FORT MYERS, Fla. — Governor Ron DeSantis' state-wide 'safer-at-home' order is now in effect, but businesses deemed essential can continue operations — that includes daycare centers.
One of those daycares is the Little Learners Academy in Fort Myers, FL.
They are following CDC guidelines amid Coronavirus spread concerns.
"We're constantly disinfecting every time we walk out of a classroom, we're monitoring children as they're being dropped off," said Susie Howard, director of Little Learners Academy in Fort Myers.
The daycare center is also limiting classrooms to no more than ten people, and spacing children out in the playground.
Another measure it's taking is limiting visitors into the daycare.
"Most of my kids that are coming in now I'm communicating with parents where [they're] going, what [they're] doing," said Howard.
Little Learners Academy of Fort Myers confirms they've seen a decrease in children attending the daycare.
"I normally have 77 kids on any given day, we're down to 22," said Howard.
This drop is having an economic impact on the daycare center.
"Every day we wonder, 'is this it, is it time to close, are we still going to be able to hold on," said Howard.
The daycare center has thirteen full-time staff members, but as fewer parents are utilizing the daycare, Howard has had to cut back on hours.
While some might ask why daycares remain open, Howard says many parents deemed 'essential-workers' don't have anywhere else to turn.
"Southwest Florida is a very transit area; people move here from all over. So they don't have anyone that can watch their children that they trust, so they depend on the childcare centers that are still open to still be here," said Howard.
Howard says daycare staff will continue to do their jobs throughout this pandemic and will do it with a smile so that 'essential-workers' can continue to provide services for the community.