Siouxland daycare centers continue care under new normal

Local News

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – Throughout the pandemic, some Siouxland daycare centers remained open. However, they had to find unique ways to take care of little ones in a new normal.

Directors of two-day care centers tell KCAU it was scary at first remaining open during the pandemic. But, they’ve created a routine. One they said has resulted in no positive COVID tests of children in their care.

“In childcare, you have to be really flexible anyway, so that’s what we’re doing… With every single toy, our kids are playing with they’re sanitized so we just trade toys out all day long… Adjusting your schedules to accommodate a little bit of social distancing as you can. So that’s the biggest thing that we have really done,” Laurie Roethler is the director of Apple Tree Preschool and Learning Center.

Roethler said everyone’s temperature is taken before entering the building and they don’t accept anyone with a temperature over 99.

She adds the center will look to hire extra staff if needed but that decision won’t be made until the Sioux City School District makes its decision.

At Building Blocks Childcare and Preschool, the director said she’s anxiously awaiting the official decision on the school district’s Return to Learn plan.

“Mid march when the schools canceled, that had a huge impact. So as I wait for the schools to tell me what they’re going to do, I’m anticipating what I’m going to do and how I have to react to that,” the center’s director, Ginger Hiserote, said.

She said the biggest challenge running a daycare during the pandemic is the extra work on staff to sanitize and enforce social distancing.

“We don’t have kids in too many classrooms interacting and they stay in their rooms a little more. They do play together still we haven’t taken away playtime. We just sanitize a lot,” Hiserote added.

Both directors said they’ve worked to instill as much normalcy as possible as they say, to let kids be kids.

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