Gov. Mike DeWine announces plan to reopen day cares on May 31

Posted at 2:24 PM, May 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-14 23:42:20-04

COLUMBUS, Ohio — During a press conference on Thursday afternoon, Gov. Mike DeWine announced a plan to reopen day care centers in Ohio.

On May 31, day care centers will be allowed to reopen with reduced numbers, increased cleaning and sanitation and other best practices that will be provided by the state, according to DeWine.

Employees will likely wear masks, hand washing may be required to enter and classes will be reduced in size, according to Joni Close, president, Sisters of Charity Foundation of Canton.

There will be a limit of nine children per room in the school-aged classrooms and a limit of six children per room for infants and toddlers, Close said.

Field trips will not be permitted. Playgrounds and outdoor play will be permitted but sanitation will be required, according to Close.

Toys must be cleaned after use and hand washing will be required of workers and children many times throughout the day, Close said.

The goal is to protect the children, workers and families, according to DeWine.

“We want to have the safest child care system in the nation,” DeWine said.

Barb Grencewicz, owner of Lil’ Buddies Learning Center in Parma told News 5 the state plan limitations will cause her to lose the ability to serve half of her parents, and lose half of her revenue.

“There’s a lot of kids that need a place to go, a lot of parents, we have a waiting list of parents that we’re trying to help find other centers,” Grencewicz said.

“It’s going to be very difficult to go from classroom sizes where you where allowed to do 10 children or 12 children, to now where you’re only allowed to do 6.”

“A lot of parents I won’t be able to bring back to the center because we we’re full, now we can’t, they’ve been calling.”

“The big question is who gets to come and who doesn’t get to come.”

“I’m hoping we can get back to more of normal, or even if they up the numbers, even if they have to do it slowly just to make sure.”

Joan Hamm, Executive Director for Children First of Cleveland told News 5 she's pleased the state is making federal funds available for Ohio daycare locations.

“The number of children in a classroom effects the income pre that classroom, so we need to have some financial support to help to be able to meet those ratios, and maintain quality care,” Hamm said.

“I’m kind of planning for about 25% in losses and trying to figure out where there are some on essential areas.”

To read the mandatory guidelines, as well as the recommended best practices, for child care centers and day care centers to reopen, click here.

Changes may be made along the way as more information becomes available through studies and research in order to keep up with best practices, DeWine said.

To help in the reopening process, the state is allocating $60 million in federal CARESAct funding to provide reopening grants to all of Ohio’s childcare providers.

DeWine said information on the funds will be posted on the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services website.

In addition to announcing day care and child care centers, the state announced its plan to reopen day camps and summer camps on May 31, as well as other business sectors that will be able to reopen by the end of the month.

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