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Butler -Edmonson Community Early Childhood Council Offers Assistance to Early Childhood Settings

Dr. Amy Hood and Alicia Edwards EC Family Resource Center

Members of the Butler Edmonson Community Early Childhood Council delivered “see thru” masks to the area’s early childhood providers in the two counties as regulated child care begins to re-open June 15.    Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, regulated child care providers were asked to close their doors on March 20, 2020 in an effort to help slow the spread of the virus. 

 NBES teacher Michelle Fields models the see-thru mask.

These see-thru masks are one way to help ease the anxiety that children, family members and staff may have about returning to child care.  The “see-thru” mask will allow the children to see the “entire” familiar face of their trusted teachers whom they have not seen “in person” since March.  The see-thru mask meets the requirements set forth by the state for adults to wear masks or face coverings, but will also offer the family a sense of safety as well. In addition, the young children will not only see the familiar face, but the smiles they are greeted with, and for very young children who are still developing language skills, they will also “see” the mouths forming words and so forth, something that many don’t think about as critical during the early years of development.

In addition to the regulated providers, the Butler-Edmonson CECC also provided Head Start program staff, the public preschool teachers, the kindergarten teachers, and the speech therapists, working with that age group, the see-thru masks.  The CECC also helps fund the OWL Academy in Butler County, and the Future Blackhawks and Future Bulldogs programs in Edmonson counties.  These are programs designed for children not enrolled in any other early childhood program opportunity for socialization and learning.  The teachers of these programs were also provided with the see-thru masks.  While these programs are not open yet, they will be prepared when school re-opens! 

The local council understands the impact that closing child care centers has on not just the providers, but the communities as a whole. While the state has provided a variety of financial assistance, these businesses are still facing many unknowns as they re-open.  The local council decided that offering the required cloth face coverings in a “unique” see through way would be one way they could help!

Lisa Lee of Lee's Family Child Care

The Butler-Edmonson Community Early Childhood Council is proud to say that all of the regulated providers in our counties are planning to re-open on schedule.  This is good news since the expectation is that approximately 15-20% of child care across the state may not reopen their doors. Many counties in KY were already deemed Child Care Deserts before the pandemic, meaning that there are not enough regulated child care slots available, and Butler and Edmonson fall into that category as well.  With many child care programs not re-opening, there will be lesser options for child care in the state. 

Child care licensing requires that centers upon reopening take specific training on COVID-19, as well as ensure a variety of cleaning and sanitizing routines.  Additionally, only the adults are required to wear the face masks, children under the age of 5-years old are not.  All the regulated providers in both Butler and Edmonson counties were closed in March.  In some areas of the state, there were child care centers called limited duration centers that were allowed to remain open and to care for children whose parents were working in health care or other emergency type areas.

Regulated providers means that the programs are regulated and monitored by the state. The individuals in regulated settings go through specific training, ensure safety measures are set into place and are monitored regularly to ensure all rules are followed.  To find more information on the area’s regulated providers you may visit Benefind.ky.gov 

Donna French owner /director of Little Rascals Child Care

Below is a list of the two counties regulated providers. These are sorted in Alphabetical order of Program Name. These do not include the school system’s public preschool programs, they are regulated by the KY. Department of Education

Butler County Regulated Providers

Edmonson County Regulated Providers

Aunt Kaye’s Kids

Edmonson County Head Start

Butler County Head Start (MES location)

Little Treasures Learning Academy

Caterpillar Lane

Sarah’s Play School

Lee’s Family Child Care

 

Little Rascals Child Care

 

North Butler Head Start

 

 

Council members began searching for these see-thru masks and were lucky enough to find an individual, who had turned to making masks when her own child care business closed due to the pandemic.

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