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West Palm Beach education center reopens with new safety protocols

Posted at 8:10 AM, Jul 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-23 09:42:24-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — The Opportunity Early Childhood Education and Family Center in West Palm Beach reopened June 15 after closing during the pandemic.

"A few of the things include of course extra sanitation, protective gear for the staff and the children as appropriate, health screenings at the door," executive director Ali Eger said.

The families that use this center are low-income working families who make between $18,000 and $27,000 a year. The center re-opening helped many of them get back to work.

"One thing that we are doing that's a little bit different is we have a separate pairs of shoes for every child," Eger said. "They are their school shoes and so get changed at the door. Inside all of the learning areas and even the floors are kept as clean and sterile as possible."

She said through various donations from the community, they were able to buy new shoes for the kids to wear inside.

"We created individual learning play-pods areas designated by low furniture, and signs and name posters," Eger said. "They have their own arts and crafts materials and toys that we sterilize and rotate throughout the day to keep them fresh."

She said it's a new way playing and learning.

"We are going through over a thousand pairs of gloves a day," Eger said. "We take over 350 temperatures. We change shoes over 250 times. Gallons of hand sanitizer a week. We have two commercial washers that are running all day along."

One parent said she thinks it's "awesome."

"I mean, a lot of people might have static about it, but I think what they are doing is amazing," Kwaniesha Watkins said.