NORTH METRO ATLANTA — When the wave of COVID-19 swallowed America, businesses, organizations and schools had to completely rethink operations to keep their doors open.
For Primrose School of Alpharetta, that took some doing as enrollment first decreased to 30 percent, according to Amanda Coffman, executive director of the daycare facility.
Primrose started regulating their facilities immediately, drawing on CDC guidelines, including social distancing, masks, mandatory temperature screening and other measures.
Coffman and school owner Irina Bhatia said their school has been “instrumental” in preventing the spread of COVID-19 and continues to guard against the virus through its Rapid Response Plan. Bhatia said their policies were divided up into three categories: prevention, wellness and cleaning.
Prevention policies include touch-free sign-in protocol, limiting access to the building to students and staff, social distancing in classrooms as well as other practices.
Wellness policies include temperature screening, health check, response protocols and quarantine guidelines.
Cleaning includes employing UV-C air purifiers, upgraded sanitation products for all walls, furniture and flooring, with additional sanitation procedures in place for other highly used items such as playground equipment and toys.
With their attention to detail and close communication with families, the facility has since gained back their enrollment and grown beyond that.
Coffman said a loyal family following as well as their reputation over the past 30 years has helped the daycare continue to grow.
“We’re actively trying to engage families…the bulk of our enrollment is word of mouth from the families that are in our building right now,” Coffman said.
Security and safety is crucial to keep their current customers and grow new ones, Bhatia said.
“It builds trust and confidence,” she said.
Coffman and Bhatia said they could not have succeeded without their staff, families, students, and resources from the Georgia Childcare Association. That and all the other things that go into making their business as safe as possible, a team effort, they said.
“It’s a bigger operation than just us,” Bhatia said.
Kids ‘R’ Kids Learning Academy of Alpharetta is performing the same procedures to ensure children’s safety, including regular temperature checks, the use of masks, frequent hand washing and cleaning.
Natasha Thompkins, assistant director at Kids ‘R’ Kids, said their daycare also provides online services for parents who still want a learning experience for their children. Parents have the option to use tools on the daycare’s website to teach their children online. There is also an online academy as well as a virtual teacher, which can provide a one-on-one experience for students preparing to enter pre-K.
“We’re very confident that we can support our families and make sure that the students continue to learn,” Thompkins said. “It’s an honor to be an essential worker in childcare at this time, and helping kids is our goal.”