Before the pandemic, "Look What I Can Do" learning center in Brookland had an enrollment of about 240. Now it has dropped to 181 and is still changing. Owner Tiffany Sharp says, these unexpected changes can cause a big impact for her business and others in the long run.
“It’s been a huge challenge and we’ve had to make a lot of changes and accommodations to meet new regulations and standards for keeping everyone safe. A lot of after-hours disinfecting while no one is on campus, ” Sharp said.
The center cares for newborns to pre-k graduates and a small group of school-age children.
They have not had to furlough any employees.
“I believe that there will be an influx in tuition prices across the state for childcare services due to the major losses,” Sharp said.
Adjustments have been taken place for staff and parents, when they enter the center in protection of keep children safe, like changing shoes when they enter the classrooms, and temperatures being checked for children and staff.
Problems with enrollment is one thing but a limit on supplies has been tough too.
“We could not get food, we could not get milk, we could not get basic supplies, luckily I had put in orders before COVID happened and we do monthly supply order so we were able to get through what we had while we were waiting on other products to come in in terms of supplies,” Sharp said.
Cleaning supplies and milk and food are essential for businesses with children.
In the end, Tiffany feels having the same support of other small businesses can ensure the ability to stay open.
“As a country we cannot reopen without and immediate investment in the childcare system. In the past, childcare programs were looked as almost a luxury, it was a nice thing to be able to take your child to while you work, and now it’s going to be so much more if many of these childcare programs end up closing and are not able to reopen,” Sharp said.
The learning center is very thankful for the community, staff and those who have shown compassion during this pandemic.