Coronavirus Updates for Families
Ensuring the health, safety and well-being of our children, families and team members remains our highest priority. The news, as we all know, is changing rapidly. We are working with state Departments of Health and closely monitoring local, state and national developments pertaining to the Coronavirus.
Please bookmark this page for future reference. We will continue to post updates here.
Our Latest Update
Updated Nov. 19, 2020
Updates on Face Coverings & Protective Masks
All staff and parents are required to wear face coverings inside schools. Some programs may require face coverings for children 2 years or older.
Updated Oct. 20, 2020
Free Childcare Program for South Carolina’s Working Families!
If you are in need of financial assistance for childcare, we can help through the new emergency subsidy program!
As part of the state’s efforts to help families during the COVID-19 pandemic, South Carolina’s Department of Social Services (DSS) is offering childcare assistance to working parents. Childcare is FREE for up to 52 weeks for qualifying families. No paying up-front and no co-pays. Your childcare is 100% covered.
Parents or caregivers can receive free childcare for 52 weeks if they:
- Currently working at least 15 hours a week or attending school or training.
- Meet certain household income requirements (see table below).
|Monthly Gross Income Limit||$0-4,310||$0-$5,430||$0-$6,550||$0-$7,670||$0-$8,790|
|Annual Gross Income Limit||$0-$51,720||$0-$65,150||$0-$78,600||$0-$92,040||$0-$105,480|
How do I get started?
- Contact us immediately if you need care! For a list of local schools, visit our Location Finder.
- Complete the DSS Child Care Application and email it to CCDFApplications@dss.sc.gov. In your email, include your first and last name, your phone number, and documentation for wage or school verification.
Is this program time sensitive?
Yes! The program is based on funding availability. There are a limited number of subsidies that can be awarded. The earlier you apply, the better.
Help spread the word
Many families in need of safe childcare don’t know about this program. Please share and help spread the word!
This assistance is available at all open, licensed childcare centers in South Carolina, not just Foundations. Help other working families get the support they need by spreading the word today.
Link to DSS childcare application
Updated May 13, 2020
Enhanced Health & Safety Precautions
Ensuring the health, safety and well-being of our children, families and team members remains our highest priority. We have strengthened our health and safety practices based on current guidance and recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), state and local officials and departments of health to ensure we maintain a safe and healthy environment.
In our schools you will notice:
- Temperature Checks: We are screening all staff members and children upon arrival at school to check for raised temperatures and symptoms of the Coronavirus. We will follow state and CDC guidelines regarding raised temperatures, whichever is more stringent.
- Protective Masks: Staff members may wear protective face coverings when working with children. Please note the CDC does not currently recommend face coverings for children under 2 years old.
- Health Screening: When families sign-in for the day, they will need to confirm their child is well before our staff brings them to the classroom.
- Wellness Checks: Regular wellness checks are being conducted throughout the day. The families of children that show signs of illness will be notified immediately. To help stop the spread of illness, children are taken to a dedicated place and cared for by a member of management until a family member can pick them up within the hour.
- Limited Classroom Access: Classrooms are reserved for teachers and children only. To curb the spread of germs and to control group size, families are asked to remain in common areas of the school only, and not enter classrooms. To limit non-essential personnel in our schools, we have temporarily discontinued all specialized activities provided by third parties to our students and have discontinued non-essential travel to schools by corporate team members.
- Same Person Drop-Off and Pick-Up: Families are asked, whenever possible, to assign one family member for drop off and pick up to minimize exposure to multiple people.
- Handwashing: We continue to ensure increased frequency of handwashing by children and staff. Hand sanitizer is available in the center.
- Social Distancing: We have implemented the social distancing strategies listed below:
- Children and staff remain in the same group each day, when possible.
- We are staggering playground times, so different groups are not mixed together.
- We have cancelled or postponed special events such as festivals, holiday events and special performances.
- When possible, during naptime, children are placed 6 feet apart.
- We have temporarily suspended outside visitors to classrooms.
- We have altered drop off and pick up procedures to limit unnecessary exposure.
