Taking a minute to change your perspective could have an amazing impact. This
is the perfect time to give your business a refresh! Before reopening consider
updating policies and procedures, train your staff, and giving your business a
Set a Timeline
One of the most difficult decisions facing directors and owners is deciding when to reopen. Safety is everyone’s top priority. Yet, many first responders must have child care to be able to work. So how does a center decide when it’s safe? The CDC published a list of indicators that schools can use to help deter mine the right time to open. Directors and owners must assess the level of risk versus the level of need for their community. Seer’s Pre-paid and Online services make it easy for families to pay for and schedule care remotely. Directors and owners can quickly determine the needs of their existing families with this cutting edge technology!
Become Familiar With New Guidelines and Regulations
There is an incredible amount of COVID-19 information being published from the federal, state, and local levels. Make sure that you are familiar with, and prepared to implement, any new requirements and recommendations. This is no small task! Be sure to set aside enough time to thoroughly go through all new guidance. Use Seer’s planning tools, such as scheduling and staff planning, to make sure you can dedicate the time needed!
Update your Policies and Procedures
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected almost every industry. Child care facilities large and small will need to revise several policies and procedures to continue to provide safe, quality care. Consider the following list and how each might need to change.
Cleaning and disinfecting
Sanitizing is more critical now than ever before. Develop a schedule for increased cleaning and disinfecting that outline what is to be cleaned, who is responsible, and how often disinfecting should take place.
Consider changing the classrooms’ daily schedules to make social distancing easier.
Diapering and Restrooms
Procedures for diapering, toilet training, and restroom use should be revised to reflect intensive cleaning and disinfecting expectations.
How will meals be served? Will your center need to make adjustments in how meals are prepared and served to allow for social distancing?
Playgrounds and shared space use
Consider making a schedule for playground and gym time.
How will your center handle a child or staff members who becomes ill? Clear expectations and protocol will be critical for reopening to ensure the health and safety of everyone at your center.
Parent Drop-off and Pick-up
To facilitate smooth traffic flow during drop-off and pick-up times, think through the process your parents will go through and optimize it to keep them safe and allow them to enter and exit efficiently. Communicating new policies and procedures with your families and staff helps to ensure a smooth reopening. Seer’s Parent Portal makes that communication easier than ever! You can share and store contact information and send mes- sages with the click of a button.
Emergency Management Plan
Directors and owners will want to consider updating their Emergency Man-
agement Plan to include a section on how future shutdowns will be managed.
Reach out to local law enforcement or Fire departments for help reviewing your
plan. Some states require plans to be reviewed by an emergency management
Updates To Your Facility
Consider what sections of your facility will need updating to ensure everyone’s safety. Is there a reception area that needs rearranging to facilitate a smoother parent interaction? Are there kiosks that need protection? Seer recommends rearranging classroom furniture to help children naturally maintain the recom- mended 6 feet of social distancing. Be sure to look for blind spots! Seer’s financial management tools can help directors and owners keep track of expenses related to the COVID-19 pandemic. With the increased cost of: supplies such
as Personal Protective Equipment, labor for cleaning and sanitizing, and up- dates to the business processes, budgeting will be important to ensure long- term success.
Perhaps the most critical step in the reopening process is communicating with
families and staff. Child Care Seer makes communicating with families and staff
easy! Families and staff members can update contact information, send and re-
ceive messages, and track schedules right from their phone! No app required!
Staff members will need thorough trained on any new policies and procedures to ensure a smooth reopening. Additionally, this is a great time to update staff on annual training requirements such as First Aid/CPR, MAT certification, Trauma Response training. Seer’s Staff Planning tools allow you to keep track of training and certifications!
Focus on Enrollment
Centers large and small are facing enrollment challenges. With the unemployment rate at an all-time high, many centers are struggling to maintain enrollment goals. Consider offering virtual tours by appointment or put a virtual tour video on your website and social media. This is also a great time to offer incentives for enrolling such as referral discounts. Consider what will appeal to the families in your area. Child Care Seer’s Billing and Booking Requests tool make tracking discounts and incentives effortless!
On opening day, keep your schedule open! Ensure you are available to answer questions and help when and wherever needed. So much of the child care business is about building trust and positive relationships. Remember, its equally important to support and build rapport with your staff! Studies have shown that employees are more productive and loyal when they feel valued and appreciated. Be sure to smile and greet every child that comes in. Using Child Care Seer’s scheduling tools to ensure proper coverage for opening day gives you peace of mind that you can be available for families when they need you!
Recognize this is the new normal. With so much of the child care industry being affected by COVID-19 it’s important to consider and plan for the financial impact of the changes required of your business. Are the changes you are implementing sustainable? Will your budget need adjusting to accommodate new supplies and equipment?