Child Care of Southwest Florida has announced reopening plans for its early learning centers along with revised operating procedures to ensure the safety of children and staff.
The nonprofit closed its six accredited learning centers on March 27 to protect the health and wellbeing of children, teachers and parents. In the weeks since, facilities have undergone a thorough deep cleaning. Every classroom toy, book, desk and touchpoint also has been sanitized by staff.
“We used this opportunity to rearrange our classroom setups and clean every item, one at a time, so parents can feel confident sending their children back to school,” said Chris Hansen, CEO of Child Care of Southwest Florida. “The lack of affordable, high-quality child care opportunities often prevents parents from returning to work, so reopening our centers will help restart the region’s economy and begin bringing a sense of ‘normalcy’ back to families.”
The Joseph H. Messina Children’s Center in Fort Myers and The Community Children’s Center in Lehigh Acres will reopen May 18. The P.A. Geraci Child Development Center and The Children’s Learning Center, both in Fort Myers, will reopen in subsequent weeks. Child Care of Southwest Florida has not yet announced reopening plans for Harlem Academy Child Care Center in Clewiston or Children’s Garden of LaBelle.
Child Care of Southwest Florida is accepting new student registrations. Visit CCSWFL.org or call 239-278-1002 for more information on programs and costs. Scholarship assistance is available, and nutritious meals and snacks are included at no additional charge through Child Care of Southwest Florida’s participation in the USDA’s Child Food Care Program. Waiting lists will be established for centers until they reopen.
Child Care of Southwest Florida has implemented the following safety procedures based on guidance from government leaders and health care experts:
- All children will undergo daily temperature checks and health screenings. Children with symptoms will be asked to stay home.
- Parents must drop off their children at the front lobby or entrance. Visitors will not be permitted to enter hallways or classrooms.
- Staff members and children ages 3 and older will be required to wear protective face masks.
- Classrooms will operate at reduced capacities based on state and federal guidance.
- Learning facilities and classroom supplies will be thoroughly cleaned nightly, while touchpoints will be sanitized throughout the day.
Each of Child Care of Southwest Florida’s six centers are accredited through the National Accreditation Commission for Early Learning Leaders and have been certified through the Gold Seal Quality Care Program of the Florida Department of Children and Families. Child Care of Southwest Florida follows the nationally recognized, research-based Creative Curriculum that builds a safe, nurturing learning environment that develops young minds, supports families, strengthens the community and secures the future.