Skip to main content
Happy Hearts Growing Minds

Returning to Learning in 2021

There’s comfort in knowing we’ve all gone through this pandemic together. Yet everyone, including your child, has been impacted in unique ways. This experience has taught families how important teachers truly are! Especially caring educators like ours who help kids build life skills—from literacy to confidence. 

If you’ve taken a step back from child care, chances are you have questions or concerns that keep you from feeling comfortable about returning. Here are the answers we offer to some of the most common questions we’ve heard from families like yours about how we care for kids living through this unusual time. 

Use this printable checklist to make sure the child care providers you’re considering take a whole-child approach to education, like we do. 


Happy Hearts

Our teachers are professionally trained to help your child learn concrete things like ABCs and 123s, plus tune into all the intangibles that make your special sweetheart exactly who they are. 


In our programs, your child will gain tools to help them listen to their inner voice, develop positive relationships, and strengthen their emotional center. 


Our child is acting out with new behaviors at home that concern us. How do you handle big feelings in class?  

The pandemic has taken an emotional toll on all of us, and kids might not have the words to express what they’re feeling. Remember: When kids act out, they’re not rebelling or regressing, they’re communicating! 


Our loving teachers are like detectives who can sniff out what’s happening with your child and help them name their feelings, regulate their emotions, think through their reactions, solve their own problems, and resolve conflicts. And remember, these are not normal times, so abnormal behavior in your child makes sense and likely won’t last forever.


Ugh—my kid has been so bored, sad, lonely, and withdrawn. I’m afraid they won’t remember how to socialize or share anymore!  

We hear you—isolation is awful! Pandemic or not, a big part of our teachers’ job is helping your child build positive relationships—with peers, grownups, and themselves—that bring them joy in supportive environments where everyone is welcome. You’ll be amazed at how quickly your child will adapt to time with friends again. They’re in for such a treat! 


My child is attached to me all day—they’re super clingy. I think they need me too much right now. Am I setting them up to fail if I encourage a return to child care? 

You know your child best, and we trust you to make the choices that feel right for your family. Plus, a healthy attachment is a good thing! But if you’re ready to nudge your little one from the nest a bit, we’re here to catch them.  


Every day, your child’s teacher will help students practice independence, routines, flexibility, and socialization skills to strengthen their sense of security and belonging. Before you know it, your kid will be reaching for their teacher or running down the hall to join our class (and still be excited to be back in your arms at the end of the day). Oh, and failure isn’t in our vocabulary! 


My kid is ready to return to child care, but I’m not sure I’m ready to let go! Can you help me feel better about my own separation anxiety? 

Well, guess what? We have an app for that! All joking aside, this is a big issue that’s arisen around pandemic parenting. There’s a lot of fear and anxiety that comes with such uncertain times and ultimately, we support your choices to do what’s best for your family.  

 

But if you want or need help with child care, we’re here, and the KinderCare App is our best tool for immediate, seamless, daily communication (including photos and schedule updates) between you and your child’s center. From check-in to pick-up, you will never be in the dark about your child’s day. 


For my own mental health, I’m desperate to get my child care routine back, and I know my kids need it too (but I can’t give it to them right now). Can I count on KinderCare to take this on? 

Your feelings and limitations are nothing to be ashamed of—this is hard! There’s something about the steady routine of child care that helps kids (and grownups) feel a sense of normalcy—even in abnormal times. And we provide it.  


Since the beginning of the pandemic, we’ve been open to support families who need us most. Whether you’re working, caring for a family member, managing an illness of your own, or simply in need of a break, our steady programs are a near certainty that your whole family can count on. 


We’ve been pretty isolated as a family during the pandemic. What do you do to help my child see beyond our little bubble?  

Managing modern life in a pandemic is a double-edged sword: We need to isolate to stay safe from COVID-19, but we also need connection with others to save our sanity! Being an active participant in the community is an important part of our value system. From the classroom to the neighborhood, we’ll explore the people and systems that make the world go ‘round.   


It’s not my first choice, but under the circumstances, I’ve decided to homeschool my child. It’s going okay, but I’m worried about what kinds of learning they’re missing. 

This could be the beginning of a long and rich conversation, and we applaud you for taking on the challenging, yet rewarding, task of teaching.  


