Restore Chester County
Business & Org Toolkit — Child Care
Childcare providers take care of children outside of school through day care, babysitting, and after school programs. The conditions precipitated by COVID-19 have been especially difficult for the 7,000-plus childcare providers in Pennsylvania, resulting in at least 65 permanent closures to date. Businesses have needed to adapt to fluctuating enrollment, falling revenue, increased demands on employees, and new remote learning needs for school-age children, while also retaining quality staff.
Current Childcare Provider Practices
The following practices are being implemented by various childcare providers around the county and nation to address COVID-19-related disruptions. These practices may be helpful for childcare providers not currently using them.
- Offer virtual learning programs.
- Pivot youth programming to create supervised remote learning spaces during the school year.
- Move activities outdoors as much as possible.
- Cohort children according to age, family, and/or other program (such as hybrid elementary school) to reduce contact and make contact tracing easier.
- Work with local press outlets to publish stories about safety measure that have been taken.
- Consider a one stop shop/website/call number for viewing/learning about all childcare openings.
- Have registration times in the evening to accommodate most working parent's schedules.
- Allow children of all ages from one family to participate in programming at one site.
- Allow children of teachers, directors, assistants to participate in activities at employer site.
- ncourage staffing structures that ensure the same staff (including break and relief staff) are with the same classes daily.
- Promote virtual parent-teacher conferences.
- Offer celebrations virtually, such as Grandparent's Day, Guest Readers, etc.
- Offer virtual tours and online registration.
- Encourage applications for county childcare funding at the time of registration.
Actions to Support Childcare Providers
The following actions by governments, economic development organizations, trade organizations, and others would provide support to childcare providers during the current COVID-19 crisis.
- Provide technical assistance with social media/marketing, employee retraining, COVID-19 testing, navigating federal assistance/tax policies, and safety guideline compliance.
- Facilitate a safety 'self-certification' program that features consistent branding and signage.
- Facilitate bulk purchasing of PPE for distribution to small operators.
- Provide additional hiring and training assistance.
- Encourage centralized human resources, finance, and food ordering services.
- Support programs that offer early hours (5am to 9am), late hours (7 to 11pm), overnight, and weekend childcare.
- Create easy approval process for providers to extend age allowances.
- Create partnerships with local higher education to place "student teachers" remotely.
- Pair directors with a Small Business Development counselor to provide technical assistance.
- Encourage providers to open up an older children room or a younger children room.
To see recommendations for other industries, click on the industry link below: