With the new year upon us, a vaccine roll-out underway, and the community continuing its momentum with returning to normality, it is important to reflect on some of the good news stories of the pandemic. Please read below a story from the KAUST Daycare/Afterschool Program to understand how they’ve done it.
A challenging year for our children
The KAUST Daycare / Afterschool Program offers excellent opportunities, facilities, and resources for children from the age of 2 months to 6 years to grow, develop, learn, and play. As with so many other services all around the world, the global pandemic has affected the services and operations of the Daycare. However, our team has risen to the occasion, working tirelessly to overcome obstacles and to continue to provide top quality childcare services in a safe manner.
In mid-March 2020, Daycare had to close to protect the community from the threat of COVID-19. At the end of July 2020, the Daycare gradually began reopening, which continues today. The reopening started with the development of a new program called Children Assistance Services (CAS) to support parents who were involved with the reopening of the laboratories and other services of KAUST University. The CAS service provided a safe and engaging environment, enabling parents to work, all while putting strict protocols in place to reduce the likelihood of COVID-19 transmission, including:
- Established new risk assessments and protocols to be followed, which are reflected and reassessed regularly
- Establishing outdoor corridors for parent pick up and drop off
- Daily temperature checks for staff, parents and children
- Reduced capacity in classroom with revised child-to-staff ratios
- Practicing of physical distancing within classrooms and no mixing of class “bubbles”
- Collaborating closely with all of the KAUST teams that work to protect public health, and adapt quickly as new guidance becomes available
- All daycare staff are trained to perform proper handwashing with the children and to sanitize all toys and equipment
- Online registration and payments
In November, 2020, we reached out to parents of Daycare children to understand how parents feel it’s been going. The survey included 7 questions that were designed to gain valuable feedback about different aspects of the Daycare offering.
A total of 87 parents completed the survey and shared their views with us, this represented a response rate of 56.9%.
- The overall satisfaction rate was 94.6%. This shows that parents are very happy and satisfied with the service and level of care.
- Teaching practices and techniques scored the highest of any survey so far. 94.2% of the parents feel satisfied with their child adjusting to the classroom environment and 88% of parents were satisfied when asking about the wearing of face mask of their children.
- We received a lot of positive comments on reopening the Daycare with strict COVID-19 mitigation practices.
- We also reviewed comments about areas of improvement, and aim to implement changes, where it is feasible while keeping the current guidelines in mind.
- Review the full survey results
Current Daycare Status
Gradually and safely, more and more areas and activities have been added to the service offering to make sure that children are enjoying their time in the classrooms within the established safety guidelines. At the same time, the CAS program has evolved to become the adaptable “new normal” for Daycare.
More classrooms have re-opened while maintaining the maximum number of occupants in a class. This requires a lot of staff and resources which were made available to offer the maximum safe capacity. Currently all classrooms are fully utilized and both of the dedicated Daycare buildings have reached their capacity. We are working on ways to meet the community demand for this service. Parents who are interested in enrolling their children are requested to contact the Daycare team directly to add their children to the waiting list so they may be added as space becomes available.
If you are interested to learn more about Daycare, our efforts to mitigate the risk of COVID-19, or to enquire about enrolling your child, please visit our webpage or contact us at email@example.com.