As the COVID-19 pandemic unfolds, more and more child care centers are closing and families are staying home to help curb the spread of the virus. Without children to care for, this has meant a lot of uncertainty for what early childhood educators should be doing with their time.
Although we’d all like for things to go back to normal as soon as possible, providers can use this time effectively to have staff help with other tasks so things are better than ever once the children are back at school. See the list below for ideas of how to keep your staff busy (and be sure to share anything we missed in the comments)!
Clean & Disinfect Everything
Even if no one at your center has shown signs of infection, that doesn’t necessarily mean that your facilities are in the clear. Use this time to thoroughly disinfect everything in your center. That’s right, everything. Every book, block, surface, door handle, faucet, chair…if you can see it, you can clean it!
Here are helpful instructions from the CDC on how to clean and disinfect.
Provide Remote Lessons for Families
Help parents provide fun and educational experiences for their children by sending home lessons and activities to try. There are a number of different ways you can try this, including:
- Written instructions
- Pre-recorded videos
- Facebook or Instagram live videos
For example, check out this great video from Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds:
What a great way to continue providing exceptional service to parents even while the kids are at home!
If you need a little inspiration for activities to try, check out the HiMama Daycare Activities page!
Sometimes even the most meticulously designed spaces can use an update. Now is the perfect time to get input from teachers on how to improve a classroom’s structure so it can function better based on how things may have evolved over time. Just make sure to stay informed with how the pandemic is unfolding before things get too messy so that you can put the rooms back together in time for when you’ll need them!
When it comes to child care, there is certainly no shortage of forms or reports that need to be filled out. Let your staff pitch in and help with whatever administrative tasks have been piling up or see if there’s anything they can do that has been on your wish list but you haven’t had a chance to get to.
Once things return to normal, stay one step ahead by planning as much as you can during this downtime. Write out your lesson plans, order supplies you’ll need, and be proactive about anything else that usually may sneak up on you.
If your staff is required to earn professional development hours throughout the year (and even if they’re not), now is a great time to enroll in online training to build their skills. And since they’re not taking these classes after being with their students all day, they will be less exhausted and be able to focus on the content better.
How has your staff been keeping busy while your center is closed? Let us know in the comments!
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- How to Communicate With Families During COVID-19 Childcare Closures
- How To Use HiMama For Real-time Updates During The COVID-19 Outbreak
- COVID-19 Daycare Closure Letter Template
- Proper Handwashing Techniques for Child Care Providers
- Coronavirus Resources for Childcare Centers, Teachers & Parents