Consistency is the cornerstone of learning. Children learn through exploration and outcome. If they push a button it sounds ‘ding!’. And, no matter how many times they push that button the outcome is the same. Button = ding. During these uncertain ‘Covid’ times children are having a difficult time – let’s face it – we all are. For children, however, it is particularly difficult because there are so many inconsistencies. Today, for example, my friend, Amy, told me they napped their daughter at 2pm, instead of 1pm, because she had a Zoom call. Yesterday, she had a meeting at 4:00 so Amy’s husband took their daughter to the store. I asked her why she was so hesitant to bring her 2 1/2-year-old back to preschool. She said, “We are making it work, saving money and we know she is safe.”
As the owner of an Early Learning Center, I know how important safety and security are. And I shared with her the intentional caution early learning programs licensed in CT have been implementing, including limited access by adults, added sanitization of materials and surface, teachers wearing masks, separated groups, increased handwashing, and more. As a result of the industry’s diligence here in Connecticut, amongst the cases of Covid in children, just 10 confirmed cases have been discovered in children attending child care in well over 1500 centers state-wide. (https://www.nbcconnecticut.com/news/local/fewer-than-50-covid-19-cases-found-at-child-care-centers-data-based-on-self-reporting/2319027/) Additionally, in this article, https://www.connecticutchildrens.org/back-to-school/is-it-safe-to-send-your-child-back-to-school-during-covid-19-advice-from-connecticut-childrens-physician-in-chief/, posted on
By: Juan C. Salazar, MD, MPH, FAAP, Dr. Salazar explains that children under 12 are far less likely to become infected or spread the illness. Please know I am not trying to generalize your family’s situation. You have to consider your family’s individual health and wellness. If you have a child or family member with asthma, breathing issues, or any underlying health issues, are living with or visit an elderly family member or friend with higher risks your comfort level may be very different.
Amy had NO IDEA what we do on a daily bases to keep our children and families safe. She was actually the one who recommended I write this. She doesn’t live in CT, or I’d have had the conversation a while ago. She is going to ask her daughter’s school what they are doing to prevent spread. So I share this with you because I truly believe Childcare Centers, with added safety measures, regular instruction from Governor Lamont and Commissioner Beth Bye of the Office of Early Childhood, along with state inspections, and extremely honest, caring, smart, and responsible teachers and staff, are safer for children and families than most places in Connecticut.
Amy also said, “we are making it work and saving money”. Now, we ALL know the value of a dollar… especially now! And, I cannot deny times are tough. I just could not help from pointing out that the value of a solid foundation in children is, well…. invaluable. And, the price for a few hours to work at home knowing your child’s schedule and your schedule does not have to compete is also priceless. I asked her to consider how much more productive she would be if she was able to apply her undivided attention WITHOUT feeling guilty about taking that time away from Molly? If she could do her job more efficiently in less time knowing Molly was safe and LEARNING at school she could spend better, more quality time doing her favorite job – being a MOM.
I also explained that children NEED consistency to learn. Yes, children are learning during these tumultuous times. Is their time filled with a set schedule? A balance of active and quiet time? Is there time for exploration inside and outside? Do the activities vary from day to day? Are they learning new words to describe the things they encounter? Are they reading (and re-reading) new books or singing new songs? How often are they seeing friends? Friendships inspire comradery, compassion, empathy, and more. Children benefit immensely from this interaction with their peers. While safety is just as important, if all of the safety measures are met at a center, school, home childcare, these children will not get this time back.
I completely understand your reservations about having the children away from home, out of your protective arms. And, your decision is yours to make! I respect each and every person struggling with this decision, especially those with school-aged children. At my friends suggestion, I just thought I would share the enhanced safety measures all CT Preschools, Childcare and Early Learning Centers are making and how the consistency they provide can be a good thing for your child, yourself, and your family. If you feel your family is safer at home, I encourage you to implement a consistent schedule for your child. This will not only enhance your child’s cognitive development, it will create a firmer sense of security. This will make for better communication, better sleep, more teaching moments, and a more confident child. Please see some of the articles below.
Honey Tree Preschool and Childcare is here for you and your family. We love children and genuinely care! We work every minute of every day to create opportunities for the children to explore and learn. Our daily routine allows children the confidence to know what to expect. We create a balanced learning experience with active and quiet activities. Check out how we keep our children safe on our Covid Page.