Parents watching carefully as N.B. daycares welcome kids back
SAINT JOHN, N.B. -- As many daycares in New Brunswick are taking their first steps toward reopening, they are governed by new COVID-19 related rules, which place extra responsibilities on operators.
Many concerned parents are watching closely.
Jacob Yeoman's three-year-old daughter Bentley is heading back to daycare next week, he says he has been reassured.
"A couple of weeks ago we went to the daycare and we had to get our personal belongings because they were doing a deep clean," Yeoman said. "And she explained the process and what was going to go on, how they're going to take a temperature check in your car. No parents at all are allowed in the day care."
A little more than half of New Brunswick's child-care facilities have opened their doors, welcoming back both children and workers.
"We've been able to bring back 60 of our staff that were laid off," says Shilo Boucher.
COVID-19 regulations require extra work from everyone.
"Pre-screening them and taking temperatures and making sure people wash their hands as soon as they come into the centre and doing that extra sanitization," Boucher said. It also means determining what toys the kids can play with and worrying about a lot of little details on stop of the major issues.
Day cares are required to keep children under the age of five in groups no larger than 10 and to keep "groups" of children separated.
"I'm very glad they're back, we've missed our families," said daycare owner Heather Hamilton.
Even before parents arrive at Hamilton's daycare, there are lots of reminders that things are not exactly back to normal.
She says, there's lots for everyone to consider.
"Stand back six feet, I've got to wash my hands again, I've got to be patient and they have to be patient," Hamilton said. "That's the name of the game, the patience piece. We're still figuring it out, this phase, and it will be different when the next phases come in, so be patient with everybody and us and we'll all get there."
For the economy, there's not much choice.
"I mean it's time to get back to work, the economy can't stall forever," said Yeoman.
Operating a day care is more complicated than ever before, but daycare owners say COVID-19 has also brought a newfound recognition of the important role that daycare will play in re-starting the economy.