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Child Care Through the Pandemic

posted on Monday, October 5, 2020

We recently spoke with family members and staff at the Hawkeye Child Development Center - ALC (HCDC-ALC) to share their stories on how the pandemic has impacted them.

Like many families across the Cedar Valley and beyond, they felt a vast sense of uncertainty take over. Especially, those who were deemed the essential workers.

The Cedar Valley was already in a child care crisis pre pandemic, but when the COVID-19 virus forced many centers to close their doors, the worry for families everywhere grew.

With multiple new protocol changes put in place, like temperature checks at the door and providing personal protective equipment (PPE) for all staff and children 2 and over, the HCDC-ALC was able to continue its care. Not only for current families in need, but also for new families of essential workers without other options.

As a manager of a Human Resources department, HCDC-ALC parent, Holly, opted to continue to stay at work. “I wanted to keep employees informed and calm throughout the pandemic,” said Holly. Without the HCDC-ALC, Holly is unsure where she would’ve been able to find care.

For another HCDC-ALC parent, she knew that she would not have been able to work without the HCDC-ALC staying open. When asked what she would’ve done had the center closed she answered quite simply, “I would’ve lost my job, since we wouldn’t have had anyone else to watch our daughter.”

For staff , they felt comfortable. Tessa shared with us, “we were all given masks to wear and we continue to hold weekly meetings to make sure everyone is up to date on ever changing procedures and precautions”.

You can imagine, getting 2 - 5 year olds to wear masks has been a bit of a challenge. Our staff had to get creative! Through reading many social stories and keeping conversations open during the start of the pandemic gave staff the chance to reassure them about their worries. Staff also fit in a few video chats with friends who chose to stay home during. This allowed children still attending to see their friends were okay during this time too!

Another staff shared the more she talked about cleaning surfaces and washing hands while letting the little ones help really made them feel better.

Staff member Tierra, shared the quote she used to reassure herself, “Be strong now, because things will get better. It might be stormy now, but it can’t rain forever”.

We are so thankful for our staff and family members support in these difficult times.