- Sanitizing & Classroom Cleanliness: We have strengthened our existing cleaning and sanitizing practices. Toys, playground equipment, doorknobs and other high-touch surfaces are disinfected, and toys are rotated throughout the day. We follow CDC guidelines for proper disinfectants.
- Playground Restrictions: Outdoor play structures will be used by one class at a time and will be cleaned daily per CDC guidelines.
- Safe Dining: We’ve modified our mealtime practices to reduce the potential spread of germs. Children will still eat together but we have stopped family-style dining and are only serving pre-plated meals to children.
- Naptime Adjustments: Children will sleep six feet apart, whenever possible, and positioned alternating head-to-toe or toe-to-toe. Bedding, cot sheets and blankets will be laundered weekly or when soiled. Infant classroom bedding and crib sheets are laundered daily.
- Field Trips and Events: There will be no school-wide events or field trips at this time. Nature walks for our older children may be approved.
- Stay Home if Sick: If you or your child has been sick, please stay home until you are symptom-free without medication for 48 hours or unless state guidelines deem otherwise.
If you have any questions about our health and safety precautions, please feel free to contact your Center Director or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Updated May 5, 2020
Updates to Tuition Policy
As we work through these ever-changing times, we have updated our tuition procedures to ensure we’re here for our current families and can also provide care to our community. Many childcare centers opted to charge families while their schools were closed. We felt strongly we didn’t want to be an additional burden during this challenging time, so we haven’t charged tuition while we were closed or if a child wasn’t attending. We are eternally grateful to the many families who continued to pay tuition when their child wasn’t attending to help us pull through this challenging time.
As we reopen schools and respond to an increased demand for care in open schools, we are required to adjust our tuition policies to ensure we can support our community as situations change. Below are procedure updates for all three school scenarios.
- Closed Schools
We are not charging tuition or reservation credits if your school is temporarily closed.
- Open Schools
We are starting to experience an increased demand for childcare. To ensure we’re available to current families who need care, we’re modifying our processes to give first preference to current families. If we experience an increased demand for care in your classroom, and you are not currently attending:
- Your school will contact you to let you know your classroom is filling up.
- You will have the first right of refusal for space. Please let your director know within 48 hours if you’ll be attending. You won’t be charged a registration fee to return.
- If you choose not to attend, we will contact families on the waiting list.
- If there is still space after we contact families on the waiting list, classroom space will be open to new families.
- Please note: If you choose not to attend, we cannot save your child’s space unless you pay weekly tuition to hold the space.
- Re-Opening Schools
We’re working on a timeline to reopen our schools that have been temporarily closed.
- Once we determine a reopening date, we will contact you via email to let you know.
- You will have the first right of refusal for a classroom space. Please let your director know within 48 hours if you’ll be attending. You won’t be charged a registration fee to return.
- If you choose not to attend, we will contact families on the school waiting list.
- If there is still space after we contact the waiting list, classroom space will be open to new families.
- Please note: If you choose not to attend, we cannot save your child’s space unless you pay weekly tuition for the space.
We sincerely wish we could hold everyone’s classroom space. But that simply isn’t possible. Many essential workers in our community desperately need a safe place for their child right now. We’re mindful that each family is in a unique situation, and we trust you’ll decide what works best for your family. If you don’t need care now, we hope you’ll think of our school in the future. And please know you’ll always be a part of the Foundations family.
If you have any questions, please contact your Center Director.
Updated April 24, 2020
As you may know, we are not charging tuition or reservation credits if your child is not currently attending, or if your school is temporarily closed. This revised policy is currently scheduled to end Sunday, May 3.
However, given current national circumstances, we are extending this policy until Sunday, May 31. We will revisit this policy as we near this date.
This means your family will not be charged or asked to use a reservation credit if you decide to keep your child at home, or if your center temporarily closes. Any credit balances will remain on your account for future tuition expenses.
It continues to be our goal to provide care to our families that desperately need it and ensure our teammates continue to have employment, while making modifications to our programs and taking additional precautions to protect the health of our students, staff and families.
If you have any questions, please contact your Center Director.
