WOODBRIDGE, Va. — While the victims of the Nashville shooting are being laid to rest, today dozens of daycare providers took part in an active shooter training in Woodbridge, Virginia.
Organizers say this training is unique because it's catered toward protecting children ages 5 and under.
“It's every early childhood professionals nightmare to have to deal with somebody coming into your program that is not safe have an idea of how to hide the children and how to keep the environment safe, ” said Donna Wilson-Peal with Childcare Aware.
Childcare Aware and the Institute for Childhood Preparedness are teaming up to provide free training across Virginia. Today, was the first in the northern part of the state.
Executive director of the Institute for Childhood Preparedness, Andy Roszak, came up with the program nine years ago after not seeing any training of the type for early childhood centers. Roszak says in case of an emergency protocols for those caring for infants and toddlers will be different.
“High school students can tell them hey this is what we do we’re not going to have that luxury with a 2-month-old or even a two-year-old so teachers really have to be on their game really have to be prepared for this ahead of time,” said Roszak.
According to the National Gun Violence Archive, there have been a total of 131 mass shootings across the country so far this year. 62 children aged 11 and younger have died.
The training inside this Virginia church comes less than a week after 6 people were shot and killed inside a private school in Nashville, Tenessee, including three children. It’s something on the minds of many of the people here including Silvia Burgos. She owns a daycare in Prince William County.
“We need to improve our skills for how we act in case we have [an] emergency in our daycare.”
In two weeks the group is hosting another training in Newport News, Virginia, – where a 6-year-old shot a teacher earlier this year.