Kids Are Back with Bells (and Masks) On

 

 

A sunny Monday was warm with welcomes as St. Ann Center opened its doors after closing as a precautionary measure prompted by COVID-19. Both the Stein and Bucyrus Campuses are opening in phases, with children returning on June 8 and adult clients on June 11.

Parents with little ones in tow began arriving at 7 a.m. and were greeted by St. Ann Center staff, who did a quick screening. While parents answered health questions, the children watched wide-eyed as a pulse oximeter was slipped onto their fingers. Blood oxygen level and temperature are being measured for everyone who enters the building.

Renner, 5, arrived at the Stein Campus with his little sister Zosia. “It’s going to feel good seeing my friends,” he said. His dad, Josh, has been bringing his children to St. Ann Center since they were infants. “It’s been a lot of fun being home with them,” Josh said. “But at their age, time with their friends is important.”

Next in line was Melissa, dropping off her son Anthony on her way to work. “It’s been a little crazy schedule-wise,” she said about balancing childcare with her job. “This is his first day in the 1-year-old classroom—so he’s pretty excited.”

Another mom, Abby, came in carrying 10-month-old Alice. “It was good, and it was difficult,” she said of nearly three months away from St. Ann Center. “She grew so much, and we did a lot together. But trying to work with two small children running through the house is definitely a challenge.”

At the Bucyrus Campus, twin sisters Nevaeh and Nadia were a little apprehensive.  After their dad got them through screening, Carrie Davis, Director of Childcare, took over.  “Ooh, you’ve forgotten about me, haven’t you,” she crooned, noting the worried look on the girls’ faces. “That’s okay. I haven’t forgotten about you, and I’ve missed you!”

Staff members were as excited about opening day as the parents and kids were. “I was getting bored at home,” said Jenny Farris, a Stein Campus teacher. “I did keep busy doing online trainings and lesson planning.” Lead CNA Rosemarie Alloway spent her first day back preparing for the return of her adult clients. Meantime, her young daughters got caught up with their childcare classmates. “My 3-year-old, Alexis, was up at 6 a.m. with her backpack and her mask on,” she said. “We’re all happy to be back.”

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