Updated March 23, 2020
Given the current situation and lower attendance at some of our schools, we’ve made the difficult decision to make a temporary change to some of our operating hours. This change allows us to make staffing and scheduling changes to keep our school open.
If your school’s hours are temporarily changing, we will notify you individually. We will also list all operating hour changes and temporary center closings on our closures page located at https://foundationsearlylearningcenter.com/…/school-closin…/.
We appreciate your patience and understanding.
Updated March 18, 2020
Many families across the country have been financially impacted by the Coronavirus and the temporary closure of many businesses.
After careful consideration, we have decided that our families will not be charged if they decide to keep their children at home, or if their center closes. This change is effective immediately and goes through March 29, 2020.
What does this mean? It means we realize you may make the decision to keep your children at home. And we understand. Your family won’t be charged or asked to use a reservation credit if you make that decision, or if your school closes. Any credit balances will remain on your account for future tuition expenses.
If your family continues to need and access our services, we ask you to please pay your tuition on time. This may sound like an unusual request, but everyone is under additional financial stress during this unprecedented time. Your timely payment allows us to pay our teachers. And taking care of our amazing staff continues to be one of our top priorities.
It is our goal to continue to provide care to our families that need it and ensure our teammates continue to have employment, while making modifications to our programs and taking additional precautions to protect the health of our students, staff and families.
As a reminder, please follow the parameters below to determine when to keep your child at home.
- If your child wakes up with a fever of 100.4 degrees or greater or has flu-like symptoms, keep your child at home.
- If your child arrives at school with any of these symptoms, you will not be permitted to attend for the safety and wellbeing of everyone.
- If your child or anyone in your household is exhibiting symptoms similar to those of the Coronavirus, please inform your Center Director immediately.
We appreciate your patience and understanding as we work together through this unprecedented situation.
Updated March 17, 2020
We realize many families count on us to stay open. First responders, healthcare workers and other families need a safe place for their child while they’re at work. It is our goal to continue to provide care to our families as long as it is safe to do so.
At this time, our schools will remain open, unless we are instructed to close by local public health or other officials.
During this unprecedented time, we are taking additional precautions to protect the health of our students, staff and families. These precautions include:
Individuals experiencing symptoms of respiratory illness, such as fever of 100.4 degrees or greater, coughing, sneezing, or difficulty breathing, or anyone that has had direct contact with a person that is confirmed to have the Coronavirus, will be prohibited from entering our schools. This includes family members and staff. If your child arrives at school with any of these symptoms, you will not be permitted to attend for the safety and wellbeing of everyone.
Any team member returning from a cruise or a trip abroad will not be allowed to return to work for a minimum of 14 days. If anyone in your household has returned from or plans to travel to CDC level 3 areas, you will not be permitted into our school for at least 14 days after returning to the US. This includes anyone with pick-up or drop-off privileges.
Health and Hygiene Practices
Where supply is available, hand sanitizer will be located near the lobby check-in iPad. Please thoroughly sanitize your hands as you enter our building to protect yourself and others.
We are maintaining strict cleaning and sanitizing procedures, including handwashing, building and toy sanitation processes, and disinfecting all surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs, including doorknobs and other high traffic surfaces.
Essential Personnel Only
To limit non-essential personnel in our schools, we are temporarily discontinuing all specialized activities provided by third parties to our students. We have also requested Foundations Early Learning Center corporate employees to discontinue all non-essential travel to our schools.
What You Can Do to Help
Please observe and reinforce important health and hygiene habits with your children:
- Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub with at least 60% alcohol.
- If you need to cough or sneeze, cover your nose and mouth.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth to prevent the spread of germs.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
Temporary Center Closures
Please visit our School Closings & Delays page for the most up-to-date information on which schools are closing temporarily. If your school is temporarily closed, you will receive additional information via email from your Center Director.
This is an unprecedented situation, and we appreciate your patience and understanding as we work through this. Please know we are committed to supporting you, the children in our care or our teammates. We will provide additional updates as we receive them.
If you have any questions, please contact your Center Director. For more information on the Coronavirus, please visit the CDC’s website at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus
Make hand washing fun!
Follow these tips to practice good hygiene at home.