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Grand Rapids Early Discovery Center to welcome kids back with masks

Posted at 4:59 PM, Aug 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-10 16:59:30-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — With an executive order signed by Governor Gretch Whitmer on Friday, staff members and most kids at childcare centers and camps across the state will now be required to wear face masks.

Starr Morgan, executive director at Grand Rapids Early Discover, spoke with Fox 17 on Monday, and said she has faith in her staff and the children they'll look after to power through the tough times.

"Children are resilient, teachers are resilient," Morgan said.

Morgan said the masks will get some getting used to for parents, as they also teach kids the normal

"It's been a little bit difficult, making sure that every child has it that is 4 and up. Some families are forgetting which is understandable," Morgan said. “We're teaching them how to navigate conflict with other peers, and how to navigate conflict with an adult.”

There are a lot of factors that Morgan has to account for while re-opening in a pandemic, including being unable to read facial cues and trips to and from the classroom

"That communication being a little bit more difficult when you can't see lips move, and facial expressions, the smiles and things like that," Morgan said. "If they're going from their classroom to the bathroom, if they're going from their classroom to outside or if they are coordinating with a different classroom on something.”

Children under the age of 4 aren't required to wear masks, but will still be encouraged to do so.

“For those children, we're offering opportunity for them to practice wearing masks, but it's not a requirement in those in those times," Morgan said. "Many of them want to because they see an older sibling, they see their their teachers wearing masks.”

These aren't the first adjustments the center has made during the pandemic

“We are doing outdoor drop off so families come to the front, we have teachers outside to take temperatures ask families specific symptoms," Morgan said. “And then we're keeping our numbers really low in our classrooms.”

Morgan assured Fox 17 that her and her staff will take every step necessary to prioritize safety in the classroom during this complicated time.

"We know germs have no boundaries," Morgan said. "We'll do everything we absolutely can to keep (the virus) from spreading to other children."