Troy Chamber President, Tara Tomcsik-Husak interviews Rawia Alhoussiani, Co-Owner of Dreamy Children’s Center.
TARA: How has Covid19 affected the Dreamy Children’s Center and Child Care and the industry as a whole?
RAWIA: Dreamy Children’s Center has been forced to close since the start of the stay home order. As we are currently planning to re-open, we are not sure of how many children will actually return. Many families have lost their jobs and no longer need childcare. Many parents are now afraid of sending their children back because there is still no vaccine for COVID-19. Staff are also reluctant to return to work. Based on conversations with other providers the childcare industry, we are all facing the same issues and concerns.
TARA: What has been your greatest obstacle during this time?
RAWIA: During this time, it has been difficult to keep in touch with parents. Many don’t have access to technology and can’t manage using applications like Zoom or ClassDojo. We do weekly phone calls to check on everyone and provide any resources needed, like meals.
TARA: Are you offering anything virtual for the families?
RAWIA: Zoom sessions to check on families, large and small group activities, story and music time. Mailing out cards, seeds to plant and art material to the children.
TARA: How are you connecting to the children and their families during this time?
RAWIA: Email, Zoom, ClassDojo, FaceTime, texts; literally whatever method parents prefer/have access to.
TARA: Do you have a plan for re-opening? If so, what safety standards have you put in place to protect your staff and children?
RAWIA: Yes, after the Stay-At-Home order is lifted. May 18th, we are planning on reopening. We are considering Carside Drop Off & Pick Up, so that no adults other than staff enter the building. Our class sizes are already small, but we will not be mixing different classes together. All staff will be wearing cloth face masks. All temps will be checked at the door and halfway through the day.
TARA: It must be tough not being able to see the kids and families that have become a part of your daily life. How are you keeping a positive outlook for the future?
RAWIA: Focusing on the good; my family is healthy; we are safe at home. Many others are not as fortunate. We take daily walks, make fresh healthy food and FaceTime with family. Remembering the fact that this can’t last forever is helping the days go by just a little bit quicker. I connect with my staff to check on them and their families, our health is what is important right now.
It is the simple things right now, sharing the smiles of the children when they see their teachers, via a Zoom Call during story time or a birthday celebration! Those smiles motivate us and give us hope. We will be back, but now we just do what we can to move forward.
To feature your company in the Blog Series: The Effects of COVID-19 on Industry, please contact Troy Chamber President, Tara Tomcsik-Husak.
>> Email Tara Tomcsik-Husak