COLORADO SPRINGS — A local childcare center is pivoting amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Little Sprouts Learning Center is helping families struggling to work full-time and support their children with online or remote learning.
"I knew there would be a need for families because I was working and trying to homeschool my three kids. It was very difficult," said Lisa Newman, owner of the Little Sprouts Learning Center.
Newman has owned the childcare for seven years, but with the pandemic, she knew it was time to pivot and help families faced with the daunting challenge of teaching their children at home. With her new distance learning program, she'll provide children K-8 with schoolwork help and give parents a break.
"They can bring their kids during the day, the kids will have assistance here in the classroom with their learning so they can go home at the end of the day and have all of their work completed. Mom and dad won't have to do anything," said Newman.
Children will need to bring their device, assignments, and lunch. Families will be able to choose to have their little one in a group of ten or fifteen. Teachers say it's a good alternative to traditional school.
"I think it's nice to have a good structure outside of school where you don't have much contact with the outside world," said Brooke Hixson.
Terri Wieland is an enrichment teacher for the program. After COVID-19 hit, she had to close her children's traveling museum.
She says the program has given her the opportunity to continue teaching children about the world.
"It might be rocks, minerals, and dinosaurs another day or we might be doing the rain forest," said Wieland.
Children will also get a break from learning to play outside with their peers. For snow days or days they can't go outside, children will be in the auditorium.
The center says the program will also be good for older children.
"Typically a program will go five to twelve, but that is only sixth grade. You still have your seventh graders, eighth graders and even some high school students that need that extra help," said Katrina Padilla-Fullington, Program Director for The Little Sprouts Learning Center.
Younger and older siblings will be placed in the same group in order to cohort and prevent a potential outbreak.
The center says there are spots available for families interested in the distanced learning program. Click here to sign up.