August 5, 2020

Sending Kids to Child Care During COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed many things, including how parents feel about sending their kids to child care. We wanted to understand more about the current attitudes of our parents, so in late June we sent out 20,800 surveys to current and formerly enrolled Kiddie Academy parents to gauge their opinions on several issues. When the survey closed on July 8, we had received more than 7,000 responses. We thought we would share with you some of what they told us.

Parents Sending Their Kids to Child Care During COVID-19

When asked what was important about educational child care to parents whose children are currently enrolled in our Academies, there were three reasons that rose to the top. (Parents could choose multiple reasons in our survey.)

  • Socialization (52.3%) – Being around friends and teachers is an important part of the social development of children.
  • Continuity of Education (47.6%) – Parents feel that it’s critical for their children to continue having educational opportunities.
  • Routine and Structure (45.1%) – Parents are concerned about that a loss of routine and structure would affect learning opportunities.
  • Kiddie Academy Parent Survey

    As communities across the nation imposed stay-at-home orders, we worked hard to address these concerns for parents. While many Academies remained open to serve the families of essential workers, we came up with many ways to stay engaged with homebound students and their families. We used virtual learning, provided downloadable at-home curriculum and activity guides and regularly communicated with parents about the changes we made to enhanced health and safety policies and procedures.

    Now, with most of our Academies reopened to the general public, we’ve added full-day school-age and kindergarten programs (program offerings vary per location). These programs are designed to help children continue learning as parents return to work but some schools remain closed. The programs complement your school system’s remote-learning curriculum. Kiddie Academy teachers provide the academic support to help your child explore and discover subjects that support their school’s digital learning initiatives. This gives you the peace of mind knowing your children are supervised and learning throughout the day.

    Concerns of Not Sending Kids to Child Care During COVID-19

    To those parents not currently using our Academies, we asked what would give them the confidence to send their children back to child care. Considering the current situation, their concerns were understandable.

  • Increased Cleaning/Sanitation (52.1%) – Parents want assurance that the cleanliness of the child care itself does not put their children at risk.
  • Health Screening for Children and Staff (44.8%) – They want to make sure that children and staff are regularly and frequently checked for symptoms of illness.
  • Wearing Masks (39.9%) – Parents want to make sure staff, and in some cases children, are required to wear face masks to reduce the potential spread of germs.
  • Kiddie Academy Enhanced Health

    Well before we distributed the survey, we anticipated the need for a more comprehensive health plan for Academies. That’s why we introduced our Health EssentialsSM initiative to all 260+ Academies across the country. This is an expanded set of daily health and safety precautions based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines and current licensing regulations. These procedures, on top of our existing health guidelines, double-down on our efforts to reduce the spread of germs within Academies.

    In our previous posts about Health Essentials, you can find out in detail about the four principles upon which the program is based: wellness education, healthy environment, enhanced hygiene and symptom monitoring.

    Sending Kids Back to Child Care During COVID-19

    Of those parents not currently enrolled but planning to return soon, more than 90% intend to return by September. Because of social-distancing restrictions on class sizes and the anticipated national shortage of quality child care, this underscores the need to make enrollment decisions as soon as possible.

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