EDISON, NJ — Edison’s Big Blue Marble Academy (BBMA) has remained in operation since the onset of COVID-19. Many of the daycare center’s students are children of first responders who needed a safe place for them while they were out fighting the pandemic.

According to Jeff Wahl, BBMA’s CEO, “It was really important to BBMA that we provide an opportunity for children in our care to come in [to the facility].” He noted, BBMA is proud to have “provided essential services in the midst of the crisis.”

When the pandemic began, Wahl added, “We [knew we had] to make sure we upheld our promise of safety.” BBMA had rigid safety procedures in place before COVID hit and immediately adopted the CDC’s (Center for Disease Control) recommendations even before they became mandatory.

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Wahl explained that in addition to following CDC protocols, BBMA focused on “How are we going to take our game to the next level? We don’t want there to be any more worry than there has to be.”

BBMA continues to enhance its rigorous sanitary CleanPlay procedures. It has added electrostatic sprayers for all frequently touched surfaces, carpets, doorknobs, toys, desks, chairs and more.

Some of BBMA’s safety procedures include:

  • Teachers will now be tested for COVID weekly. Edison is the first location to do so.
  • Teachers and students wash their hands from the tips of their fingers to their elbows.
  • Teachers wear smocks that cover their clothes all day, and the smocks are cleaned each evening.
  • Teachers and children remain in their classroom all day.
  • BBMA uses EPA-registered Neutra-Dis Mint sanitizer, the sanitizer used in hospitals, airlines and large airports.
  • Frequently touched surfaces are wiped down throughout the day.
  • Parents are not allowed in the school. Teachers retrieve students from their cars.

Wahl is confident that BBMA’s safety policy and communications mechanisms are the safest around.

He continued, ‘We’re caretakers, educators, and parents. We take each of those responsibilities very seriously, and we can honestly say we are doing everything possible to ensure the wellbeing of children in our care.”  

BBMA is committed to staying abreast of disinfecting innovations and using them in their 36 daycare centers. BBMA has 5,000 students in schools that operate in eight states.

BBMA is eager to welcome back a dozen children who are returning in October after being out of school since the beginning of the pandemic.

Julie Morin, Regional Director, is excited to see the former students. “We miss our kids and are excited for them to come back. It will be great to see the kids having fun again.”

Morin shared, “I’m a caregiver from day 1. It’s important for us to be open and to be there for parents, but we also have done a lot to keep a child’s day normal in this crazy world.”

She added, “That is so important to us, that children come every day, and it's a happy and fun place and a normal activity for them. They need that, and they need that socialization. We are trying to provide the healthiest and happiest environment for our kids.” 

Morin also said, “At some point, [parents] will return to their offices, and they need to know their children are being safely cared for.”

The Edison center has many open student slots as the town was greatly affected by COVID due to New Jersey’s proximity to New York City, which was the epicenter at one point. BBMA wants to help Edison residents and is offering a discount on tuition.

Click here to learn more about Edison’s BBMA, also called Little Treasures.