COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Gov. Mike DeWine announced Ohio childcare providers can reopen on May 31. Gov. DeWine made the announcement during Thursday’s coronavirus press briefing.
“They will reopen with reduced numbers of children in each classroom, intensified cleaning and handing washing practices,” DeWine said.
“We do not have any great data in regard to child care and COVID-19,” DeWine said. “There’s not a whole lot of information out there…We want to have the safest childcare in the nation.”
“There will be changes at childcare facilities for children and families,” said Joni Close, President of Sisters of Charity Foundation of Canton. “You’ll likely see your childcare provider with a mask on, the caretakers may ask the parents to wear masks as well, daily temperature taking will be routine and anyone with a temperature of 100 degrees or more will be sent home.”
She added classroom sizes will be smaller with a maximum number of nine children in a classroom for preschool and school-aged children. The maximum number for infants and toddlers will be six per classroom.
Field trips will not take place this summer for these children, playground and outdoor activities will be permitted with constant sanitation of all equipment.
Gov. DeWine went on to say Ohio will be utilizing more than $60 million in federal CARES Act funding to provide reopening grants to all of Ohio’s childcare providers. This includes family childcare, childcare centers, and both publicly-funded and private providers. All are eligible for this grant program.
“There’s no playbook for conducting childcare,” DeWine said. “It’s such an essential thing, so very, very important…we will be continuing to monitor how things are going. We will learn as we go forward. We may make changes as we go forward.”
Lt. Gov. Jon Husted added day camps in Ohio will also be allowed to open on May 31. The protocols for these camps will be released by the end of the day on Friday May, 15.