August 14, 2020

Old Lyme Children’s Learning Center to Reopen Aug. 3, Reservations Open Now for Short-term or Full Year

The Old Lyme Children’s Learning Center on Lyme Street will reopen on Monday, Aug. 3.

OLD LYME — “I am thrilled it’s opening its doors again,” says Marie Ryan in a recent email to LymeLine referring to the reopening of the Old Lyme Children’s Learning Center (OLCLC) on Monday, Aug. 3.

An OLCLC Board member for more than 10 years, Ryan noted that the Center at 57 Lyme St. in Old Lyme is now accepting applications in all programs now for the 2020-2021 school year. There are also some spots still open for August if families need short-term care.

Kristen St. Germain, OLCLC Board President, notes that the issue on which most parents and caregivers are seeking reassurance is whether, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Center is a safe place for young children.

She explains reassuringly, “The directors and staff of the OLCLC, with the help of our nurse, the CDC [Centers for Disease Control], Connecticut’s Office of Early Childhood, Ledge Light Health District and our OLCLC Board of Directors, have been committed to opening safely and have created a thorough, comprehensive COVID safety plan for our reopening.”

St. Germain adds, “They have also done a deep professional cleaning of the entire center and established protocols that will allow our patrons to feel confident that their children are in capable, safe and loving hands.”

Stressing just how much work has been done to add COVID-19 safety standards and procedures to their operational procedures, St. Germain points out, “We have a nurse who was working very closely with us to help us create an environment where parents can trust we take their child’s safety very seriously. She has been amazing to work with as she is in the ER at L + M [Hospital] and knows what we need to do to keep our staff and families safe.”

The Old Lyme Children’s Learning Center has been caring for young children since its founding more than 30 years ago by the late Connie Pike.

Ryan, who has been an OLCLC Board Member for over 10 years, comments, “I truly love the Center’s belief in children and am elated that we can continue Connie’s [the late Connie Pike was the founder of the OLCLC] vision.”

She emphasizes, “I really feel we have done the right things to open safely,” noting, “We have implemented mask wearing, social distancing, modified drop-off and pick-up times, new sick and health policy procedures as well as done a massive deep cleaning of the Center by a professional outside source. We have procured automatic hand-sanitizers, PPE and now even have a Greeter at the entrance!”

Meanwhile, St. Germain expands on how challenging the COVID-19 forced closure has been, saying, “Small businesses such as ours have really been hit hard but we are ready to open on Aug. 3 and we are hoping that our parents will return their children to our care so we can begin making revenue again.”

She also notes, “We are also hoping for new registrants as the new [Lyme-Old Lyme Schools] preschool program, which is free, hurt us [financially] this last year as well.”

But on a positive note, she concludes, “We employee a large number of high school students each year and have kept a staff with little turnover, which is always nice. We have been in business well over 30 years and want to be able to continue providing excellent childcare for the people of shoreline Connecticut.”
Editor’s Note: For more information, to request a registration packet or reserve your child’s spot, contact Alison Zanardi at 860-434-1768 or email her at alison_baasp@comcast.net.
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