With distance learning, local daycares seeing an increase in children during pandemic

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DE SOTO, Kan. — With many districts moving toward distance learning daycares may be seeing an increase in kids. Not only that, but a change in curriculum. It’s changing the way one De Soto day care does business.

Once the pandemic hit they lost nearly all of their kids. Lexi Michael, the daycare director, says when parents returned to work the numbers went up.

“We became essential,” Michael said. “We became a priority, and everyone realized that they need us. We’re not just here to watch their kids. We’re here to teach them.”

Now with school heading back into session they are seeing a different kind of clientele — kids that would normally be in school.

“If I get two more kids then I will have to open up another classroom because we can only have twelve in a classroom,” Michael said. “If I get more children from Olathe, Shawnee Mission, De Soto, any of the surrounding areas I will have to open up another classroom for just school age.”

She says most parents aren’t pleased. While kids were going to public school for nearly free, now school comes with a new price tag.

“It’s just going to be a big financial burden for all families,” Michael said.

Daycare educators will be helping students with distance learning in Kindergarten through third grade curriculum as they navigate distance learning.

“I’m hoping just this first semester its going to be online, and then by December they can come up with a new plan and send all these kids back to school, because they do need the social interaction,” Michael said.

Michael is hoping by the second semester kids can get out of daycare and back to class.

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