U.S. Early Education Provider Develops Caring Series to Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 and Other Viruses
Supports Children, Educators, Preschool and Daycares, and Communities by Increasing Operational Efficiency
San Diego, CA - Children’s Paradise Preschool and Infant Centers (“Children’s Paradise”) announced today the release of an operational system of posters, signage and tags that outline how to combat COVID-19 and other viruses in settings that care for children from infant to five years of age.
The Sweet Teams program supports children, educators, preschools, and daycares, and the community using step-by-step strategies to keep learning centers, play yards and common areas safe and healthy.
Children’s Paradise’s operational system is the only known platform in existence for these types of centers. Most guidance and templates being provided at the state and local levels pertain to grades K-12.
Sweet Teams’ creation, a long-standing vision of Children’s Paradise founder and chief executive officer Julie Lowen, developed out of necessity due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. On March 13, 2020, as California school districts and many state funded early childcare providers announced closures after the President declared a National Emergency due COVID-19, Children’s Paradise also considered closing. The Company began to follow suit preparing announcements and giving away its own stock of food, milk, diapers and other supplies to those families who relied daily on Children’s Paradise to help fulfill their essential life needs. By 5 p.m. that day, Lowen, realized that the Company’s services were needed more than ever. Lowen thought; “How could we close our doors and not help our families and community when they need us the most? Where would essential workers send their children?” As a result, Children’s Paradise leadership team along with its licensed caregivers and educators came together to develop and enact strict safety protocols to keep staff and children safe. Within 100 hours of the pandemic’s start, Sweet Teams came into existence. In doing so, Children’s Paradise never closed its doors during the pandemic, the only childcare organization in San Diego County to do so.
Sweet Teams has launched over 40 products and is continuing development of its operations programs, protocols, and education materials that detail every supply and step, down to the minute, a teacher needs to take to ensure the classroom stays clean and free from viruses. It also describes the CDC approved cleaning solution mixes and exactly the items, such as desk and toys, specific solutions to use. This gave the teachers clarity and confidence as they cared for children.
Renewed Energy Inspired Community Service
Not stopping there, the Children’s Paradise team also took it up on themselves to be of further service to the parents of the children in their care who found themselves in need of additional support during the pandemic. Many staff members volunteered to make masks for every person in the family of the children attending the five preschools during their lunch breaks. Sewing machines were brought in, fabric was bought using their own money and the machines kept running until a supply of masks were available to anyone who needed one.
Children’s Paradise also collaborated with other organizations and its local church to hold weekly food and diaper drives. Several times per week, staff members also drove to central distribution locations to pick up food, cleaning and diapering supplies which was then given away to families in need. The company continues to work with food banks offering its locations for distribution to all members of the community.
Moreover, the Children’s Paradise team created weekly home learning kits for those that decided to keep their children at home during the early months of the pandemic. According to the California Department of Education, recent brain research indicates that birth to age three are the most important years in a child's development, therefore is was important for children to continue their learning journey at home. The newly-formed home learning team within the Children’s Paradise organization developed learning kits that parents could drive by and pick up. These kits were also available for pick up at the food and diaper distributions. Staff also sent out a weekly coordinated lesson via email to each family and created a YouTube channel parents could watch with the child. This division continues to operate for families still at home and for those attending but wanting lessons to do with their children at night or on the weekends. Many of the lessons are now being redistributed through the Company’s social media sites for all to use anytime at home.
“The COVID-19 pandemic sparked an elevated and higher sense of collaboration with a focus on the families and communities we serve,” said Lowen. “We’re now on a mission to build upon the advanced foundation we created during COVID, and hope that other organizations will see how collaboration and focused spending at the center level will benefit more families.”
About Children’s Paradise Preschool and Infant Centers
With five locations and another under construction in San Diego County, Children's Paradise Preschool & Infant Centers, aspires to improve communities one little child at a time by giving them the tools they need at an early age to be successful in elementary school and beyond. This often results in a better paying job, creating another successful generation and ultimately improving the entire community. Each Children’s Paradise center affords children the most engaging and inspirational in-room learning toys and activities. The outside play areas have expansive areas with safe play equipment, and healthy meals are prepared for the children by each center’s in-house chef. Children’s Paradise encourages children to be children by providing the freedom to explore and develop their natural curiosity and creativity as they prepare for elementary school and beyond.