‘Families are frantic’: Child care centers prep for fall

Coronavirus

Parents will have to keep juggling child care and work as distance learning continues

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Many families are concerned about sending their kids to daycare as some parents prepare to balance work and child care as schools proceed with distance learning in the fall.

KOIN 6 News checked in with two child care centers, both of which are already full. Orchards KinderCare in Vancouver and Sunshine Early Learning Childcare Center in Milwaukie reported receiving daily calls from parents trying to find a place for their kids to go in the fall so they can work.

Orchards Kindercare closed a preschool classroom in order to convert it into a school-aged classroom in response to needs voiced by parents. Sunshine Early Learning is also planning to open more classrooms and hire more staff.

Both facilities will be able to allow more children in each group under the new child care center guidelines that go into effect September 1 and that’s not the only change coming.

“The big one is masks for kindergarten and up,” explained Sunshine Early Learning Childcare Center Director Kate Sines. “Getting our kids used to wearing masks for that age and then all adults wearing masks as well.”

“All of our 5-year-olds are already wearing masks and they’re doing fantastic, so yeah, they do wonderful with some guidance from teachers,” said Karina Ross, the center director for Orchards KinderCare.

Under the new guidelines, all children kindergarten age and up will have to wear masks. There are also tighter guidelines on sanitation and cleaning, new rules for drop-off and pick-up and mandatory daily health checks.

Many centers have already implented the new guidelines, leading many parents to decide to place their children back into child care.

“Families are frantic and we want to be there to support them the best that we can,” Ross said.

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