Stepping Stones Christian Preschool will reopen Monday with several changes required to abide by health guidelines.

It was a big decision to reopen the southwest center, said associate partner Erika Milam, but a concentration of cases on the east side of town and local families needing child care made school officials confident to move forward.

Around 14 to 15 students are expected to return to Stepping Stones next week, Milam said. The preschool is only licensed to enroll children between ages 2-6, but the California Department of Social Services has authorized waivers for child care facilities to take in older siblings as a COVID-19 relief measure, since most schools are closed and some parents are essential personnel who cannot stay home.

As parents and children enter the facility, they'll be asked to stay at least six feet apart from others, wash their hands upon arrival and children's temperatures will be taken. Parents will answer a survey that asks if they have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or have been in contact with someone with the virus. If they answer yes, their child will not be allowed to stay in the facility.

Children during the day will also wash their hands frequently and be placed six feet apart as much as possible. Sanitation procedures will also increase.

Milam said Stepping Stones has received support from CDSS and other agencies with its decision to reopen.

"There’s always a risk, we’re always cognizant of the risk," she said. "Us reopening means we run the risk of having to close ... but we're aware of the process we need to take."

If someone in the facility tests positive for COVID-19, the preschool would be required to close for at least two days, Milam said.

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