Welcome to Courtyard Early Learning Center
We have another COVID-19 update. We are learning a lot as we go, so we are covering multiple topics here. I feel we are entering the high point of a very unknown situation.
COVID Case Management
Candace and I are working diligently each day, to lesson the chance of a COVID case impacting the center. This is extremely time consuming, however, we want each parent to know that we are working our tail off to do our best to provide the excellent child care center setting that we have provided for years, all while learning all about this disease and trying to keep it at bay ~ to protect the children, the parents ability to bring their child to a center so they can work, and protect our teachers. There is no way to completely eliminate cases, it is medically not possible. It is a tough job to balance all of the juggling balls, so we want to say thank you for your patience as we grow and learn during this pandemic.
If you missed our earlier communication about when a child and/or classroom would be required quarantine, please read below. Please understand 1). We will personally call you when your child is required to quarantined and 2). Have a plan of action in your home, of what you will do when you get that call. This is not a matter of IF, this is a matter of WHEN. We are doing everything in our power to keep the center open every day, every classroom. However, we are fighting something that is unstoppable. Please have a plan. : )
One of the many efforts that we are making, is to try to lesson the chance of a child being required to quarantine and/or a classroom needing to be shut down. We do not plan to ever have children wear masks (tell me how that would work anyway???). However, we have implemented the expectation that teachers wear masks in certain scenarios, to lesson the number of "close contacts" that occur throughout the day.
Teachers will wear masks from 6:30 - 7:00 am, and again from 5:00 to 5:30 pm each day. These are the times that classrooms are "combined". The Health Department indicates that having the teacher medically masked in this scenario will lesson the chance of multiple rooms being shut down due to one teacher testing positive for COVID. Masks are very costly, so we will use medical masks as long as they are available and we have the funding to buy them.
As long as funding and staffing allows, it is our goal for every classroom to be open from 7:00 am to 5:00 pm each day. Limiting the point of children being "combined" lessons the risk of your child being required to quarantine. This is very costly, and may have to be modified in the future based on funding and having enough staff, as we move through the season of high illness. However, we hope it is a wise investment and that it really does limit the impact of classrooms being required to be closed for 14 days to quarantine.
Each classroom will be using the playground at separate times, to avoid classes from mixing with one another.
If a child is required to be quarantined because of a COVID case that occurred at Courtyard, we plan to offer the same credits that we offered this past spring. (See way below for details). Credits will only be offered when Courtyard is calling saying that a child must be quarantined, not based on the child's personal need to be quarantined. The credits will be put on your account each Friday for the days that you were not able to have care. The next several months will prove to be a strain financially, however, we are going to do everything in our power to put the financial resources that we have to use to continue to provide the children with a SAFE, LOVING, and EDUCATIONAL environment during this time.
Be prepared for new faces. Part of COVID case management, is suddenly having to send a teacher home because they start to feel even slightly ill. We are working hard to make sure that we have plenty of trained staff that will provide exceptional care for your child. However, be prepared for new faces. And thank you in advance for your patience as we keep your child's room open, sometimes with teachers that are still learning. :)
Overall, just like we said a few weeks ago, our focus really is about the kids. We are doing all of this extra work so that we can continue to spend our days doing what we do best! Playing on the playground, doing lessons, having fun circle times, laughing, and having awesome days with your kiddos! Regardless of COVID or anything else, that goal will NEVER change!
As always, talk to Christa or Candace with questions!
As we move into the season of an increase in COVID-19 cases, we wanted to share with the parents what is likely to occur when a Courtyard teacher or child tests positive for COVID-19.
First - it is important to share that Courtyard Early Learning Center will follow the guidance of the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services and the Cole County Health Department. Second - we will be 100% honest with parents regarding when we have a teacher or a child tests positive with COVID, and has spent time in the center during the time frame of being a risk to others per the Health Department.
We have reached out to the Cole County Health department to obtain instructions on what to do when we have a teacher or a child test positive for COVID-19. I am sure that how we are being instructed to react to positive cases is a moving target as our leaders and the Health Departments learn more about this illnesses. Things could change as we move through the season. Here are the protocols as we understand them today:
When a child or a teacher tests positive for COVID, that has been at Courtyard within 48 hours of showing symptoms (or whatever timeframe that the Health Department indicates - right now it is 48), the classroom (teachers and students) and all persons that were in close contact with the person that tests positive for COVID, will be required to quarantine for 14 days. Those persons will be expected to get tested only when they show symptoms, or of course if they choose to be tested.
When this occurs, the video would be studied to determine any other contacts that had exposure. Exposure is defined as being close in contact with the individual that tested positive. Close contact is being within 6' for more than 15 minutes. Those persons will be contacted and expected to quarantine.
As we move through the winter, we will take internal measures to try to keep COVID out of the center, and when we do have a case - to contain it to one classroom. It is our ultimate goal to avoid having to close the entire center when we get cases. We will do everything within our financial and other means to continue to provide top notch child care to parents that rely on us.
Overall, it is our goal to keep our focus on providing a great environment for these kids. Our children deserve to have a fun childhood, regardless of COVID or any other adult situations. We at Courtyard will do everything that we can to do the very best we can with the circumstances that we are presented. Thank you for helping us every step of the way.
Good morning Courtyard parents!
After offering credits for the last 8 weeks for families that kept their kiddos at home during COVID - 19, we are ending our credits starting the week of 5/18/2020. Credits will be given to accounts for children that did not attend the week that we are currently in (5/11 - 5/15) on Friday the 15th. I am working on emailing updated statements to all parents today.
We hope that everyone stays safe! Families that have a credit on their account is welcome to use them anytime they choose.
