Evanston childcare centers that are still open take extra precautions


Colin Boyle/Daily Senior Staffer

The McGaw YMCA, 1000 Grove St. It announced Monday that it is closed until March 30 because of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Rayna Song, Reporter

Evanston childcare centers have employed different measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, including closing their doors to the public or staying open with extra precautions.

The McGaw YMCA in Evanston announced Monday that it is closed until March 30 because of the COVID-19 outbreak, also known as the novel coronavirus.

“To say that these times are unprecedented and confusing is an understatement,” said McGaw YMCA President Monique Parsons in a statement. “But, I want to assure you that we at the Y are working tirelessly to keep our members, program participants, employees and communities safe.”

YMCA is an international organization that focuses on youth development through activities that include swimming lessons and gym classes. The McGaw YMCA Children’s Center also offers preschool and childcare programs, which are all closed for two weeks.

Parsons also said in the statement that the organization would prepare online courses to assist its members during its closure.

Other Evanston childcare centers have decided to remain open and are implementing more measures to protect children and the rest of Evanston.

Petra Guy, owner of Little Feet Child Care and Preschool, said the preschool’s activities, including playing games and taking walks outside, have not changed much, but that everyone has become more diligent in washing hands. The childcare center was also doing more thorough cleanings, Guy said.

In the past, if a child showed symptoms of an illness, the child would be separated until a family member or guardian came to pick up the child. However, the global pandemic called for new rules.

“Any child that might have a runny nose, displaying a little cough or a little fever… The family has to come pick up the child (immediately),” Guy said. “There is no waiting.”

Guy also said that the childcare center would not be closing unless the State of Illinois ordered the facility to close.

Childtime of Evanston has also remained open and has a webpage constantly updating FAQs related to the coronavirus.

According to its webpage, the goal is to maintain a regular schedule “as long as it is safe to do so” and the center would remain open for now.

Similar to Little Feet Child Care and Preschool, staff at Childtime of Evanston observe the children closely for symptoms, and families would be contacted immediately and be asked to pick up the child should the child show illness.

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