The Osage Community Daycare is staying open to take care of the community’s children during the COVID-19 pandemic.
While they’re not seeing the number of children they usually see, Osage Community Daycare’s Director Shelley Parks believes it is the parents who are essential workers, such as people who work at the hospital, who are still taking advantage of the childcare provider.
The daycare has five rooms in the building that was built back in February 2019. They are also allowed to use one room in Lincoln Elementary for school-aged children. This amount of space allows the daycare to stay in the recommended number of having 10 people in a room, part of Gov. Kim Reynolds' order when she declared a statewide public health emergency on March 17.
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If the number of children being dropped off would exceed what the daycare is able to accommodate with the 10-person rule in mind, the daycare would call the Department of Human Services (DHS). DHS would then make the call on what to do next. Parks says the daycare is not in charge of that decision. The daycare currently has to report their daily numbers and staff information to DHS every day during the pandemic.
According to the daycare’s Facebook page, DHS now requires that daycare workers meet families at the door in order to prevent the spread of germs that could occur if parents came into the daycare. Children’s temperatures will be taken at the door, and if a child has a temperature of 100.4 degrees or higher the child may not attend daycare that day.
The daycare also reminds parents not to use fever reducer as a way to get their child into daycare. After doing the temperature reading staff will escort the children to their rooms. When children are being picked up at the end of the day adults are asked to wait at the front desk for a staff member to bring you your child.
“We’re just taking the precautions that Iowa Public Health and the Department of Human Services has given us,” says Parks. “We continue to change our practices according to what they have asked us to do.”
More information about all the precautions the daycare is taking can be found on its Facebook page.
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