COLUMBUS (WCMH) – There was no announcement Monday of when childcare will reopen in Ohio, with Gov. Mike DeWine saying there may not be a more important decision the state makes for the safety of Ohioans.

“We are still working on this,” he said. “It is very, very important that we get this right and we don’t want to announce the date until we have the protocols in place and that we can explain those to all the caregivers out there and all the families out there.”

The governor added he realizes how important childcare is as Ohio begins reopening its economy, 90 percent of which will be back up and running this week.

“Childcare is absolutely an essential part of people being able to go back to work,” DeWine said.

DeWine said throughout his career, he’s been a huge proponent of children’s safety, and wants to make sure the guidelines set for childcare centers protect the children as well as their families and the employees.

“Let me be quite candid. The mistakes I have made through my long career have come about when I did not have all the facts, when I didn’t dig deep enough to not ask the right people, and so this process is continuing,” he said. “Reopening childcare centers is simply, simply too important to do so without making certain that we have all the best information, that we have all the right protocols in place.”

DeWine added it will not be long until the state is in a position to make the childcare reopening announcement.

The state set strict parameters on childcare providers back in March, including limiting capacity to no more than six children per room. A number of those positions, the state later mandated, were to be given to frontline healthcare workers and first responders.

“I do not intend on opening childcare centers until Ohio has the most science-based and safety-based plan that we can put together, and that’s my commitment,” DeWine said.

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