5 Ways COVID-19 Has Changed Child Care Forever

COVID-19 – a global pandemic that has uprooted all of our lives. Since March 2020, we’ve all had to quickly adapt and make adjustments to sustain our livelihoods and keep some sense of normalcy in our lives. Yet, as states and provinces lift restrictions, we are left asking ourselves what life will be like once all of this is over once and for all. It is likely that mask-wearing and social distancing will eventually fade away, but one thing is bound to remain the same: our growing use of technology to make childcare safer and more flexible! 

In the 2020 Child Care Benchmark Report, child care providers indicated several ways that the sector will likely be impacted even after COVID-19 is over. Below are five things that we believe will remain permanent in the childcare industry once restrictions are lifted, and life goes back to normal. Click here to download the full report!

1. Programming Will Be Offered On-Site and At Home

In the report, 39% of providers told us that they were exploring remote learning opportunities. These included video calls at-home activities and busy bags/activity kits.

Of these respondents, 38% intend on continuing to offer these services even after the pandemic ends.

remote learning child care

Chart courtesy of the 2020 Child Care Benchmark Report

Child care has always been a partnership between parents and child care providers, with the goal of providing a great experience and education for children. Providing resources to continue learning at home will help strengthen this relationship and make families happier with a center’s services.

2. Monitoring the Health & Wellness of Children will be a Top Priority

Temperature checks, symptom lists, and countless health screenings are now an everyday part of our routine. Since the start of COVID-19, these wellness checks are used to indicate a child’s health and are essential to providing a safe environment where children can continue to learn and grow. Specifically, these checks may come in handy for families that return home from traveling or once children come back to the center after an illness.

However, that being said, these health checks can be time-consuming and require additional staffing and resources. That’s why HiMama offers a health screening tool to keep track of how little ones are feeling and provides an all-encompassing way for staff to track this information quickly and keep parents up to date.

3. Drop off & Pick up Will be Contactless

Parents are often in a rush, and childcare centers are busy places. Since the beginning of COVID-19, many centers have implemented contactless drop-off and pick-up. With contactless drop-off and pick-up, parents can quickly send a message to staff indicating that they are at the center or on their way, and the child will be brought out or taken in at the appropriate time. Contactless drop-off and pick-up allow centers to be more organized as they can begin getting the child ready before the parents arrive.

o help with this process, HiMama provides centers a way to communicate with parents when they arrive, record a signature of who picks up the child and even send drop off and pick up notes! Drop-off and pick-up time couldn’t be easier.

4. Digital Payments Will Become The New Norm

So long are the days of parents bringing in a cheque to pay their bill. Since COVID-19, many centers have encouraged their parents to leave their checkbooks at home and pay digitally. Not only does this allow for less contact between staff and parents, but it made their business practices simpler and more convenient.

HiMama’s contactless payments feature enables centers to keep track of payments received and account balances seamlessly. In addition, using HiMama’s contactless billing & payments feature allows for more time to be spent with the children in the classroom and less time spent worrying about coordinating payments.

5. Keeping Strong Connections Will Be Even More Important

Year over year, customer satisfaction has remained the #1 organizational priority for child care businesses.

child care 2020 organizational priorities

Chart courtesy of the 2020 Child Care Benchmark Report

As we have learned, things can change at a moment’s notice, so having parents’ trust and understanding of the value you provide is crucial. The world may be changing, but helping parents provide the best upbringing for their children will remain the same — it might just look a little different.

Notably, since families aren’t allowed inside anymore, digital communication becomes even more important. Parents want to know what is going on behind closed doors with their children, and providing messages and updates throughout the day will give them peace of mind (i.e. keep them satisfied!).

To see more stats about the state of child care, see the 2020 Child Care Benchmark Report!

Michael Keshen

Michael writes for HiMama's early childhood education blog and ECE Weekly newsletter. When not developing content for early childhood professionals, he can usually be found out and about with his wife and daughter exploring all that Toronto has to offer, or playing music with his karaoke band.