COLUMBUS (WCMH) – Childcare in Ohio is set to return to normal levels.
Gov. Mike DeWine announced Tuesday that beginning Aug. 9, child care providers in the state can return to the normal ratios and class sizes.
DeWine said with the school year about to start with a variety of different plans for in-class and online learning, parents are making decisions about what they need to do.
“We know children cannot learn unless they’re safe, unless they’re cared for, and without access to child care, parents may resort to less than ideal options because they have no choice,” DeWine said, adding some of those options may include relying on an older relative who is at a much greater risk of contracting COVID-19.
Child care providers have a choice to get a subsidy and maintain their current lower student-teacher ratios, or they can go back to their normal classroom sizes, the governor said. Those details will be coming in the days ahead, DeWine added.
The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) is structuring a financial incentive to providers that maintain smaller ratios and classroom sizes.
Providers will need to adhere to stringent health and safety requirements including face coverings for all staff members, symptom and temperature checks for everyone, and frequent sanitization and hand washing. In addition, any positive COVID-19 cases must be reported immediately to ODJFS and the local health department.
“When child care reopened, I vowed to monitor the data and make adjustments as needed,” DeWine said. “We will continue to closely monitor reports of COVID in child care, as well as compliance with rules and best practices, and respond as needed to keep our children, families, and teachers safe.”
Child care providers were shut down in March, but allowed to reopen on May 31 as long as they followed stringent guidelines and classroom ratios.