Opinion

Dispatches from the Daycare

Given the current state of the world, a number of occupations are being put in the spotlight more than ever before.  The most notable are healthcare workers, and rightfully so. They are putting their lives at risk in order to provide the best possible care. Others include grocery store employees, truck drivers, and food service workers.

One unique profession that has also been deemed essential is daycare workers. Schools may be closed but the children of those working in healthcare still need a place to leave their kids, and that’s where I come into play.

I am employed as a daycare worker and I also work part-time at a fast-food establishment, but in the last week, all of that came to a screeching halt. A child at my daycare center tested positive for coronavirus. All of my coworkers and I are having to self-isolate and the center has closed for a week, given there are no new cases announced.

Despite the circumstances, I’m oddly proud of my coworkers. As other businesses were closing their doors and sending people home, we made it work.  We adjusted with the new schedule, especially myself in my school age room. We made the decision to not have parents enter the center in order to prevent any further spread of germs.

Instead, we would collect the child or children in our entryway after taking their temperature. As our enrollment fluctuated with parents deciding to pull their children, either due to health concerns or their change of employment, we made the best of our smaller class sizes.  

I took it upon myself to ensure that my kids wouldn’t be missing out despite the fact they won’t return to school for another four months. I planned lessons that encompassed their interests – and mine – so we could all learn something. From dinosaurs to outer-space, I felt really confident in how we were handling what was being thrown at us with such short notice.

There are downsides, of course. Like how toddlers are stubborn and trying to enforce hand-washing for little people whose hands live in their mouths is rather difficult.  

We did our best to stay on top of those runny noses and any sign of a low-grade fever. But at the end of the day, they’re kids. It’s our job to give them love and affection while their parents are off saving the world.  

And naturally, with kids, no matter how much you scrub, they’re bound to spread germs. I may be only four days into isolating, but there isn’t a day that I don’t think about my kids and how things will be once this is all over.   

Categories: Opinion

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