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We care for our Families. Updates During Covid-19 Giraffe Laugh Early Learning Center's will be closed from March 16 - April 17.

Timeline Of Events:

  • Monday, March 2- First Public Statement about Covid-19 Made
  • Thursday, March 12 – WHO Labels Covid-19 A Pandemic
  • Thursday, March 12 – Giraffe Laugh Cancels ALL Non-essential Activities
  • Friday, March 13 – Idaho Governor Declares State Of Emergency
  • Friday, March 13 – 1st confirmed case of Covid-19 in Idaho
  • Sunday, March 15 – Center’s Closed After School Districts Closed
  • Sunday, March 15 – Letters Sent to Giraffe Laugh Families and Staff
  • Wednesday, March 18 - Survey Sent Out to Parents
  • Friday, March 20 - Giraffe Laugh Announced Closure Until April 10th
  • Wednesday, March 25 - Governor Little Announces State Wide Stay At Home Order For 21 Days
  • Wednesday, March 25 - Giraffe Laugh Announces Closure Until April 17
  • Monday, June 1st - Giraffe Laugh opened its doors again.
  • Thursday, June 25th - Boise Makes Masks Mandatory
  • Monday, June 29th - Idaho Reverts Back to a Modified Stage 3
  • Wednesday, July 15th - Masks Mandatory in Ada County

We need your help!

Giraffe Laugh families and teachers are hunkered down as we enter a time of uncertainty due to the recent outbreak of Covid-19. Every day, more and more people are being impacted by this pandemic and Giraffe Laugh took action to close our centers in conjunction with the nearby school districts to protect the families we serve and our community at large

While our centers are closed we are serving our mission in two ways: providing critical services such as food and supplies to parents and teachers, and learning how to teach our children while they are home through web-based social learning time. Think webinars, but for preschoolers!

We ask that you join us today by contributing toward Giraffe Laugh’s efforts to support our community and to continue building strong futures for our children and families.

If you'd like to be a part of impacting our youngest learners, please donate here today.

MASK PHILOSOPHY:

Giraffe Laugh Philosophy on masks for children 2 and above

With the new recommendations that all children two and above wear masks, we wanted to let you know our philosophy on this and how we will be approaching this new information at this time. Our goal is to keep children and teachers safe while balancing that with educational objectives, safety (health) and nurturing that goes on each day inside the centers.

Infants and toddlers will not be wearing masks. We believe that children that are not in the preschool room yet may not have the ability to monitor their own mask in a way that will ensure everyone’s health. For this reason, any child who is in a toddler or infant room will not be wearing masks. If you wish your child to wear a mask, we suggest that they have a pacifier holder to connect it to in case they need to remove it temporarily. We are glad to help facilitate mask wearing if a parent truly wishes us to try if your child is two or above.

We believe that children in the preschool room are capable of learning how to use a mask and to wear it during designated times of the day. Here is what we aim to teach the children.

  • Masks will be kept at the center, at least 5 per child so they can be changed frequently and washed often. If parents wish to provide them, that would be appreciated. If not, Giraffe Laugh will provide them.
  • Upon arrival, the child will wash their hands and put on their clean mask.
  • We will encourage them to use one during play time with friends, circle time when they are near one another and center time doing activities.
  • We will have them remove the masks for outdoor play, meals, and nap time. This will give them breaks from wearing them and help to keep the masks clean from outdoor play as well.

If a child is unable or unwilling to wear a mask they will not be forced to. We will encourage mask wearing by teaching facts about how it can protect them without causing undue stress or concern for their own health or others. It is no different from teaching children to wear sunscreen, wash their hands, brushing their teeth or taking their shoes off when they arrive. Children are highly adaptable, so we know they will do well with this.

If a parent is opposed to their child wearing a mask, they will not be required to. We are sensitive to the fact that not everyone agrees with mask wearing and will respect each family’s philosophy in this regard. We may ask if they want to wear a mask, if we provide one for them, as they will see their classmates using them and may want to also.

We believe this pandemic is going to last well into the coming year and beyond. Because of this, we also assume that children will soon be wearing masks regularly in open spaces and that it will become more of a norm than not. For that reason, we want to support community and home efforts to learn how to properly wear a mask.

How to Talk to your child about the Coronavirus:

For many children this time can be a scary and confusing time. We are here to give you the resources needed to talk too your children about Covid-19 in a way that makes them feel safe and secure.

Here are some links to some wonderful articles:

- Free Printable Version. Can be used as a coloring book too.

Re-Opening Procedures

There will be three phases to opening the centers that will take place in order to stage the gradual return to a new normal.

Phase One - June 1-12, 2020:

Who can attend?

Phase one will be open to any parent that needs it. The goal will be to adjust to the new protocols and to help children and parents adjust to being apart and normalizing in the classroom. We suggest that immunocompromised children and newborns under 2-3 months skip this phase.

What will the hours be?

Hours will be modified to 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 pm, Monday through Friday to limit the number of teachers coming in contact with the children.

Are parents allowed inside?

