Childcare businesses are still facing daily struggles with COVID-19 protocol.
To prevent the spread of COVID-19, Country Cottage Preschool is enforcing mask wearing for students while indoors.
“There are a lot of opinions out there with parents and I think that’s a big thing to juggle. There are certain factors, regulations, and policies we have to have in place in order to keep our doors open to the community,” said Country Cottage Preschool Owner Brianna Ash.
The preschool saw their student totals drop from 62 to six students at the height of the pandemic as parents initially took students out in fear their child would be exposed to COVID-19.
“We have decision fatigue. I feel like I could cry talking about how overwhelmed and isolated I feel right now. I don’t even have time to communicate with my other parent friends about it,” said parent Megan Rivoire.
Now that the vaccine is out, children have slowly but surely returned while masking up.
“We try to be outside as much as possible because they don’t have to wear them in outdoor air,” said Ash.
“I’m just totally putting the trust in someone else’s hands because I’ve got to do my job every day,” said Rivoire.
Others in the childcare industry are also experiencing the struggle of dealing with the pandemic, including Cuesta College Children’s Center Director Katie Mervin.
“It’s been the most difficult thing I’ve ever experienced in my career. Teachers are completely burned out, nobody is applying for jobs, it is stressful every day. If one of my teachers gets sick, I don’t have a substitute. We have very limited substitutes,” said Mervin.
Daycares continue to persist through the obstacles COVID-19 has presented them.
“There really has been the opportunity to connect with other people and saying what are you doing and how are you doing it,” said Mervin.
“We’re thankful to be open even though there have definitely been challenges. We try to look at the bright side of things,” said Ash.
“It’s so important to know that I’m sending my kid somewhere where they’re going to be safe and cared for and not just academically but emotionally,” said Rivoire.
Students are required to have a negative PCR COVID-19 test in order to return back to the daycare.