As your family’s childcare provider, we want to continue to keep you updated on the evolving health concerns related to COVID-19, also known as Coronavirus, and how this impacts the services we provide to you. We continue to do everything we can to maintain a safe, germ-free environment: both staff and children participate in frequent handwashing throughout the day and, while we are following our normal cleaning practices, we are also increasing the frequency of our cleanings, as well as deep cleaning and sanitizing commonly used surfaces throughout the classrooms and building.
While many other childcare centers have closed throughout Lynchburg, we have made the decision to continue to remain open to provide safe, reliable care while parents are at work. Many of our parents are critical first responders in this uncertain time, and we truly appreciate the work you are doing to help keep our communities safe and healthy.
In an effort to continue to meet the needs of our parents while, at the same time, adhering to the guidelines set forth by the both the public health departments and Virginia Governor’s Office, we have made some modifications to our policies and procedures that we would like you to be aware of:
Effective Monday, March 30, 2020
- Our classrooms will follow the government mandated 10 individuals or less per room, which includes classroom staff. In order to meet this requirement, we ask that all children be here no later than 8:45am. This allows us time to adjust classrooms as necessary to accommodate these guidelines.
- Mary Bethune Academy has adjusted our center’s hours of operation: we will be open from 6:30am to 5:15pm each day. Please make sure to pick up your child by 5:15pm each day to allow staff adequate time to ensure their classrooms are clean and disinfected.
- Every child will be limited to no more than 9-hours of childcare service per day. Research indicates that children who are in daycare for extended periods of time experience exhaustion and increased stress, both of which make them more vulnerable to illness. And, while we make every effort to keep our classrooms as safe and germ-free as possible, limiting children’s exposure to one another will also assist in avoiding the transmission of any possible illnesses. Each classroom teacher will be monitoring their children’s attendance hours and will notify the Office of any concerns.
- If your child exhibits any sign of illness throughout the day, the parent will be notified and the child must be immediately picked up. This is to ensure the health and safety of both the children we serve, and our staff and we appreciate your understanding.
- While MBA is open and operating, the Department of Social Services has asked us to encourage those of our families who are able to remain at home to care for their children do so, which aligns with the public health recommendation of social distancing. However, please note that as long as MBA remains open, due to the increased demand of child care, in order to maintain your space in your child’s classroom, you will be responsible for the weekly childcare fee, whether or not your child is in attendance.
- Self-Pay Families: In order to keep your space in your child’s classroom, your weekly childcare fee is due by Friday of each week. If you anticipate your child being absent for an extended period of time, please contact our Main Office to discuss what options may be available. Those children whose parents have not contacted our office and/or do not pay their weekly fee will be dropped from service after 5-days of non-attendance.
- Subsidy Families: The Department of Social Services has increased the number of absences that can be swiped from 36 to 76. Even if you choose to keep your child at home, it is very important that you either use the IVR Phone System or come by MBA to swipe for your absences. If you anticipate your child being absent for an extended period of time, please contact our Main Office to let us know. Those children whose parents have not contacted our office and/or do not swipe their absences will be dropped from service after 5-days of non-attendance.
- We ask that no street shoes be worn inside the room, as many of our children play on the floor and carpets and we want to avoid any contamination from shoes. We are in the process of purchasing a supply of shoe covers to make available for parents to wear but, until they arrive, we ask that you remove your shoes before entering the classroom or ask the teacher assist you with drop-off and pick-ups for your child over the door entrance.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding these changes to our policies and procedures, please do not hesitate to speak with our Office. We are committed to staying open to serve our families and we will continue to revisit our operating decision daily based on new information and updates. As additional changes are made, we will notify all of our parents as soon as possible using our center’s texting service. Please also continue to visit our Facebook page for the latest updates. Thank you again for your continued support of our program and staff during this uncertain time, we will get through this together!