Koreatown preschool facing uncertain future as it works to reassure parents amid coronavirus pandemic

With only six kids enrolled, but room for 63 students, one Los Angeles preschool is concerned about having to close amid the coronavirus pandemic.

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Friday, July 10, 2020
Koreatown preschool facing uncertain future with low enrollment amid pandemic
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COVID IMPACT AT LA PRESCHOOL: Local preschool staff who is adapting to a new environment and hoping to remain open, are working hard to answer questions for children while reassuring parents amid pandemic.

KOREATOWN, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Uncertainty is surrounding staff at one preschool in Koreatown, where low enrollment has them fearful the school won't survive the pandemic.

Pine Tree Preschool on Normandie Avenue in Koreatown is back open amid the coronavirus pandemic. But now, struggling with enrollment, the school staff members are worried about what's to come.

"I understand parents are scared, there's financial reasons behind it, a lot of parents are home. So we are in fear about the future of our school, hopefully we can survive," said Mariana Gomez, the director of Pine Tree Preschool.

Gomez says they only are caring for six children right now. They have room for 63, and a whole lot has changed.

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"We had to adapt and really explain to the children, but it's hard for them you know, they're ages 2 years to 5 years old. It's hard for them to understand why we are social distancing, why is my teacher wearing a mask? Why do we have to wash hands so often, why do we have to disinfect everything? They ask those questions, and it's truly heartbreaking," said Gomez.

Closing again would be devastating for the staff. They say the preschool and the families they serve are like family to them.

"We've been here for so long that we are part of the community, some parents come back and children come back, you know, asking for the teachers, so we don't want to leave," said Gomez.

They're hoping that by spreading this awareness, more families will enroll like before the pandemic - with the understanding that proper precautions are being taken.

"We just want to make sure that all of our children are well taken care of, they're healthy, they're safe, and like I said they're learning and having fun," said Gomez.

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