Hot Topics     Home and Family     Healthy Kids    

Helping first-time schoolers



Big changes for clingy kids already scared of school

Helping first-time schoolers

Questions regarding the ways in which not only regular school but daycares and pre-schools will be working this autumn are preying on parents, especially if their kids are entering school for the first time. Will the idea of masks and temperature taking, and no parents allowed in a building, work to turn a new generation off education entirely?

Marco della Cava has examined the issue of getting young kids in the door for the start of their education in a new USA Today piece that finds that, “the calculus is different for children ages 2 to 4, an impressionable phase that leaves parents concerned about the possible impact of exposing children to a mask- and temperature check-filled setting from which parents now are excluded for health reasons.”

Gone are the days when clingy children could be escorted by mom or dad into a classroom for that momentous debut school experience, della Cava writes, noting that, “While protocols vary, many pre-K and day care facilities now have measures to keep teachers and children safe that include car drop-offs, fever checks and the wearing of masks or shields.”

The best way to face all this uncertainty, he’s found, may be virtual tours, app-based fever and illness monitoring and updates, and in some cases in-class visits via apps or webcams.

In particular, della Cava speaks with Jessica Chang of WeeCare, which helps connect parents with 2,500 child care facilities around the country. In addition to sharing medical states, the WeeCare facilities use air purifiers, encourage outdoor play when possible, and parent “visits” with kids through the secure WeeCare app. And as with most day care providers who are accredited to take infants, new measures for babies focus on thoroughly sterilizing cribs and other crawling access areas as well as making sure parents wash all crib linens and clothes nightly.

“We do see apprehension from parents who haven’t returned their kids to school yet,” says Chang, herself a mother of two young children. “Some of course have no choice due to employment issues, and have to send them back. For the others, we offer virtual ways to interact with providers to raise their comfort level. And we encourage providers to make things fun when they can.”

For example, Chang says, to make a car drop-off less frightening for a toddler, some of the care providers in the network have taken to building a small maze with stations. One is for a visual inspection, another for a fever check, and at each station the child receives a stamp in a booklet, turning the chore into game.

As with many decisions related to our coronavirus moment, experts say parents caught in this dilemma need to assess their own comfort with risk, and balance that with everything from their child’s development needs to their own employment demands.

“Just like weighing the risks and benefits of K-12, parents need to figure out if pre-K is a good idea for them and their family,” says Susan Hedges, director of quality assessment at the National Association for the Education of Young Children, which accredits facilities around the world. “In normal times, we’ve all sent a young child with a slight fever to school simply because we have our own day to get started. But now there can’t be any of that; this is deadly serious. Everyone has a role to play.”




Other articles by HVP News Reporters


  • Hudson Valley Section of the NYS Birding Trail is Live!

    World-class birding opportunities across the state

    Birding is a fun activity that everyone can enjoy! From Montauk to Buffalo, New York is home to a vast array of amazing habitat that supports over 450 different bird species. Birding, or birdwatching, is one of the fastest growing outdoor recreational activities that can be enjoyed by all ages and experiences, plus it's a great way to get outdoors. read more »
  • Historic Hudson Valley Landmarks Reopen to Visitors

    Philipsburg Manor, Washington Irving’s Sunnyside, Union Church, and Kykuit open in May

    Historic Hudson Valley will welcome the public to Philipsburg Manor, Washington Irving’s Sunnyside, and Union Church beginning Friday, May 6; and Kykuit, the Rockefeller estate, beginning on Saturday, May 21. Visitors will be able to tour all four of these National Historic Landmarks through November. read more »
  • The dangers of using your pet's name as a password

    Aura research finds families vulnerable online

    Aura, the leader in intelligent safety for consumers, today introduced a public safety awareness campaign encouraging families to bolster their online safety habits. Marking the start of National Pet Month and World Password Day on May 5, Aura has released new data that found more than one-third (39%) of American pet parents have used their pet's name as part of their password for an online account. read more »
  • Strengthening support for new mothers

    2 companies provide research-based solutions benefiting the parenting journey

    Medela, the most trusted breast pump brand*, has announced a partnership with Expectful, a holistic maternal health platform for fertility, pregnancy, and motherhood, to offer breastfeeding and pumping education and discounted access to wellness support to new moms. The two brands share a commitment to improving the motherhood experience through research-backed products that can be trusted to truly make a difference. read more »
  • Poor oral health can cause serious medical conditions

    New Delta Dental report finds many are unaware of this connection

    Delta Dental released the 2022 State of America's Oral Health and Wellness Report, a nationwide analysis of consumer opinions and behaviors relating to oral health. Findings from the Delta Dental-commissioned research of U.S. adults and parents of children ages 12 and younger illuminate what they thought about their oral health and what they did to properly care for it at home and with their dentist during 2021. read more »
  • Memorial Day crafts for kids

    Teach your kids about this special holiday while you make something special

    The national holiday was established to honor those who have died in American wars. Memorial Day was originally called Decoration Day. It originated during the American Civil War, when citizens would place flowers on the graves of those who had been killed in battle. read more »
  • Parents experiencing frustration over the national baby formula shortage

    NYS Division of Consumer Protection Offers Guidance

    New Yorkers need to be aware of unscrupulous practices from individuals who are using the baby formula shortages to scam desperate parents. These scams are typically rooted in online sales, and private sellers who are marketing cans for double the price knowing that big retailers have empty shelves and little information about when they may receive the next shipment. read more »
  • Leave young wildlife in the wild

    Human interactions do more harm than good to wild animals

    New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos is reminding New Yorkers to appreciate wildlife from a distance and resist the urge to pick up newborn fawns and other young wildlife. read more »
  • Top toy picks for spring & summer '22

    New list from the Toy Association & Clamour

    As kids and families gear up for a fun-filled summer of play, the "Best of Spring & Summer 2022 Influencer Choice List," presented by The Toy Association and powered by Clamour, today unveiled the hottest toys and games as voted on by top-tier toy and family content creators. Consumers can shop the list for toy ideas that will keep kids engaged all summer long – from playthings perfect for backyard fun to creative toys and games for rainy days. read more »
  • Girls Code Club Summer Camp

    Newburgh Free Library Accepting Applications

    The Newburgh Girl’s Code Club is now accepting applications for the Summer 2022 Code Camp. Newburgh Girl’s Code Club or NGCC is an initiative funded by Rowley Family Foundation Fund for Women & Children to address the issue of gender inequality in the technology field by providing youth access, education, and exposure to engineering skills in a casual club environment at the Newburgh Free Library. read more »