Safety, Hiring, and Transparency Will Be Key to Success in Preschool and Childcare In the Post-Corona World

Most of our client preschools have been closed during the pandemic shutdowns across the country. In our conversations with our clients and other preschool and childcare groups, as well as conversations with parents, transparency and safety will be paramount to ensuring the success and future viability of the preschool industry.  That's why we are adding key features to our technology stack in order to address the concerns of parents and to facilitate even greater cost savings for our clients.  There will be concerns on multiple fronts from both providers and parents.  Parents are concerned about the safety of their children while in preschool and childcare, and providers are concerned with quality, safety, and having a profitable business.  All of these objectives are linked going forward.  We anticipate that there will not be a return to any pre-Corona normalcy until a proven vaccine or antibody therapy can be widely deployed which, at a minimum will take 12-36 months.  One possi…

Preschools and the Post COVID world

The vast majority of preschools in America have shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  There are even looming questions as to the future viability of the preschool industry as many ponder the way ahead in restoring confidence that preschools will be safe for young children.

The spread of airborne respiratory illnesses has always been a problem in childcare settings; RSV in particular.   Because COVID-19 has, essentially, the same mode of transmission as RSV but is much more persistent and, in some cases deadly, more extreme measures will need to be taken by preschools to reduce the risk of transmitting respiratory diseases moving forward.

We are adjusting and improving our technology to assist preschools with this task and to ensure that they have the means to document health checks, identify ill staff and children, isolate and then contact trace if necessary.

Rebuilding the confidence of parents and staff will be an essential part of restarting the preschool industry and making it…

Flash Back To 2008

During the 2008 financial crisis, I was the owner of a preschool and separate learning center. My business was doing well and I har recently rebounded from a significant family disruption that had financial implications of its own.
I had revamped my business model and I had added a significant number of new enrollments; things were going well.  Then, the 2008 financial crash happened....
Unlike the 2008 financial crisis, the current environment has financial confidence but lacks safety confidence.  The key to surviving and the financial crisis that has resulted from COVID-19 is communicating and restoring safety confidence.  If you put yourself in the shoes of a parent entrusting their child to a preschool, you can understand the need for communication, transparency and consistent continuous safety validation that parents will now demand.
This means developing methods and making investments in technology, equipment, policies, and people that will not only restore confidence to parent…

Daily Health Checks: The New Normal For Preschools

Years ago when I owned preschools, we would go through spats of illness that would spread throughout the center.  It was so frustrating for parents and for our staff.  So parents exacerbated the situation by medicating their children to ease pain before they took them to daycare. This would make it difficult for the staff to detect whether a child was ill.

Frustrated, I finally decided that we would begin doing daily health checks on all children and all caregivers when they arrived at the center and the health check would include a temperature scan with a contactless thermometer. Low and behold, we reduced illness rates in our facilities by over 90%! It was amazing.

Given the current events, we've decided to add daily health checks to our software technology so that staff and children alike can have their temperature taken and documented upon arrival.  This will help preschools reduce the risk of passing illness around and give both parents and caregivers more confidence in the h…

Communicating With Families and Staff During COVID-19

For many preschools, the COVID-19 crisis means significant changes going forward.  It is important for preschool owners and leaders to be able to communicate with their parents and staff during this time and future emergencies.  But, what's the best way? Email?  A website? Mail? Text Messages?

Based on our data, around 80% of preschools do not have a website.  We have also found that an even greater percentage of preschools do not have any kind of mass communication tool besides email and making manual phone calls.

The COVID-19 crisis has highlighted the need for preschools to keep parents and staff updated on the school's status as well as any rapidly changing policies; in real-time.

Parents and staff alike need to be able to check the operating status of a preschool.  That's why I'm encouraging preschools to work diligently to embrace technology and rely more on technology as an assistant to disseminate information as to whether the school will be open, new policies,…

What's Your COVID-19 Business Plan?

Before I begin, let me say that I am empathetic to the owners and employees of preschools during this time because I owned a couple of preschools during the great recession.  Most preschools are also small businesses that rely on parents and governments to pay fees based on attendance.

Typically, if a preschool is not open, both parents and governments will not pay child tuition.  There are short-term exceptions to these rules, however, an extended closure of a preschool or childcare center means that no revenue will come in; as a result, employees and business expenses cannot be paid.

For me, I always carried "business interruption" insurance which provided funding for both my payroll and business profit during disasters and national emergencies.  I only invoked my "business interruption" insurance once during the time I owned preschools and it was during an ice storm that paralyzed the city.

Many small business owners are, typically, unable to claim unemployment…