The Children’s Center has been supporting students and families within the community and university by providing quality care based on research, knowledge, and developmentally appropriate practices. Director of CSUSB’s Early Childhood Education Programs, Deanna Brown, has been the director for the Infant Toddler Lab School for 10 ½ years as well as direct the Children’s Center for 3 ½ years. COVID-19 has created unanticipated changes in the Children’s Center functioning.
Q: Will the Children’s Center offer its services on campus?
A: At this time the center has been closed temporarily and we are unsure of when it will re-open.
Q: What changes have been made regarding the services offered at the Children’s Center due to COVID-19?
A: As our services rely heavily upon the ability to meet and gather in person, we are unable to provide child care services at this time.
Q: What factors have been considered when making changes in the Children’s Center due to COVID-19?
A: The continued health and safety of our children, families, and teachers have remained our top priority. With children, particularly within a preschool setting, it is difficult to adhere to social distancing guidelines and best practices, such as keeping the children and teachers 6 feet apart from each other and minimizing the number of children and adults within a group. On a typical day, we can have up to 40 children at our center at one time and 6 teachers working but only two classrooms to try and spread out in. We have also considered families’ comfort levels in continuing to bring their children to our center during this time. The official decision to close the center ultimately came from cabinet, but we agree that it was a good decision.
Q: How will students in a lab class complete laboratory hours?
A: Typically, students enrolled in the lab courses get experience working directly with the children. Due to the center closure, students will instead be completing lab hours by participating in ‘Virtual Lab’. The virtual lab activities are designed to have students apply their learning to real-life examples and experiences. Students will be implementing the activity plans that they create in their lecture course and will record themselves in the role of ‘teacher’ implementing the activities that they have created. Students will also be engaging in discussion boards after reading and analyzing various prompts or scenarios. They will also be participating in a variety of assignments that provide an opportunity to extend and apply their learning to course objectives.
Q: How does the Children’s Center continue to support families?
A: We are working to establish deeper virtual connections with our families, which includes implementing virtual circle times and meetups, sending the families ideas for activities to do at home with their children, and sharing relevant articles, resources, and information we come across in email newsletters.
Q: Is the Children’s Center informing and updating families about COVID-19? If so, how?
A: We did send them a really neat article talking about how to discuss COVID 19 with young children in a way that is appropriate for their development and understanding.
Q: Is there an expected date for the Children’s Center to return to its normal functioning?
A: Not at this time.