follow proper safety protocols. Is anyone sick? Do they wear masks in public? What cleaning procedures do they use? These are all important questions. Even though children tend to fare better with COVID-19 than adults, you want to make sure they don’t pass the virus on to you or other loved ones in a higher risk category.
Nannies for Child Care
Hiring your local teenage babysitter may not be the best option right now. It’s tougher to ensure that they follow safety protocols, and they may not be available when you need them. A nanny may be an option, especially if you can share the cost with friends or neighbors. Be sure to ask them some questions before you hire:
- What are your daily activities? Do go out to public places often? Do you meet up with friends after work? Do you practice social distancing?
- Do you wear a mask? Do you cover up when you go out? Will you wear a mask around the children?
- Have you been tested recently? If so, what was the result? How many times have you been tested and for what reason did you feel you needed to be tested?
You also have a right to ask that anyone who takes care of your kids follow your rules, such as washing their hands when they arrive, or wearing a mask.
If you use a daycare center, be certain the one you choose follows CDC guidelines that are intended to protect the health of both employees and families. Here are some guidelines to look for:
- Smaller class sizes—Is the daycare running at a smaller capacity? Are they putting children in smaller groups and implementing social distancing when possible?
- Health screenings—Do they screen children for fevers or COVID-related symptoms before they enter the facility? Do they screen their staff?
- Cleaning and disinfecting—How often do they clean and disinfect the facility, including tables, toys, and anything else your child may come into contact with? How often do the staff wash their hands and how often do they ask children to wash their hands?
The pandemic has brought a lot of challenges, but it is possible to manage the risks of childcare while working or taking classes during this chaotic time. At Charter College, we have a dedicated faculty and staff who want to see you succeed. Call 888-200-9942 to learn more.