SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (NEWS10) — A vaccine for kids under 5 has been highly anticipated by those in early childcare. Small Wonders Christian Preschool was forced to shut down five times due to COVID exposure in the last school year because the majority of children were too young to get vaccinated.

“Children in the class needed to be quarantined for five, seven, sometimes 10 days depending on when that shutdown fell, and so our classrooms were closed and that’s a hard interruption of learning for them,” said Director Katie Igler. “Kids thrive on consistency.”

According to the CDC, more than 40% of the 5 to 11 age group population is currently vaccinated against COVID. Now with the under-5 population eligible, Igler says they can now adapt how the preschool operates with COVID exposures. She said they hope that, with more of children able to get vaccinated, they will have to close classrooms less often.

“The way the CDC rules work, if you are vaccinated, you don’t have to quarantine after you’ve been exposed,” said Igler.

Privately run preschools and daycares now have the option to require the COVID vaccine for attendance. This opens up options, Igler said. “We’re not necessarily beholden to any of the state or public school licensure agreements,” she said. “It’s exciting for us to be able to figure out what we want to do as a group.”

Small Wonders typically follows recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics. A general vaccination policy is already in place at the preschool, but it doesn’t yet touch on the COVID vaccine. The board at the preschool intends to meet in the next few weeks to discuss any potential requirements.