This article is part of a series on transitioning children, families, and staff back into care after Covid-19 closures.
States are beginning to reopen after major closures due to Covid-19. There is variance in approach, but one consistent piece is applicable across all states, regions, and communities – regardless of location, many children will be returning to care over the next several months, and it may take some time and some thoughtfulness to help ensure a smooth transition back.
Keep in mind that everyone has been distanced from one another for the past several weeks or months, and rejoining group settings may feel strange at first. This can go for you, your teachers, and the parents and kids at your program. Recommendations to welcome everyone back:
- Written communication to your families (use the Wonderschool app!) letting parents know what to expect
- Remind parents that the transition back might look really different from the child’s initial transition into care, or very similar, or anywhere in between. Encourage parents, your staff, and yourself to be very accepting and meet children where they are at this time (and always, now that you mention it!)
- Host a few small-group get togethers for families prior to starting back in full swing. This will allow parents to practice coming with their children again, and give everyone the opportunity to mingle again
- Plan to support the parents as much as the children. Trust us, it is going to feel very unsettling to some families to go from being with their child 24/7 to dropping them off for group care again. Be kind and compassionate, and let them know you’re there for them
- Let families know how they can support you and your staff during this time – whether it’s following your illness policy, donating hand sanitizer or disinfectant wipes, or joining a play session prior to coming back, parents will be eager to support you and their child. Let them!
Thinking through these pieces will give parents a great deal of assurance that you’re working hard on a smooth reopening process, and the more confident parents feel, the more relaxed their children will also feel. Keep us posted on how things are going, and remember to reach out any time for the support of the Wonderschool Community.
Want to read more from this series? Click here to access additional articles on transitioning children and parents back into care.