Things are beginning to look up for daycare owners.
Three weeks after being allowed to re-open their doors, the majority of owners of daycares and nurseries are reporting increased numbers of children being left in their care.
Ira Walcott-Smith, owner of Precious Angels Pre-School and Daycare located in 4th Avenue, Belleville, St Michael, said things had definitely improved.
On the first day of reopening Walcott-Smith told Barbados TODAY her nursery had only catered to five children.
But giving an update, she said those numbers had increased.
“I’m satisfied that I am making progress. It’s also good to know that other daycare centers are also making progress.
“While the attendance continues to fluctuate from day to day it has still improved. That is due mainly to the fact that a lot of parents aren’t back out to work fulltime and in some instances are working two or three days, but in this environment I’m giving thanks,” Walcott-Smith said.
Director of the Learning Foundation Daycare and Preschool, Sandra Harris, said she too was seeing increased numbers due in part to the closure of other daycares resulting in new additions to the nursery.
Harris noted that throughout the shutdown, caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, management had kept in contact with parents and guardians.
“We kept in constant contact with parents, checking up on them and the children, so we always knew and felt what they were feeling and that kept us close.
“Even during the meeting we held to update them on the protocols for the re-opening, everyone left feeling comfortable because the parents were eager to get the children back out,” Harris said.
“We even worked out payment plans for parents who wanted to bring their children but could not afford to pay up front.
“The first week was a bit slow but we reassured the parents by keeping them updated and sending pictures of their children so they’d be comfortable.
“The numbers have now risen because some daycares have closed their doors and we have gotten some of those children as well, so things are looking good even if they are not perfect,” she added.
An employee of Kidz Come First Learning Centre and Daycare directed Barbados TODAY to the owner who was not present.
However, she said the number of children at the nursery had doubled from the first week of reopening.
An employee of Angels of Love Daycare and Preschool who asked not to be identified, explained that while the numbers were still low, that was mainly due to the fact that parents were still unemployed.
“A lot of the parents aren’t back to work yet so most of the children are still home with them. Some of them are still very hesitant about bringing the young babies to nursery as well, so the numbers are still low. They haven’t increased from the first week,” she admitted. [email protected]