2020: A look back as we launch forward
By Valerie Kelly
2020 was filled with many ups and downs and highs and lows – for all of us. It’s been a major time of transition for Catalyst Family, most notably our transition from Child Development Centers, especially amid a pandemic, had been a long time coming. Months and months of preparing and planning this labor of love into what we now know as Catalyst Kids. With the evolution into our name came a new series of opportunities and challenges.
As an essential business in the childcare industry, this included developing options for distanced and virtual learning, ensuring new sanitation measures were in place in compliance with health & safety guidelines, and reducing capacity where needed. In addition to navigating virtual learning, children also faced social-emotional challenges brought on by the pandemic – our staff and students continue to shine together through these times.
Our hardworking staff worked to provide a seamless environment for children to thrive even with ongoing limitations. The children at one of our Catalyst centers were so excited to become Catalyst Kids that they even planned their very own celebration with the help of parents and staff. Several students at our Guin Foss center led by example by participating in Guin Foss Elementary’s Back-to-School safety video, showing off their newfound safety and sanitation skills learned at Catalyst.
In order to better serve our families and communities, we gave much thought to our additional brands and giving them identities that truly represented each mission under the Catalyst Family. Not long after we became Catalyst Kids, our Young Set Clubs became Catalyst Camps and shortly thereafter, our family childcare provider, Choices for Children, became Catalyst Community.
Throughout the pandemic, we’ve been fortunate to connect with many of our own front-line workers by learning all about their roles at Catalyst Kids during these difficult times. One thing is for sure, our staff continues to inspire and are at the heart of what we do best, care for children. Whether it’s through helping create new socially-distinct activities, like finding butterflies outdoors or playing noodle tag, or helping a child adjust to this new normal, our staff have taken on the rapidly evolving changes this year with dexterity.
Prior to shelter in place, our Nutrition team curated several ways to encourage healthy eating habits through family-inclusive workshops, preparing healthy meals at centers as well as tips to continue mindful food choices at home.
Things might look different right now, but we look forward to the day when we can continue larger, more inclusive events like our Read Across America Week, The Sweetheart dance, Theater Clubs, and much more!
We’re so thankful for all of our staff, communities, and the roles we share together. Whether it’s through our Dual Language Learner’s program, our Kindness Drives, or expanding upon our Teaching Pyramid module. We continue to grow as an organization, and we hope you’ll share in this journey with us as we expand much-needed services in our communities as families return to work. Here’s to a prosperous 2021!