Some child care centers stay open during pandemic


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HAGERSTOWN, Md. (WDVM) — Businesses continue to close, but local child care centers are doing their best to stay open and to keep the children safe.

Many daycares and nurseries in Washington County are still open during the COVID-19 pandemic and are doing their best to sanitize and clean anything the children might touch.

Trina Johnson at the Hagerstown Nursery says they want to stay open as long as possible for the parents who can’t work from home

“I have a parent who works in dialysis so she has to go to work every day, I have a parent who works for 911 dispatch, and I have a couple of other people who work in the healthcare field,” Johnson said. “I also have some parents who work at Walmart, so they’re very busy right now.”

Shantee Bentzen is the center director at Bright Eyes in Hagerstown and says their sites in Montgomery County have all closed. However, they’re staying vigilant at their open centers by teaching social distancing to the staff and children.

“We’ve been explaining to the importance of how germs spread, how we need to be mindful of each other’s personal space,” Bentzen said. “That’s something that we talk about in child care in general; of just ‘your personal bubble.'”

Bentzen says the daycare has been sure to sanitize anything and everything that children come in contact with.

“We have a three-step sanitation process: Soap and water, water, bleach and water,” Shantee Bentzen said. “Anything that is touched, mouthed, sneezed on, coughed on; anything like that is immediately being put into that sanitation process to then clean it.”

The owners of bright eyes announced they will not be taking a salary at this time and will pay the employees at the closed centers half of their average weekly pay for up to four weeks. They will also not deduct any co-pays for health and dental insurance during that time.

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