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North Hills preschool forced to shut down over issues caused by COVID-19

PITTSBURGH — Christ Episcopal Church preschool has been an institution in the North Hills for more than 60 years. Until the COVID-19 pandemic came along with all of its unknowns, the facility never had to shut down their preschool.

“Too many what ifs and not enough we can do this!” said Eric O’Brien.

Church leaders like Eric O’Brien said it was tough telling parents the preschool program would have to close.

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“We have upwards of 60 families. Over the years, we’ve always been a smaller operation, one of the oldest in the North Hills. We are all like family,” O’Brien said. “Bringing kids in by themselves, parents couldn’t come in. No snack time, no restroom break without having to sanitize after each visit.”

Officials said they wrestled with the impact on families. Should a child or teacher come down with coronavirus, the program would essentially have to be suddenly shut down each time someone got sick.

“The idea of preschool is to be social, to learn to share. It’s hard to do that when you have to be six feet apart,” O’Brien said.

The hope is to have the program back up and running by 2021.

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