Arkansas daycare employees included in Phase 1-B protocol for COVID-19 vaccinations

Arkansas daycare employees included in Phase 1-B protocol for COVID-19 vaccinations

TEXARKANA, Ark. (KSLA) — Arkansas is expected to go into Phase 1-B protocol for COVID-19 beginning next week. Included in this phase are employees of child care centers throughout the state.

Some child care employees say they are surprised the vaccine will be available to them so soon.

Bertha Germany, who has been with Tots Landing Day Care for 32 years, says this past year has been like no other before.

“This field has really taken a beaten since COVID-19. We are kind of ready for it to go away.”

Germany said her facility is licensed for 78 students, but the pandemic has kept that number below average.

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson says beginning Jan.18, a COVID-19 vaccine will be available for daycare employees in his state.

“I think it came kind of quick,” Germany said. “But it is time for us to get back to normalcy. I believe everybody is in that frame of mind.”

Germany said she hopes the vaccine will allow more students to enroll at her center.

Megan Jones, director of Clark Week Day Pre-School, provides daycare for children six months to four years of age.

She said the pandemic also had an adverse effect on her facility but its enrollment of around 50 students fortunately has remained the same.

Jones said she thought it would be weeks away before they could receive the vaccine.

“I feel very good about that because of the number of children we serve on a daily basis. We just want to keep them as healthy as possible and keep our teachers healthy. You never know what underlying health condition a child might have or somebody in their household.”

Vaccinations will not be mandatory for daycare employees.

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