- On February 09, 2022
- In Preschool
What Our Preschools Need to Thrive Throughout the Pandemic
As the Covid-19 pandemic persists, the conversation continues to progress around how our education system will and should adapt to meet the developmental needs of our children, while keeping them safe.
Preschools face unique challenges in preventing the spread of Covid-19 infections. Currently in Massachusetts, anyone ages 5 and up can receive a Covid-19 vaccine. This means most children attending early education programs are not eligible for vaccination against the virus. This makes it increasingly difficult for early education providers, like IBA’s Preschool, to face the challenges of the pandemic while keeping programs open with heightened safety precautions to protect young students.
However, early childcare and preschool providers have been speaking about the resources they need and different measures that can be implemented to provide a safe teaching environment for their students and staff. The following is a list of ways the state can support our early childcare and preschool centers:
- Reasonably priced, well-supplied rapid tests. Since children are less likely to show Covid-19 symptoms, childcare providers and families are calling for asymptomatic children to be tested alongside symptomatic individuals to prevent further spread. This proactive measure would create peace of mind and additional protection for families, children, and staff, and would help prevent future closures in the event of an outbreak. Governor Charlie Baker recently launched an initiative to provide free rapid tests to childcare centers that have programs enrolled with Neighborhood Villages.
- Government funded, increased childcare employee wages. Nationwide, childcare centers are struggling to fill empty positions. With an expansive labor shortage of teachers and staff, we are seeing demand for higher salaries, which providers and families cannot afford to meet. On a federal and local level, the government must step in to provide funding for higher educator salaries to sustain the affordability of early childcare programs and ensure that educators are receiving livable wages.
- Proper education for children about Covid-19 protocols and safety. As children navigate educational spaces, parents and teachers should feel empowered to properly and effectively educate children on the importance of Covid-19 protocols. Having children remained masked is a difficult task, but there are steps educators can take to reduce this struggle. Having honest and open conversations with kids is crucial to keeping classrooms safe.
These needs will continually evolve as we all work to combat the pandemic’s effect on our educational spaces. Improving federal support, increasing access to proper supplies and finding new ways to educate children about healthy practices can help our preschools operate in a safe, sustainable way.
Early education centers are critical to growing the next generation of future leaders. Here at IBA, we are committed to providing our preschool students with a multicultural environment that provides children with a full day, year-round educational experience that sets them up for success. We remain committed to working through the limitations of the pandemic to ensure our preschoolers’ safety and education remain our top priority.
If you're interested in bringing your child into our preschool visit ibaboston.org/preschool/, call (617) 927-1740 or email us at email@example.com...