Ohio day care centers ordered to undergo drastic changes due to COVID-19 pandemic

Posted at 2:54 PM, Mar 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-22 23:28:57-04

COLUMBUS, Ohio — With schools, adult day centers and adult day services closed, day cares must now operate under a temporary pandemic childcare license, Gov. Mike DeWine announced on Sunday.

A maximum of six children will be allowed to be cared for per room in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19 between the children and their families.

Shared space will be limited and common space in the day cares is advised against, DeWine said.

DeWine’s order advises that children of parents with the same employer should be cared for in the same rooms.

Parent interaction at drop-off should also be limited, DeWine ordered.

The day care center order takes effect Thursday, March 26 and will last until April 30.

Day care centers can apply for a temporary pandemic childcare license here.

Nicky Foster, owner of Wickliffe Academy, said her day care center applied for and was granted a temporary license on Sunday.

Normally, Wickliffe Academy serves about 130 children, but Foster said they were down about 60 percent during this pandemic.

"We know that we’re down to the essential workers and we’re just happy to be able to serve," Foster said.

Her day care center has already been taking precautions to keep children and families safe.

"We have implemented extra sanitation procedures," Foster said. "We’ve done things like trying to keep the parents at the front door. We’ve also asked parents not to send anyone else to pick their children up, just the parents."

Foster said they're doing whatever they can to stay safe and continue to serve essential workers who need a place for their children to go.

"Here, we have a lot of health care workers, people working in the hospitals, nursing homes, folks who are working at Amazon, even postal workers," Foster said.

She said it was important to make sure parents didn't have to worry about their children while working.

"If they don’t have a good mind-frame while they’re working, and they’re worried about their kids, they can’t fight this virus, and we need them to fight right now," Foster said.

RELATED: State granting licenses for pandemic child care centers focused on health, safety

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