Under Phase 1 of Governor Roy Cooper’s reopening plan, day cares will be able to start allowing more children at facilities.
“We have had calls about when we are going to be open,” said Karen Root, of Stay and Play in Greensboro. “I think it all depends on when parents are going to be able to go back to work and feel comfortable bringing their kids out again.”
The facility never closed, but under state guidelines could only let children of essential workers attend.
Root explained facility staff are constantly working to sanitize toys and trying to keep children apart when possible.
“We are just enforcing hand washing all the time and making sure that if there is a toy put by a face, or mouth, or their nose that we just take that away immediately, sanitize that before we put that back out,” she said.
At Main Street Baptist Daycare in Kernersville, staff are performing health checks before children go to classrooms.
“Every child that comes in has their temperature taken and has a health check done when they arrive,” Marge Akins said. “We do that throughout the day, not necessarily take the temperature but we’re a little bit more conscious of is anybody acting anywhere out of the normal.”
Health checks are just one component of a list of guidelines for child care centers. NC Department of Health and Human Services is also recommending keeping groups of children separated with a single teacher and staggering playtimes when possible.
Akins said parents are not able to walk back to their child’s classroom and anyone coming to the facility is asked about their exposure to COVID-19.
She said it’s still uncertain how many children will be returning starting next week.
“We’ve been operating at a third of what we generally do year round. By the end of next week or the week after will probably be 50 or 60 percent. I’m thinking by June, will be operating at normal status which is about 100 children,” Akins said.
You can read the full list of NCDHHS guidelines here.