Parents and guardians will not be allowed in the building. They may, however, enter the playground briefly to help their child settle in as quickly as possible. See below on drop off and pick up.

Are there exceptions?

Mothers who are nursing their infants, or someone touring for the first time to enroll will be allowed in the building briefly after washing hands, and a temperature check. Anyone entering the building under these conditions must wear a mask.

What does drop off and pick up look like?

Infants/Toddlers and Preschoolers will be entering the buildings and staying separated throughout the day to avoid cross contamination. If a family has two children we will help make arrangements to drop off on one side only. Please dress your child in appropriate outdoor clothing and bring raincoats or umbrellas if need be.

To enter the playground:

  • a) We ask one adult only to drop off.
  • b) That adult will answer questions regarding their own health, and travel.
  • c) The child’s temperature will be taken with a touchless thermometer and if it is below 100.4 F they will be admitted to the playground.
  • d) The adult dropping off must use hand sanitizer and wear a mask if entering the playground as other children will be present.
  • e) We ask parents to distance from other children, and not to socialize with other parents while on the playground. The goal is to help your child settle in quickly, so the next family can drop off.

Dedicated Times You may be assigned a dedicated time for drop off and pick up at first. Since we will be processing all children before they enter the playground, it will be necessary for families to be as quick as possible or to wait in their cars until it is their turn. For this reason, it will be important to try to disengage with your child as quickly as possible. We know this is hard.

Pick up or drop off times:

Please only drop your child off between the hours of 8:30-9:30 a.m., or during your scheduled time (if applicable). We also ask that you pick up your child between 3:30-4:30. If your center director schedules a designated pick up time period please try to stick to your schedule. We will bring your child and their belongings out to the vehicle for you, but you will need to buckle them in.

What if my child is scheduled for half days?

If your child will be coming for half days, we will arrange for a regular pick up time for them. You can call the center number so we can bring them out to you if we are not readily available when you arrive. We will try to be as accommodating as possible.

What about payment?:

We ask that all parents who are behind on payments, get caught up during the month of May so they do not have a balance when they return. If this is not possible, please notify your director and make arrangements. More information is below on holding spots if you do not return June 1.

What are the charges for less hours?

We will be charging full time for the month of June despite the shortened hours. To keep everyone safe it requires more staff and cleaning which means our costs will be higher than before from this point forward.

If you did not need a scholarship before, but you need one now, let your director know.

What about my previous contract?

Your previous contract does not have to be renewed unless the following has occurred:

  • Your child’s age changed, so therefore, their rate changed while we were closed
  • Your child is coming back with a new schedule, or
  • Your account is overdue and you need to work on a modified contract with your director

How often can I adjust my schedule during the phases?

We ask for billing purposes that you commit to one rate in June, then make any changes in July. With over 150 households, it will be too labor intensive to change schedules mid-month. Please know what schedule you want before starting. You may pay for full time, while arranging for part time care. If you are starting mid-June, or early July, we will not accept early enrollment to avoid confusion with billing and to staff appropriately for each phase.

Phase 2: June 15-26, 2020

Who can attend?

Phase two will be open to any parent that needs it. The goal will be to allow enrolling students to adjust to the new protocols and to help children and parents adjust to being apart and normalizing in the classroom. We recommend that immunocompromised children and newborns under 2-3 months enroll with caution under the recommendation of your child's pediatrician.

What will the hours be?

Unless there is a good reason to continue modified hours, such as a shortage of teachers, we plan on expanding hours from this point on. Our normal hours are 7:30 am to 5:30 pm. Monday through Friday.

Are parents allowed inside?

It is expected that parents and guardians will not be allowed in the building for some time to come. They may, however, enter the playground briefly to help their child settle in as quickly as possible. See above for drop off and pick up protocol. We want this to end as much as you do, so will closely be following the CDH and CDC guidelines for updates in this regard.

Will we always be dropping off in the playground?

We anticipate that once children are used to attending, they will be fine going to the front door and entering without parents. Each center will need to determine this on their own timeline. We will have new students potentially joining the first part of July, therefore, we may continue this practice through part or all of July. Please dress your child in appropriate outdoor clothing and bring raincoats or umbrellas if need be.

Final, Phase 3: July 1-31, 2020

Who can attend?

Phase three, the final phase will be open to any parent that needs it. The goal will be to allow enrolling students to adjust to the new protocols and to help children and parents adjust to being apart and normalizing in the classroom. If parents of young infants or immunocompromised children are comfortable bringing their child, they may.

What will the hours be?

Our normal hours of 7:30 am to 5:30 pm, Monday through Friday.

Are parents allowed inside?

It is expected that parents and guardians will not be allowed in the building for some time to come. They may, however, enter the playground briefly to help their child settle in as quickly as possible. See above for drop off and pick up protocol. We want this to end as much as you do, so will closely be following the CDH and CDC guidelines for updates in this regard.

LIFE MAY LOOK A LITTLE DIFFERENT BUT WE ARE STILL HAVING JUST AS MUCH FUN!

Credits:

Created with images by Anna Pritchard - "untitled image" • Ryan Fields - "Baby building stack of blocks"