While we (obviously) think our programs are the best choice for early childhood education and school-age distance learning support, we know that not everyone is ready for in-person schooling right now. When you’re ready to return to a learning center, here are some things we offer that you might not be able to at home:  

  • Trained educators use curricula designed by our education leadership team. 

  • Our whole-child learning approach focuses on grade-school readiness goals like academics, social skills, emotional learning, anti-bias principles, and more. 

  • Physical classroom spaces are designed with your child’s age and developmental stage in mind

  • Peer environments allow for friendships and safe socialization to naturally blossom. 

  • Learning Adventures® Enrichment Programs are currently available in phonics, STEM, and music. 

  • Outdoor playtime is offered throughout the day to enhance physical activity and learning. 


Perhaps most importantly, teaching your child is our team’s only role—so we can help you focus on yours: parenting. 


At the end of the day, we’ve done our jobs well if your child is secure in who they are, their place in the world, and their ability to handle life’s ups and downs. Learn more about how our programs help parents feel more confident in their own lives and roles.   



Growing Minds

Right now, your child’s brain is growing faster than it ever will! To make the most of this important developmental window, every second of learning in our classrooms counts.


Our talented teachers and thoughtfully designed curricula work together to help your kiddo meet milestones and stretch beyond! 


I'm having a hard time deciding between my child's safety and the developmental benefits they receive in child care.  

That’s fair. It’s a very personal decision. One thing we know is that our safety precautions are working. Over the last year, the infection rate in our centers nationwide has been lower than the national average, and a recent Yale study found that child care is not associated with the spread of COVID-19. That means KinderCare is one of the safest places your child can be. 


But all the stats in the world can’t convey the confidence you’ll feel when you’re in our learning centers. The best way to get comfortable with your decision to join (or return to) any child care program is to see it for yourself in person. While tours are a little harder to arrange during the pandemic, it’s not impossible to do. Please reach out to your location’s center director so you can have a personal conversation about your concerns. We’ll do everything we can to find a good time to show you around the center and demonstrate our industry-leading safety measures in action.


And if stats really are your thing, check out how KinderCare kids do better than their peers the longer they stay with us! 


The sustained instability of schooling this year has slowed my child’s learning pace to a crawl. I know everyone feels a little “behind the ball,” but I’m ready for my kid to start playing catch-up. Can you help? 

First and foremost, just remember that you are your child's first teacher! And their development doesn’t just happen in the class, it also happens at home. From cooking to playtime, everything you’ve done together has built skills that they never would have gained if they hadn’t experienced being home with you.


Now, when you’re ready to jump back into the class, our team of experts created pandemic response curricula for each age group that meets kids where they are and gets them back on track. 


I’m ready to throw our screens out the window—we rely on them a lot right now to get through each day, and I’m concerned it’s going to be a hard habit to break. Plus, my kid constantly complains about being “bored.” Will they even know how to play with other kids in person anymore? 

Screens: Can’t live with ‘em, can’t live without ‘em! The reality is we need them, and they’ve saved education to a large extent this year, but they can be addictive and destructive if not managed properly. We understand how tricky this balance can be.


Let us assure you: Your child will be so excited to get back to playing with friends, participating in hands-on activities, discovering new and exciting experiences, and moving their bodies that they won’t have time to think about a screen while they’re here! Doesn’t that sound refreshing?

  

I have a big kid who needs help with distance learning. I thought I could help them manage their schedule, homework, and projects, but it’s just too much, and now everyone is stressed out! Do you offer programs for elementary schoolers? 

For school-age kids especially, getting out of the house for class with friends is a winning proposition! Our on-site programs for K-6th graders help kids stay on track with schoolwork and enjoy safe social time with friends.


We used to be enrolled at KinderCare, but it’s been a while. If we return, how will you know what my child needs now? 

If you’re returning to our center after time away, we’ll make sure we’re ready to give your child what they need by checking in with you to find out what’s been going on since you left. First, you’ll fill out a Learning Journey Profile to help us understand what your child needs and then we’ll work together with you, your child, and their teacher to build a learning plan and offer at-home activities to reinforce what we’re doing in class.


Learn more about how we'll welcome your family back

Whether you return to us or not, these questions (and answers) raise important issues for you to consider when returning to child care. Of course, we hope to have you back, so you can return to routines and your child can get back to being a kid again!

Re-enroll today!