The Village childcare and preschool center reopens, follows CDC guidelines for childcare programs


Jeff Helsel

Clark Harrison, chairman, holds a welcome sign and greets Weston Bourne upon arrival at The Village Early Childhood Education Center, Liberty Street, California, Pa., on June 1, 2020. Prior to opening day, children were invited to select and vote on hair colors for the staff and administration. They selected the color “green” for Harrison.

Cal Times

(June 3, 2020) The Village Early Childhood Education Center’s facility in California, Pa. reopened on Monday after being closed for more than two months amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Following social distancing and cleaning guidelines for childcare programs issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Village directors developed a comprehensive plan for reopening on June 1 with the safety of the children and staff workers remaining a top priority.

When Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf issued a stay-at-home order in mid-March, he ordered all K-12 schools and childcare centers to shut down.

Now the state’s economy is gradually moving from a strict lockdown to a phased reopening of business where all daycares can start welcoming back families as Wolf regionally loosens restrictions.

Childcare centers in Washington County, where The Village is located, were permitted to reopen beginning May 15 as the county moved from a strict stay-at-home red phase into the yellow phase of reopening.

The Village, a nationally-accredited early childhood education center, operates in affiliation with The Rutledge Institute program at California University of Pennsylvania.

Ashley Roth, director, The Village Early Childhood Education Center, places a Hawaiian lei on Weston Bourne at the entrance. (Jeff Helsel)
Eryn McVicker, an early education major at Cal U, displays a welcome sign as children arrive at The Village on June 1, 2020. (Jeff Helsel)
Ashley Roth, director, The Village, receives a bag of items from husband Jamison for their children Carter and Lincoln at the site’s drop off location on June 1, 2020. Parents were instructed to remain in their vehicles at the drop-off and pick-up locations to assist with social distancing guidelines. (Jeff Helsel)
Carmella Dixon (on right) escorts Carter Roth from the vehicle drop-off location at The Village. They are on their way into the building where handwashing is done immediately, before the children go into their classrooms.    (Jeff Helsel)
Cherie Sears, president of The Village and director of the Rutledge Institute Preschool Program, welcomes Carter Roth at the entrance. Sears dyed her hair to the color of pink to honor the agreement that children could vote for each teacher and administrator’s hair color for opening day. (Jeff Helsel)
Scotlun Hileman, an elementary and special education major at Cal U, takes the temperature of Madison Prah as part of the check-in procedure at The Village on June 1, 2020. (Jeff Helsel)


Temperatures are measured from all children at the drop-off site. (Jeff Helsel)
Emily Hillsman carries welcome balloons outside The Village for a planned group photo as part of the re-opening celebration on June 1, 2020. (Jeff Helsel)
Children ages 2 and older are required to wear face masks. (Jeff Helsel)
Teachers, staff and children gather for a group photo outside The Village on June 1, 2020. (Jeff Helsel)
A child, wearing a California School District Trojans baseball cap, a required face mask, and a festive Hawaiian lei, sits for a group photo at The Village, June 1, 2020. (Jeff Helsel)
Staff escort children to the entrance at The Village on June 1, 2020. (Jeff Helsel)
A staff member carries a toddler after a group photo at The Village, June 1, 2020. (Jeff Helsel)
Ashley Roth, director, The Village, carries her toddler son Lincoln to the entrance after the group photo on June 1, 2020. (Jeff Helsel)
A group photo of the staff and children at The Village Early Childhood Education Center on June 1, 2020. (Jeff Helsel)