Back in March, most of the industry shut down due to safety concerns resulting from the emergence of COVID-19 in the United States. As centers were planning to re-open, one critical question that came to the forefront was how do you safely provide a meal program during a pandemic?
Administrators Share Their Experience
At the beginning of the summer, childcare centers began to slowly re-open across the cities that we serve, while many more were developing strategies on how they were going to re-open safely. We reported on some of this early activity, and how centers were adjusting, in an interview with Smart Lunches CEO, Dave Morris in August.
To get a more complete idea of how preschools and childcare centers where dealing with re-opening as the pandemic persists, we surveyed an array of centers, including both clients of Smart Lunches and those that are not.
There were many useful trends and data points that we identified in the reporting. Some of the more notable responses/trends included:
- Current Operating Status – Capacity Constrained, but Opening
- How Lunch is Provided – Movement toward 3rd Party Providers
- Parents Top Concerns with Food Service – Food Safety and Delivery
Other questions addressed in the report include:
- How has enrollment changed since re-opening?
- What are administrators' main concerns over providing food?
- What is causing limited enrollment?
New spikes in cases of the virus over the past few weeks will continue to cause concern for administrators considering the timing of re-opening. We will continue to closely monitor the situation and adjust to all guidelines and regulations as new guidance emerges. And as re-opening progresses, we will continue to share our experiences and those of your peers and colleagues in future articles and communications.