CHICO, Calif. - Schools are shutting down nation-wide, including some pre-schools, but many parents rely on third-party childcare. Especially those who can not work from home during the coronavirus outbreak.
The Smart Start Pre-School in Chico is used to having between 60 to 80 kids under their care but the coronavirus outbreak has cut that number in half.
Ann Nelson, the school's administrator, said they are staying open despite the drop in numbers.
In fact, Smart Start is working with other pre-schools who have shut down temporarily in an effort to keep childcare available to the public.
"Not all centers have the ability to stay open with a small amount of children coming so we spoke to licensing and we're able to bring in students from other centers if their center has to close," said Nelson. "So in the meantime, we can help out with that then they can go back to their centers as soon as they're able to open up."
Nelson said she is in contact with a lot of preschools already and she and Smart Start have no intention of keeping kids from other schools. She is just happy to help the community.
Preschools tend to be germ-filled but Nelson said she and her staff are on top of teaching cleanliness.
"The fortunate thing about this virus is it seems to affect kids very mildly but they are vectors to spreading the disease to the population that's at risk," said Dr. James Logan.
"I think because sanitation and cleaning has always been a high priority regardless because we are aware that kids touch everything and things go in their mouths and they're touching their faces so our teachers are cleaning all day long anyway," said Nelson. "Plus, we have cleaners who come in every single night who re-clean and sanitize the school."
While Action News Now was at the school, Smart Start was demonstrating proper hygiene and taught the kids about washing their hands.
If you would like your child to go to Smart Start, call 530-897-6278.