OCEAN COUNTY – COVID-19 closed all the schools, and most of the businesses. However, there are essential employees who can’t stay home with their kids. They have to go to work, so there is a need for childcare for these essential personnel.
Most people don’t realize that some childcare locations are still open, said Alisa Khaitan, owner of the Goddard School on Route 70 in Toms River.
They applied through the state in order to stay open, and was approved. Now, they are one of the few places still open to take care of kids while their parents take care of everyone else.
While everything is different now in our daily lives, it’s important that children have a sense of normalcy. They thrive on reinforcement of positive routines. The staff are still creating and implementing weekly lesson plans, and if the weather is nice, children are playing outside.
All of this has to be done within the virus regulations set forth by the state, and in order to serve as an emergency center, the school has to follow very strict guidelines, Khaitan said. For example, parents drop children off outside the building to a staff member, since only staff members and students are allowed inside. The children have their temperature taken before they head in.
“There is nothing more we would like than for the quarantine to be lifted and life to resume back to what will be our new normal,” she said. “Until that time, it is our responsibility to continue to teach these children while keeping them safe.”
The following employees are deemed essential by state standards:
- Health care workers, including staff working in health care facilities and in community-based services including home health and behavioral health;
- Law enforcement personnel, fire and emergency services personnel, and correctional facility staff;
- Individuals employed at emergency child care centers operating on or after April 1, 2020;
- Staff working for entities that provide essential social services, including, but not limited to, group home and shelter staff;
- Essential government employees who are unable to work from home, including child protection services workers, child welfare workers, foster care workers, unemployment compensation processing staff, and public health employees;
- Certain critical workers, as defined by the Commissioner of DCF, at essential retail businesses, as defined in Executive Order No. 107 (2020) and subsequent Administrative Orders, which includes, for example, grocery store and gas station employees.
For now, these parents are having their tuition paid for by the state. Families can enroll here: childcarenj.gov/Child-Care-for-COVID-19/Ocean
The Goddard School is offering full day and partial day care during the current health crisis available to essential working personnel defined by the New Jersey Department of Public Health.
Who: Infants through 8th graders who are children of essential employees as defined in the Governor’s Executive Order #110.
When: 7 a.m. – 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday
Where: The Goddard School, 255 Route 70, Toms River
Details: Children will enjoy age-appropriate activities and outdoor playtime in a safe and healthy environment cared for by qualified Goddard Faculty. We also provide support and guidance to the school age children with help completing their school work.
For more information contact: Alisa Khaitan, School Owner at email@example.com or (732) 363-5530.