Child care centers implement safety guidelines as Phase 3 begins

Chesterfield County

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Under Phase 3 of Governor Ralph Northam’s ‘Forward Virginia initiative, child care centers are welcoming children once again.

Child care centers across the commonwealth will be trusted to protect little ones amid the ongoing threat of the coronavirus. It’s why child care centers, such as LeafSpring School at Charter Colony in Midlothian, are implementing some changes.

When parents arrive to drop off their children, they’ll notice a sign and a box of masks. The center has also enforced Virginia’s face mask requirement, saying that parents and employees may not enter the building without donning one. As an extra precaution, families will be screened each morning. Additionally, parents must fill out a list with a set of COVID-19-based questions. A nurse on-site will also take kid’s temperature, including staff members. 

“We also currently limit traffic in our building so right now we just allow children and staff members inside of the building,” said Tina Schwarz, an administrator for the Chesterfield County preschool. 

School officials tell 8News that parents will drop their children off on one side of the building and pick up their children from a different entrance.

Lauren Maggi, the school’s age director, told 8News their number one priority is social distancing.

“We have trained our teachers extensively in knowing what to do and how to make sure we socially distance our children,” Maggi said.

Individual activities have been set up by teachers to help keep kids socially distanced while also keeping them engaged.

Sanitation will also be enforced for staff members.

Outside areas and playgrounds, which will be used frequently by the kids, will be sanitized before and after each use.

Children will be taught various songs to sing while washing their hands. 

As for staff, they want to make sure that parents feel comfortable enrolling their children during such an unprecedented time. 

“They know our doors are open and that we have proper safety protocols in place,” Maggi says, “so that we can safely accept children and make sure that they have a really good time while they’re here.”

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