Caregivers shift focus to child safety as summer starts

NORFOLK, Neb.- After a summer suffocated by COVID-19 last year, this season has everyone eager to get out.

Kids are out of school and daycares are filling up. Each day, over 95 kids walk through the boor of the Wesley Child Care Center in Norfolk.

"We've been incredibly busy this summer," Daycare Director Michele Lawson said. 

Lawson said she's even have to close her doors on some families.

"All the time I have to turn people away and it's really sad," Lawson said.

Bringing in more kids, means bringing on more staff. 

"Our ratio is 1-to-15, so any time over 30 we have to have three staff." Lawson said.

Safety for the kids is a number one priority for the workers, Lawson saws she always over-staffs.

"To take 30 kids to the park with two staff, you just need to have an extra people there to help with that," Lawson said.

All 27 employees have first-aid and CPR certification, and the daycare is covered in security cameras. 

"It's better to have more staff than less because there's more eyes on the kids," said Daycare Provider Sydney Konz.

Caregivers aren't the only ones looking out for kids this summer.

"Supervision is the biggest part of it," said Captain Michael Bauer with the Norfolk Police Division.

Bauer encourages kids be equipped with their full name, address, and a trusted phone number. 

"Or even instill in them the ability or confidence to call 9-1-1," said Bauer.

It may be a lot to handle, but caregivers are just happy to be able to care for more kids this summer. 

"Last year we were only able to have 10 kids in a this year though they're all back and it's been wonderful," said Lawson.