Childcare center continues with masks

How the development center is dealing with the mask mandate

Sarah Frederick

Despite the college not requiring masks at the childcare center, the Childhood Development Center (CDC), never stopped wearing masks.

However, two weeks in, this policy was changed as COVID became a greater threat beginning of the semester, KSC’s on-campus to the staff and students. Since Thursday September 6, masks have been required in classrooms, and the instructional and support staff have been required to wear masks.

CDC Director Dierdre McPartlin said she is very optimistic about masking in the center. “A lot of us were wearing masks anyway,” she said.

McPartlin continued to explain that most people in the Child Development Center have never stopped wearing masks since last year’s mandate, and even when that was lifted, the CDC still decided to keep wearing masks for the safety of the children.

Parents would also frequently wear masks during pick-up, “out of respect for what we are doing,” McPartlin explained.

Family and community have been large components to why the CDC is so successful containing COVID outbreaks. McPartlin speaks very highly of the KSC COVID leadership team where she is “able to ask specific questions” because every case is different. “We take each case individually,” so when a child contracts or is exposed to COVID, everyone can work together and give that family the support they need.

Not just talking about the CDC, but in general, McPartlin said, “I think a lot of us adults, college students, families, have lost a bit of resilience in this uncertain time.”

The main struggle the CDC is facing with COVID is a shortage of workers. “It’s been really stressful,” McPartlin stated, acknowledging that other places are in a similar situation with staffing.

Other measures the CDC are taking to ensure COVID does not spread within the community are air filtration, extra handwashing, following the Center of Disease Control guidelines and just extra attention to personal hygiene. Air filters are running all the time. “Not only are the staff members wearing masks but children three years and older have the option of wearing masks and some parents have their children wearing masks,” McPartlin said.

She added that the CDC staff is happy to wear masks, and have been since last year. With her personal experience, she said the “mask layer is the protection” and even when having a COVID exposure in her own home, she was still testing negative, which she attributed to wearing the mask constantly.

Now that there is more of a handle on COVID-19, McPartlin believes that now is a time to rebuild and to “make sure everyone is doing okay,” whether that means giving family extra time when recovering from COVID, or just supporting the younger kids and keeping spirits up.

Even though things spun out of control when COVID hit, a lot of things are going back to being somewhat normal. By sticking together and rebuilding the community, the CDC is doing its part.


Molly Lu McKellar can be contacted at 

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