Daycares working through challenges, hoping to reopen soon

After being ordered to close by the Alabama Department of Public Health amid the COVID-19 crisis, some Shelby County daycares are preparing to reopen in April since the ADPH on March 20 said daycare facilities could remain open under certain conditions.

According to the ADPH, daycares “may remain open so long as 12 or more children are not allowed in a room or other enclosed or separated space at the same time.”

Facilities are encouraged to use enhanced sanitation and social-distancing practices consistent with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the ADPH.

One Shelby County daycare, School for Amazing Kids which operates multiple facilities throughout the county, is working on a plan to reopen its doors.

An email sent to parents on Tuesday, March 31, stated that the daycare is preparing to reopen with “extensive new safety precautions and procedures.”

“We’ll be ready to open on the 6th (April 6), or whenever it makes sense,” the email states. “We are working through this decision carefully, keeping the needs of first responders, medical personnel and other essential personnel and parents in mind as well as the potential negative impact our reopening might have on our AK family, community and state.

“Our desire is to be good stewards to our community, yet deciding how to best accomplish that in the face of this unprecedented situation is one heck of a challenge. We know many families desperately need childcare right now and serving them is a priority for us. Yet, the threat the virus poses on our AK family and entire community is very real.”

The daycare will let parents know by the end of business on April 2 if the daycare will reopen on April 6.

Another daycare, Kingwood Christian Child Development Center in Alabaster, asked parents to participate in an anonymous survey to share if they would send their child back to daycare if they reopened on April 13.

An email sent to parents on March 30 stated that the daycare would tentatively defer reopening until April 20. The decision was based on feedback from the survey.

“This is not a firm reopening date, as the COVID-19 situation in Alabama remains very fluid.  We will continue to communicate with you and update you as we gain more clarity toward reopening KCCDC,” the email states.

Although Alabama daycares are allowed to reopen under certain conditions, President Donald Trump extended the federal social distancing guidelines until April 30.