Whether you’re already operating your childcare center or you are looking to reopen in the next few weeks, there are many considerations you should think through before opening your doors. Due to the pandemic, there are new guidelines childcare centers must follow to ensure the health and safety of their staff and children. Additionally, there are financial and legal considerations to take into account to make sure your center can fully operate. Many childcare centers that have closed and are looking to reopen are now facing the stress of finding staff members and operating with lower enrollment. Take a look at the considerations and resources outlined in this post to understand how to navigate the reopening process with confidence.
Policies and Procedures
The safety of your staff, children, and families is a top priority when reopening your childcare center. Make sure you have your hygiene and safety procedures clearly outlined so your staff and parents understand. For insight into the best health and safety practices for your childcare center, check out this webinar with Dani Christine. By making processes fast, efficient, and low contact you will reduce the risk of exposure. Some procedures to keep in mind include: classroom setup, ratios, pick up and drop off, and what to do when a child is sick.
2. Legal and Financial Considerations
Policies like the CARES Act and the Family Medical Leave Act are affecting childcare centers. When reopening, it’s important to examine their effects on your business. For an overview of the effect the CARES Act could have on your childcare center, watch this informative webinar by Eric Soucia. If your center has taken advantage of PPP loans, you may be navigating the loan forgiveness process. This webinar by Shira Leibowitz offers a look into different loan forgiveness strategies as well as guidance on completing the loan forgiveness application.
Having conversations with your staff about reopening can be difficult. Many could be afraid about getting sick or even be wary of losing their unemployment funds. During this difficult time, it’s important to communicate with and support staff members. Be clear on expectations and new procedures so all staff members are comfortable. For post-pandemic marketing tips, check out this webinar from Chris and Jenna at Parkway Digital to help boost your brand and attract new staff and children.
Enrollment is at the forefront of many center owner’s minds. Enrollment may be down due to parents working from home, not being able to afford care, or out of fear of their child getting sick. This will affect your staffing, ratios, and scheduling. Additionally, there will be questions brought up discussing payments and refunds. If you haven’t already, make sure your refund policy is clear and outline your expectations for payment in writing. To hear how other center owners are handling this time, join our KT Childcare Connect Facebook group. For more tips on increasing enrollment and retention rates at your center, click here.
For a full, comprehensive guide to reopening your childcare center, click here.
Andrew Roszak from the Institute for Childhood Preparedness has created a helpful, comprehensive course to Reopening Your Childcare Program After the Coronavirus. This course will examine the operational and legal considerations that child care programs should take into account before reopening.