By Hailey Terracino, News Editor
Bergen’s Child Development Center is open this fall, providing daycare services for students and staff who are returning to campus.
The service is currently limited to ten children, who will be attending at different times through the day. In taking precautions against COVID-19, the center will be screening everyone who enters the building for temperatures, implementing increased hygiene and requiring employees to wear a mask while working.
Children will not be required to wear a mask, but will be encouraged to do so. Federal Guidelines say children under two years of age should not wear a mask. The World Health Organization puts the age limit at five.
“We cannot make young children wear it,” said Sally Dioniso, Director of the center. “That said, surprisingly, all of our children wear them and never give us a hard time.” She also said children take off masks during socially distanced nap time, to avoid suffocation.
Center employees are also cleaning toys, equipment, and surfaces and increasing the frequency of handwashing. Toys and items that can not be easily cleaned (soft or plush toys) will not be used and each child will receive their own basket with their own individual art supplies.
Costs for eligible students are ten dollars per week. The center is part of a program called Childcare Access Means Parents in School (CCAMPIS), a program for low-income parents in postsecondary education. To apply for the program, parents must be taking at least nine credits and be Pell Grant eligible.
To engage with the community during the pandemic, the center has put together online workshops on topics relevant to children and parenting. Their first workshop was a presentation on how racism affects children, and was headed by Julia Childs, a guest speaker specializing in early childhood diversity.
Future workshops will be on knitting and technology for early education students. Workshops are available to everyone, and will be recorded for future viewing. They will also have a complete lineup of events for fall by October.
For more information contact Lark Lo-Sontag coordinator of the (CCAMPIS) program at firstname.lastname@example.org.