Feel free to contact me with questions!
Now that we are moving back into a world where COVID-19 cases are likely to increase, with the ultimate goal to slow the spread over the course of time, we wanted to share with parents Courtyard's policy should a person in a Courtyard family have reason to get tested.
Should any Courtyard child or family member that lives with a Courtyard child have a reason to be tested, the expectation is that the parent keep the children at home until the COVID-19 test comes back negative. Once the person tested has a negative result, the children are able to return to Courtyard assuming there is no other reason to believe there is a COVID-19 risk. Should any Courtyard child or family member that lives with a Courtyard child have a positive COVID-19 test, the child will not be allowed to return to Courtyard until cleared by the appropriate physician or the regulating Health Department.
Overall, we acknowledge that eventually every business and every family will very likely come in contact with COVID-19. There doesn't seem to be any stopping it, just maybe slowing it down. However, being that we have asthmatic children, very young babies in our care, and Courtyard children have family members that may be high risk - we are going to do our very best to limit Courtyard's contact with the illness. We ask that parents help us keep everyone as safe as possible by keeping children home if there is any reason to believe (symptoms or actually being tested) until it is for sure safe to return.
Courtyard will continue to check temperatures daily, and do all of the other sanitizing as requested by the CDC. We are very hopeful to have a SAFE and FUN summer!
Christa & Candace
First, Candace and I would like to share with parents that both of us and our amazing teachers have so missed our Courtyard friends! Based on watching the news and all of the information about the world today, it is clear that it may take a long time for the world to get back to some type of new normal.
However, here at Courtyard, we are excited to have our friends back so that we can focus on providing all of our Courtyard kids with a safe, educational and fun environment once again. With plans to slowly re-open our State, Courtyard will be moving our Creek Trail kiddos back to their Creek Trail home starting the week of 4/27/2020.
Candace and I will prepare for the trickle of kiddos to come back as families shift back to their more normal work life. To ensure that we have the proper staff set up, we ask that families reach out to us to let us know when they expect their kiddos to return a few days ahead of time.
Thanks in advance for all of your patience as we shift back into the full swing of things.
Christa & Candace
To ensure that we utilize every dollar towards supporting our teachers, we have decided to TEMPORARILY consolidate all of our Courtyard kiddos into one center........at Oscar Drive. Please read Candace's note below. Feel free to ask questions at pickup or of course by telephone/email etc. Of course, once we get all of our friends back, we will go back to our own centers and enjoy our Courtyard days. And so do we look forward to those days.....
Good morning Courtyard Parents,
As of today, the State of Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) has requested that Child Care centers remain open to care for children of parents that are considered essential to the fight against COVID-19. As of now, we will remain open for those parents. We have heard rumors that their request may change and we will be forced to close, however, we have not received any official correspondence. We will continue to operate until we are asked to close, until the COVID-19 cases become so numerous in Cole County that the risk is too high to continue to operate, or until we don't have enough kids to care for.
However, we recognize that many families will experience difficult financial times during this time. Many of our parents are self employed and having to cut down on their work load, or are being impacted in one way or another financially. Courtyard's goals both while we are open and if we end up closing will be to:
GOAL: Keep our families enrolled AND keep our amazing teachers paid.
It is not a simple task, however, it is my goal to make this work for everyone as well as I can.
While we are open, parents that choose not to bring their child until the COVID-19 concern has passed ~ however want to keep their spot ~ will receive a significant credit towards their tuition if their account is paid in full each week. This should allow parents that are taking a financial hit the chance to keep their spot for when business is back as usual. This credit is effective Monday, March 23rd, 2020.
Age Weekly Credit Amount
Infant & Toddler: $90
Three & Up: $75
Three & Up MWF @ Oscar: $45
Three & Up TR @ Oscar: $30
This "credit" will be applied to accounts that stay paid in full each week. Parents cannot "pay us later" and expect the credit. The need is to have cash flow on a weekly basis, so that teachers can be taken care of at this time, keep the lights on, and we can continue on with our normal Courtyard days after we are back to business as usual. Parents that don't ensure their account is paid in full each week will NOT receive this credit as that goes against the entire purpose of weekly tuition. :)
This will be complex, confusing and overwhelming for everyone. The best fix to a confusing situation is simple communication, so I ENCOURAGE parents to call, email, text me with questions. As I get questions, I will add the question and answer below for other parents to stay informed. My cell phone number is 573-619-5436. I am also at Creek Trail on MWF (573-659-7550) and Oscar on TR (573-635-4663).
Christa A. Luebbering, MBA
Courtyard Early Learning Center
Questions & Answers
Q: My account is already paid in advance. Do I get the credit?
A: I will provide a credit to each account that is paid in full or advanced each week. If a balance is due, meaning parent has not paid, a credit will not be given.
Q: How do I know if I have a balance due?
A: Parents are encouraged to request statements as often as they need to. Do so by emailing me at Christa@CourtyardEarlyLearningCenter.com or by texting me at 573-619-5436. Or you can always call me.
Q: When is tuition due again?
A: Tuition is due each Monday for everyone, except for the parents that only bring kids on Tuesday and Thursday. Their tuition is due on Tuesday.
Q: If you end up closing, how will I pay my tuition?
A: The centers will be open during normal business hours for you to drop your payments off in the payment box. Don't steal the Clorox wipes while you are there, remember we have video. :)
Q: If I choose to pay my normal rate, what will happen?
A: Parents are welcome to choose to pay their normal rate. A credit will grow to be used to skip payments at a later date.
March 23, 2020
April 17, 2020
May 1, 2020
May 13, 2020