Daycare danger: Centers around the nation fight to stay open

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Jenna Aller

Many daycares around the nation are closing due to COVID-19 but The Red Apple in Bettendorf is working hard to keep its doors open.

Cecilia Zavala, Overflow Section Editor

One essential business relied on by many people around the country are daycares. In the Quad Cities, parents send their children to daycares such as Hand in Hand or Red Apple. Due to COVID-19 however, many centers have shut down.

Many parents decide to enroll their children into early learning centers because of the many benefits they offer. Daycares can offer emotional and social development, promote cognitive and language skills and prepare children for future schooling. 

Daycare centers around the country have been closing because of the health risk to their employees and the children. One of those closings occurred in the Quad Cities. Hand in Hand is a non-profit organization in Bettendorf that aims to have inclusive, creative and fun events for people with disabilities. 

Junior Reese Wendell has been working at Hand in Hand for almost a year and loves the atmosphere. “I love getting to see the kids every day and getting to help them accomplish goals we take for granted,” said Wendell.

Unfortunately on March 23, Hand in Hand had to close its doors. “We are supposed to start opening back up on May 18. We are going to have a lot more cleaning and regulations to keep the number of people in each room low,” said Wendell. 

Not only has the closing of Hand in Hand put Wendell out of work for the past two months, but it has affected children and students who attended the different programs. “Not being able to be at the center hinders their ability to be able to interact with other people,” said Wendell. “Some of them might not be able to work on their goals like counting money or tying their shoe laces.”

While Hand in Hand has hope for opening in the future, many centers around the country are afraid they’ll never be able to re-open. Although there are a few daycares in the Quad Cities that have closed, there are a few that are braving the storm.

The Red Apple Preschool and Daycare in Bettendorf has decided to stay open unless told otherwise by the state. Senior Jenna Aller has been working at the Red Apple for over two years. “My bosses decided if anyone were to get COVID-19 or be exposed to the virus, we would temporarily close,” stated Aller. 

While staying open, there have been a lot of different changes as recommended by the Department of Human Services (DHS). “We have been taking extreme precautions. Parents are no longer allowed past the doorway and outside shoes by children and employees are not allowed inside,” explained Aller. “When a child enters the center every morning, we take their temperatures.”

Aller is looking forward to providing for those who are working on the front line. “Not everyone can stay home and we need to be open for those people who can continue working and know their children are well taken care of,” said Aller. “We have so many wonderful families that rely on us to remain open every day.”

Although many daycares around the nation have closed, the Quad Cities centers are trying their hardest to remain open for those parents who are essential workers.