Coronavirus Update – For Week of March 16, 2020
Dear Apple Tree Families and Staff,
As you are aware, the Governor of Virginia has issued an order to close the public schools in the Commonwealth of Virginia K-12 grades for a minimum of 2 weeks. As of right now, daycare centers and private schools are not mandated under this order to close. Should this order change then we will certainly keep all of our parents informed.
Our corporate office has been in direct contact with local agencies that govern daycare facilities as well as the Chesapeake Health Department. We have been advised to implement the following protocols in addition to Apple Tree’s daily operating procedures as they would benefit the well-being of the children, staff and parents in our programs:
TEMPORARY DROP OFF AND PICK UP PROCEDURES:
As of Monday, March 16th, all parents will need to drop off their child (Ages 16 months to 12 years) at the front door to a staff member who will be posted at the main entrance of every center. Managers will be working extended hours from 6am-6pm as well as additional staffing during AM drop-off and PM Pick-up times to assist parents. We recommend that you allow for extra time at drop off since this process could take additional time. In order to reduce the expose of viruses that are affecting the adult population causing this pandemic the protocol to limit the amount of parents entering the building is for the safety of the families and staff in our care. ONLY infant parents will be permitted to enter the centers to drop off their child directly to the classroom and will need to minimize the amount of time spent in the building. This will be a quick process of giving the teachers the needed food, supplies and information for each baby. The use of Procare Clock-In stations will be suspended during this time. Directors will manually maintain the attendance records of the children in each classroom. Please be aware of the drop off policy in the enrollment contract that states “there are no children to be dropped off past 9am,” as we will not be receiving any children after this time.
If your child is ill or if anyone in the household becomes ill please refrain from sending your child to school as it has been determined that the children can be carriers of the threatening virus. In addition, please let a Center Director know immediately if your child or any household member has been in contact or exposed to any individual who is contaminated or if you have traveled to an area of concern. We will be monitoring children and staff members for signs of illness and strictly enforcing our sick policy. Please remember we do not have an area for quarantine; therefore, if you are contacted for a sick child pick up please do so immediately.
Our maintenance team and faculty are working hard continuously throughout the day to ensure all commonly touched surfaces are cleaned and disinfected. The cleaning contractors are also taking extra proactive measures at night to ensure proper sanitation of our buildings.
HAND WASHING AND PERSONAL HYGIENE:
Teachers will continue to practice good hand washing and personal hygiene procedures with children to limit the spread of germs in the classroom.
PARENT PAYMENTS AND QUESTIONS:
Parents who are not on ACH or Auto-Draft need to use the MyProcare portal to pay tuition during this time. If additional assistance is required please contact your Center Director for direction or to make arrangements for payment. If you can not reach a director by phone please feel free to email them as the phone lines have been extremely busy due to concerns about the COVID-19 virus.
Please know, we understand this is not the ideal process for pick up and drop off. In order for Apple Tree to continue to operate and provide a safe and healthy environment for all of our Apple Tree family members we must take drastic measures to protect from further possible spread of illness or closure. We appreciate your support and know that you join us in wishing the best for everyone in our schools and community and will work as a partnership to get through this together.
Childcare is available all day for school age children affected by any public school closure. More information on special programming and pricing for the school-agers will be sent out by each center as they plan in-house activities for the children to enjoy.
We will continue to monitor the situation and make adjustments as needed. Please continue to pay close attention to the IRIS Alerts as that will be our primary communication to all parents and staff.
Blessings to all,
Heidi Riden, CEO