Philadelphia is emerging from its coronavirus lockdown, and many local businesses and institutions are reopening their doors. It’s been a slow and steady pace in an effort to ensure all safety measures are considered and implemented—all while reimagining what day-to-day operations look like in today’s new normal.
It’s been an arduous task, and one that is constantly evolving.
As more Philadelphians return to work, new routines are being formed. But what exactly should that look like? That’s what the City of Philadelphia wants to know.
Officials recently announced the PHL Childcare Reopen Survey For Families in an effort to learn more about what local families need in regards to childcare as they return to work. The survey is open to parents and guardians who care for a child or children up to five years old in their household.
The survey is designed to help childcare providers throughout Philadelphia ensure families feel safe and secure accessing childcare services amid the current pandemic. Parents and guardians with young children who were already using childcare in Philadelphia when the COVID-19 outbreak began, as well as those who are interested in using childcare in the upcoming months are encouraged to participate.
Questions range from what kind of childcare you used in the past—before the COVID-19 pandemic, would you still be comfortable using that childcare today and can you pay more to cover additional costs of health and safety precautions regarding your childcare. The survey also asks parents and guardians to rate the importance of specific safety measures such as requiring staff members to wear masks, ensuring children stay with the same teacher daily, staggering drop off and pick up times and implementing strict cleaning routines, among others.
The City of Philadelphia has released guidelines to help early childhood education centers, stating, “Childcare providers play a vital role in Philadelphia—they provide children with a safe place to learn and play and their parents with a service that is critical to allowing them to work and carry out other daily activities. Keeping children and staff safe during COVID-19 is the utmost priority.”
Current guidelines and recommendations are in accordance with the Philadelphia Department of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Pennsylvania Office of Child Development Early Learning and include five key practices:
• Promote social distancing through physical distancing, modification of activities and cohorting of students.
• Keep the center clean through intensified cleaning and disinfecting practices.
• Promote healthy habits including hand hygiene and mask use.
• Screen students and staff for symptoms.
• Plan for when someone becomes sick.
The purpose of the PHL Childcare Reopen Survey For Families is to build upon these guidelines and learn directly from Philadelphians which safety practices and protocols are most important to them.
The Childcare Reopen Survey is being conducted by the Reinvestment Fund, the City of Philadelphia’s Office of Children and Families, Public Health Management Corporation and United Way of Greater Philadelphia and Southern New Jersey and is open through July 23. It is available in eight languages and can be filled out anonymously.
For information or to fill out the survey, visit reinvestment.com/phlchildcarereopensurvey