covid-19 ESSENTIAL CARE

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Daily Health Checks

All students and staff are assessed every morning to determine that they are free from symptoms of COVID-19, other contagious illnesses, and that they are well enough to be on-site.

July 21, 2021

Dear Academic Explorers Families & Community Members,

As we have experienced throughout the past year and a half, State guidance, restrictions, and best practices regarding COVID-19 are consistently evolving. A few weeks ago, we were under the impression that we could begin to ease up on most our COVID-19 risk reduction policies due to a decrease in positive COVID-19 cases throughout New York State, but we are now hesitant to do so with developing news in present day.

Last month, New York State Office of Children and Family Services notified all child care programs that there are no more mandatory restrictions and guidance practices that we have to follow in order to be in compliance, but they encourage us to do what is best for our program and families.Throughout the past few days, I have heard current stories of programs throughout Long Island needing to close down and quarantine due to positive cases. I have also heard that positive cases are rising again and that people who have been vaccinated are at risk of testing positive as well.

With all these factors in mind, at Academic Explorers, we are going to continue to enforce our COVID-19 risk reduction policies and procedures for now with the exception of wearing masks while outdoors and being forced to quarantine after travel.

As a reminder, please be sure that if your child is age 2 and up, you are sending them in with an appropriate mask. Also, if your child has any symptoms of COVID-19 including a cough, fever, aches, etc. they must stay home for at least 72 hours symptom-free or with a doctor's note clearing them to safely return before then.

We want to do our part in ensuring the safety of your child, your family and our team. We thank you for your patience and understanding as we move forward.

Thank you,

Danielle C. Paige, President

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May 20, 2021

Dear Academic Explorers Families & Community Members,

I am so happy to see the progress we've made in the fight against COVID-19 as a community and I am hopeful that we are at the tail-end of this horrific public health emergency. Thank you to all of our Families and our Team members who have complied with our health and safety policies and procedures throughout the past year to keep our children and our communities safe.

 

Yesterday, the New York State Department of Health (DOH) released updated Interim Guidance For Child Care Programs which detail the way in which we should be operating to prevent the spread of COVID-19. To keep you all informed, I wanted to share that document with you so we can be on the same page and you can be aware of the guidelines we must abide by. Click here to review the Interim Guidance.

The Guidance mentions that it is now mandatory for all children ages 2 years and up to wear face coverings unless they are vaccinated. As a company, we already enforced a mask mandate for children a few months ago as an added precaution, so this is nothing new to us, but the difference is now it is mandated by the State. Therefore, unless a child is under the age of 2 years old, has a respiratory illness or disability, or is vaccinated, they MUST wear a mask while in our care. We are required to have them remove the mask when they are eating, sleeping, and if they would like to remove it while playing outside.

 

We understand that as of today vaccinations are not approved for children under the age of 12 years old, however if and when there is a COVID-19 vaccine safe for children under 12 and if a parent does choose to get their child vaccinated, we are now required by the state to collect proof of the child having completed the COVID-19 vaccination series. There is no language within the DOH's Interim Guidance of the vaccine being mandatory as of today. If that changes, we will let you know. We are also required to collect proof of any staff members having completed the COVID-19 vaccination series.

While we do value Health & Safety at Academic Explorers, we understand that masks and vaccinations can be a sensitive subject and might even feel really personal for some, so I want to remind you that we also value Respect. We ask that you please respect each individual's choices and be kind to one another. We will continue doing our part in prioritizing the health, safety, and education of our students and we are so grateful to have a Team, Families, and Community Members like you who consistently demonstrate Respect for our policies and procedures in compliance with New York State.

On a brighter note, the Interim Guidance is now allowing us to travel for field trips - COVID-safe of course! We will be rearranging our summer activity calendar and adding some off-site excursions for our Little Academics. If you have not registered for our Summer Program, please be sure to do so as soon as possible because some classes are already full and others have limited slots left.

Regarding travel restrictions, currently New York State is no longer enforcing mandatory quarantines regardless of vaccination status for asymptomatic travelers, however they strongly recommend a self-quarantine and getting tested 3-5 days after returning to New York. With an emphasis on health and safety and in consideration of best practice methods, as a company we are requiring that any children and staff returning to our facilities after taking a flight anywhere, both domestic and international, stay home for 2 days and get tested on at least day 3. If the test result is negative, they can return on day 3. If the traveling staff member or child is fully vaccinated, they can return immediately without testing and quarantine. We hope that this company policy only needs to be temporary. It is effective immediately and once it changes, we will let you know!

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out.

With Love & Respect,

Danielle C. Paige, President

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November 1, 2020

Dear Academic Explorers Families & Community Members,

We are nearly two months into our 2020-2021 school year and although our Fall operations have had to change due to the COVID-19 public health emergency, we are still having a blast with our Little Academics. Thank you to all families who have been engaged with and supportive of our programs and events this school year. As we approach the winter season and the unfortunate possibility of a rise in cases, we want to send reminders to families that we are still practicing our precautionary procedures to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19. All that is noted on the orange slides above are our current practices. Below are some updates and reminders:

  • We are licensed and regulated by New York State, so we must require parents and children to comply with all New York State travel restrictions and quarantine mandates in order to attend our centers. Please click here to keep yourself updated on the current COVID-19 Travel Advisory. Keep in mind that over the past few months, the information on the advisory page has changed frequently, so please check it prior to your out-of-state travel in order to plan ahead and arrange for back up child care as needed.

  • We no longer require staff and children to change their shoes upon entry. Instead, we have invested in a shoe disinfecting mat that we require all who enter the building to use upon entry.

  • We still require all adults who enter the building to wear face coverings. Parents of children two years of age and older have the option of providing their child with a face covering to wear throughout the day (except for during meals and nap) as long as their child has no medical condition or disability that would cause the face covering to be a hazard.

  • As a reminder, our policy has always been that tuition is based on enrollment, not attendance. As a child care business, we have fixed expenses that do not change based on the amount of children attending. Therefore, if your child is absent for any reason, including a mandatory quarantine, you would still be required to pay tuition in order to secure their slot in our program. Your tuition payments help us to ensure that we are here to continue providing care for your child when you need us. Failure to pay tuition may result in disenrollment from our program. We appreciate your continued support.

Have you heard the news about the Essential Worker Child Care Scholarship program? If your child is currently enrolled in one of our centers and if at least one parent is an essential worker working outside the home, you may qualify for free child care throughout the next few weeks. Click here to learn more about the scholarship program.

Be safe and be well,

Danielle C. Paige, President

P.S. At this time, New York State is not mandating child care providers to close their programs. For confirmation of that, click here.

President's Signature
President's Signature
President's Signature