Early educators have experienced tremendous challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but their dedication to serving children and families has remained consistent. As they reopen their programs, early educators are finding innovative ways to adapt to a new normal. High quality early learning is happening safely with modified learning activities, new health and safety protocols, and fun, creative ways to build meaningful connections with children and their families.
Part 2: Early Learning Matters
We asked family child care educators across San Francisco to share their ideas and experiences as they have reopened their programs in the pandemic. Here are the ways they’ve changed their programs to keep children safe:
Health & Safety Practices
- We have a front entrance drop off area with a 6 feet social distancing awareness. (SF Early Learning Program)
- Teachers wear masks in the center and wash their hands all the time, and we clean and disinfect the classroom, bathroom, and teacher lounge at least three times a day. (Christina Fang, WuYee-Lok Yuen Child Development Center)
Translation: Children enter the nursery to change clothes and wash their hands frequently. (Yan Hong Zhou, Joanna’s Day Care)
Translation: We have strengthened the cleaning and disinfection of nurseries, and arranged parents to pick up and drop off the children at different times. (Hiu Yim Wu, Rising Star Family Childcare)
Translation: I participate in meetings and watch various trends on the internet every week, and update the necessary preparations and preventive measures at any time. (Mingyi Chen, Rainbow Heart Child Care)
- Tomar temperatura a la entrada y salida del personal y los niños, usar alcohol gel, lavado de manos, guantes, máscaras y mantener el ambiente completamente limpio y desinfectado.
Translation: We take the temperature of staff and children at the entrance and exit, use alcohol-based sanitizer, hand washing, gloves, and masks, and keep the environment completely clean and disinfected. (Aricela Aranivar, The Painting Corner Child Care)
- Tengo el privilegio de tener una yarda grande, compre una carpeta nueva, hice varias modificaciones y eso me permite hacer baile, círculo time, comer, pintar en el patio. Ya estoy por recibir una sombrilla grande y un lavado de manos portátil para el patio.
Translation: I have the privilege of having a large yard, I bought a new carpet, made several modifications and that allows me to do dancing, circle time, eating, and painting in the yard. I’m also waiting for a big umbrella and a portable hand wash station for the yard. (Claudia Castillo, Mis Primeros Pasitos Family Child Care)
- Tuve que adquirir nuevas tácticas, puse un mueble afuera con contenedores. Cada contenedor contiene el nombre de cada niño con una bolsa para que los niños pongan su chaqueta, sus zapatos, sus cosas. Coloque una mesa afuera con hand sanitizer, guantes, y mascarillas en caso que los padres no trajeran incluyendo un bote para que depositen la basura.
Translation: I had to acquire new tactics. I put a piece of furniture outside with containers. Each container has each child’s name and a bag for the children to put their jacket, their shoes, their things. I placed a table outside with hand sanitizer, gloves and masks in case parents didn’t bring any, including a container to deposit trash. (Zonia Torres, Shining Stars Family Child Care)
Modified Early Learning Activities
- Each child has a set of learning materials including markers, crayons, scissors, paint brush, glue, arts and craft supplies with a name label in a box. (Sandy Chow, My Little Sunshine Child Care)
- [We now] have an outdoor classroom, where the children can do and make anything they do indoors, that way we spend most of the day outdoors. (Esperanza Estrada, Estrada’s Family Preschool)
- Instead of hug and touch, we use signs to show emotion and social interaction. (Selina Chen, Selina’s Daycare/Preschool)
Translation: Because of COVID-19, I use pictures and books to teach children about the virus and how to prevent it. (Chuk Shan Lau, Family Child Care)
Translation: We keep six feet away, dance and do gymnastics in the garden every day! (Wan Siu Wong, Family Child Care)
Translation: I paste signs on the classroom floor, and guide each child to sit down and play on a sign. (Xiao Xia Zhen, Xin Xin Family Day Care)
- Cuando los niños salen de mi programa van a casa y ya no salen, es por eso que decide crear nuevas actividades físicas, y pintar afuera, correr, saltar, resbalarse, jugar con agua – pero un contenedor para cada niño, siempre usando los 6 pies de distancia.
Translation: When the kids leave my program they go home and no longer get out much. That’s why I decided to create new physical activities, and paint outside, run, jump, play with water – but a container for each child, always using the 6 feet distance. (Zonia Torres, Shining Stars Family Child Care)
- Mi yarda – la tuve que adaptar como si fuera un cuidado de niños al aire libre y hacer lo mejor para mantener la seguridad y diversión, para pasar la mayor parte del día afuera.
Translation: My yard – I had to adapt it as if it were an outdoor childcare and do my best to keep it safe and fun, to spend most of the day outdoors. (Norma Zavaleta, My Little Star Childcare)