FLORENCE, KY. — Seven months ago, a statewide mandate ordered certified and registered daycare centers in Kentucky to close due to the pandemic.
Spectrum News/Ipsos poll recently asked 1,001 Kentuckians in light of the current circumstances, how long do you think it will be before life in your city or community will get back to normal? 40% said it would be more than a year.
Returning to daycares is part of returning to normal.
Redwood Rehabilitation Center has had a constant stream of students washing their hands as part of a new routine.
“We serve a very vulnerable population so remaining healthy, staying healthy is very very important,” said Katrina Proud. She oversees the prescribed pediatric extended care and early care education at the Fort Mitchell based Redwood.
They care for children with or without special needs.
“We’ve been with these families for many many years and for lack of a better phrase it rocked these children’s world. You know they were used to coming here every day and seeing certain faces and having certain routines and they lost that for several months,” Proud said.
Roughly three months to be exact, doors remained closed at Redwood’s Child Care Center following the statewide mandate executed by Governor Andy Beshear to close day centers at the start of the pandemic.
Proud says there was an exception. Through their licensing criteria for prescribed pediatric extended care, they continued serving that vulnerable population, with added safety measures.
“We were able to still offer services for the children who were more medically fragile but ultimately about 120 did lose services during that time,” Proud said.
It was an impact of services felt beyond children and families leaving many parents rushing to a band-aid of a solution.
“I definitely have a couple of mom friends that they were, I guess, saddened with everything going on as well as frightened because they were like what am I going to do? What is work going to be like? Trying to find a babysitter and not having that opportunity to have that there. It was definitely different for them than it was for us,” said Alexa Zembrodt, a mother to a two-year-old.
Her toddler attends the Prescribed Pediatric Extended Care for his medical needs. But even for Zembrodt, her concern relied on safety.
“The reassurance of the building being cleaned, hands being washed, the other kids I mean they stayed in their same groups. There wasn’t any moving around so it definitely helped keep us calm and go forward with yes this is definitely what we want to do,” Zembrodt said.
In a first of its kind large scale Yale University study, researchers found that, overall, no evidence of child care centers contributed to COVID-19 transmission to adults, and added safety measures helped support those findings.
“All the children have been really resilient through this process. They know as soon as they come in the door that they’re going to wash hands. They’ve really been accustomed to that change,” Proud said.
The center’s changes also include multiple sanitation stations.
The journal Pediatrics published the study. More than 57,000 daycares from across the country took part in the survey research.
Read the full article here: https://spectrumnews1.com/ky/lexington/news/2020/03/23/redwood-rehabilitation-center-closes-due-to-coronavirus