Bright Horizons CEO Stephen Kramer on ABC News: Child Care After the Re-Opening

Masked teacher doing a STEM activity with a preschooler

We all have the same questions right now – how do we go back to work? And how does school and child care fit in when we get there? 

Those were the very questions ABC News’ Amy Robach asked our CEO Stephen Kramer this week.

“When Americans get back to work, some schools may still be closed,” she said. “Where do we go from there?”

“I think families can expect a number of changes from what they experienced prior to the pandemic,” said Stephen.

Right now, he explained, Bright Horizons operates about 150 centers around the country -- all for essential workers, mostly healthcare. All have “implemented processes and procedures in conjunction with a medical expert, Dr. Kristin Moffitt from Boston Children’s Hospital.

“We are ensuring that we are able to keep children safe, keep staff safe, and really make sure that we are operating from both from a hygiene perspective as well as from a safety perspective really in an appropriate way.”

Yet as Stephen pointed out, Bright Horizons isn’t just operating in the present, but also closely monitoring re-opening plans to ensure that when the time comes, advanced protocols for all centers are in place. 

What might that look like? 

Examples include protocols around pick-up and drop-off, said Stephen. Parents may see “either staggered pick-up and drop-off, or alternatively, it may be curbside pick-up and drop-off.” Certainly health checks – both at home and at the center – will be built in. And then, as now, children can expect teachers to be wearing masks. 

Is there anything parents can do now to be prepared? 

“First and foremost,” said Stephen, “it’s really important for parents to make sure that they are checking the health of their child each morning and each end of day.

“I think in addition to that, children won’t be used to the teachers wearing masks. That’s not something that they would have experienced previously, and so my recommendation would be to, as a parent, start wearing masks around the house, start to educate your child that heroes wear masks, and certainly that teachers in the center are heroes.”

“I think so many parents who are home right now have an absolute renewed appreciation of teachers,” noted Amy. 

“And I love what you said, heroes wear masks.” 

So do we, Amy. 

Watch the whole interview, here. And check back in this space in the near future for questions to ask about child care after re-opening, and what Bright Horizons is doing to be on top of it for families, for children, and for organizations.

Written by: Lisa Oppenheimer

April 28, 2020

About the Author

Lisa Oppenheimer at Bright Horizons

As Director, Brand Storytelling at Bright Horizons, Lisa writes “from the trenches” about the real life challenges of people in today’s workplaces: from the tensions of being a working mother, to working with millennials in the digital age, and everything in between. With a career ranging from freelance to full-time, Lisa brings a diverse employment background to her perspective.