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‘Taking all precautions:’ Day care services continue during coronavirus pandemic

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WAUKESHA -- La Casa de Esperanza's charter school is closed, but its day care services are still available.

They're giving a discount to families of first responders and those working in the medical field and say they're following all guidelines to keep children safe inside.

Maria Ayala

"As a way to give back to our community, especially those people at the front line, we're offering a 20 percent discount for any people that work in hospitals, first responders," said Maria Ayala, vice president of educational services at La Casa de Esperanza.

On Tuesday, March 17, Gov. Tony Evers called for people to limit gatherings of more than 10 people. First responders, grocery stores, hospitals and child day care facilities are among the few places exempt from the ban.

"We do plan on staying open as long as the governor allows us to be open," Ayala said. "We do not have plans of shutting down."

The day care is encouraging all families, but especially those in the field of medicine or emergency work, to enroll their children in a day care facility. They're working with health officials to ensure the safety of children and staff inside.

Shari Campbell

"We're taking this threat very seriously, we're taking all precautions to make sure that our clients, family and staff are safe," Shari Campbell, COO of La Casa de Esperanza, said.

The new precautions include: having a cleaning staff clean the facility more frequently; anyone walking to a child care area must first wash their hands; all children are having a temperature check before going inside; staff who are under the weather are sent home or told not to come in.

"Some children are coming in almost panicked about what they're hearing and the little bit they can understand," said Ayala. "So we're trying to keep those conversations at a minimum."

They're committed to staying open as long as possible.

"We understand it's important for us to stay open as a child care center, especially during these times," Ayala said.

Officials with La Casa de Esperanza are thankful for the committed staff that is working through these difficult times. They have babies as young as 6 weeks old and children up 12 years old currently enrolled in day care.

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