COVID-19 Vaccine Offers a Sense of Hope in Early Childhood Education
April 2, 2021
When the vaccine became available to educators and child care providers earlier this year, many YWCA teachers and staff began getting vaccinated. It’s been a long year of heightened stress and worry — and we are really proud of the employees who have shown up every day to support families. There is still a long road ahead, but the availability of the vaccine is one step toward stability — and reclaiming some of the normalcy we’ve lost.
In this blog post, we hear from two center directors about what the rollout of the vaccine means to them and how it impacts their work.
Leading By Example
“I chose to get the vaccine because as a center director, I was requesting a lot of people to be vaccinated and I felt that it was important for me to lead by example. I had the first appointment, so I could let everyone know that it turned out well and that I was not afraid of getting the vaccine.
Seeing Family Members Again
Getting the vaccine has allowed me to see some of my family members that I had not seen in a long time because they are also fully vaccinated. Other than that, I have not changed what I am doing, I still wear a mask and social distance because I don’t want to transmit anything to another person and being in child care, I am exposed to a lot of different people every day.
A Roller Coaster Ride
Being in Early Childhood Education during a pandemic has been a roller coaster ride, to say the least, especially as a leader. For me, it wasn’t a question of whether or not I would get COVID-19, but when. I put myself in the middle of the storm and for me, it happened in November. Even though I was pretty sick, I fared much better than most and I would not change the level of commitment to the field that I played. I know that what I am doing was helping us all get back onto the path of some sort of normalcy.” — Catherine, Early Childhood Education Director at Ecolab
A Sense of Hope
“As an early childhood education professional, I worry about what the long-term effect is going to be on children’s language and social development due to masking and distancing — and their immune systems, since we’ve killed all the germs. I decided to get the vaccine because I had COVID-19 in November and I will do what helps the greatest number of people. I have a sense of hope now that was growing thin prior to the vaccine.” — Mary, Early Childhood Education Director at Abbott
Early Childhood Education plays a critical role for families and remains a vital component of economic stability in our community. This program has been an essential part of YWCA Minneapolis for more than 45 years and we’ll continue to provide this crucial service to our community to offer support to families and a foundation of social-emotional, cognitive, physical and cultural development for children.