COLORADO SPRINGS — Ats the COVID-19 vaccine continues to roll out, early childcare providers are in the most recent group of people to get vaccinated.
Governor Jared Polis said as of Monday, February 8th, child care workers are eligible to get their first COVID-19 shot. That was was only a couple days ago and so far a number of employees have already gotten vaccinated at Early Connections Learning Centers in Colorado Springs.
"Certainly vaccines are a personal choice and people need to make the decision that's best for them," said Diane Price, the CEO of the Centers. "We didn't put pressure on anyone, but we wanted them to know we support their choice."
Price says she and her employees were notified last week they could get vaccinated. The center then sent out educational information to staff. For those who made the choice to get the vaccine, time wasn't wasted. Some have already received their first shot through the Children's Hospital - Colorado Springs.
"We had about a 2-day turnaround. By Friday everyone had been notified that they had been scheduled for their vaccines. Everyone was scheduled for their vaccines this week," said Price. "It happened very quickly. We had no idea that it was going to happen this way."
Childcare centers like it have remained open throughout the pandemic, helping parents like Brittany Smith and Sarah Vito continue to go to work.
"I've been keeping my fingers crossed that her (my daughter's) classroom doesn't get shut down because honestly I don't know what I'm going to do," said Smith, who also weighed in on employees getting vaccinated. "I'm feeling very relieved. I feel like everyone around her would be serving her better if they got vaccinated."
"If they bring it home and we get sick as parents and have to take off that would be really a huge challenge for our family," said Vito. "I'm very thankful. It is nice to know that teachers in the day care center are able to get vaccinated because it helps parents feel more relieved."
For childcare centers, allowing staff to get vaccinated is also another step in making sure they can stay open and help families.
"We know our families need to go to work, so it's important for them to have a place that they can trust, and they can know is meeting all the safety guidelines and recommendations from the Health Department," said Price.
Currently, there are about 75 employees who work at the five different Early Connections Learning Centers locations in Colorado Springs. About 60% of them have signed up for the vaccine.
Other day cares are offering the same choice.