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Sharing the Challenges: Chambliss Center for Children

by Phil Acord and Katie Harbison
January/February 2021
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Article Link: http://www.childcareexchange.com/article/sharing-the-challenges-chambliss-center-for-children/5025753/

Chambliss Center for Children has been around for 148 years, and at only one time in our history, when part of the building burned, did we halt our 24-hour operations. As both a residential program—serving children and youth who are in or have aged out of foster care—and a 24/7 child care program, we never close. Our kitchen serves three meals a day, every day. Our child care program stays open every day and night except Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. The Dumpster is always being emptied. Deliveries happen several times a day. The phone rings constantly, and someone is always coming in and out the front door.

But then came this new threat to our children and our staff called COVID-19. There was a lot of fear and even more unanswered questions. After a short survey of parents and staff, we decided to halt our child care operations, staying open for only a small number of children whose parents worked in healthcare and other essential fields. The scaled-down operations sent more than 100 teachers, kitchen, maintenance and administrative staff home to work, with the exception of one or two educators and one administrative staff to answer the phones each day on ...

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