Ohio childcare providers must choose between capacity or subsidy

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COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Parents and daycare operators are weighing their options, as childcare centers will be allowed to reopen at normal capacity next month.

Beginning August 9, those facilities will be permitted to operate with normal class sizes.

If an owner or operator chooses to maintain reduced class sizes, they will receive a subsidy from money obtained through the federal CARES Act.

On Tuesday, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced the decision to reopen daycare facilities, while recognizing that the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services believes some of the spread of COVID-19 can be traced back to childcare centers.

“This has been a very agonizing decision and I know we’ve inconvenienced people,” he said. “We’ve caused some difficulties for people. Our goal is to keep kids safe, and the adults who are taking care of them safe, and to slow community spread.”DeWine said more guidance for daycare operators will be made available in the days to come.

At Balanced Family Academy, in Clintonville, the owner said she is still deciding what to do moving forward.

“As we all know in this time, things change day to day and once you have a full school, it’s a lot harder to go back than it is to just be very mindful of the decisions we’re making,” said Courtney Lewis. “I am leaning in opening our classrooms up, but very strategically so that we can still monitor what’s going on in the next couple of weeks.”

According to ODJFS spokesperson Bret Crow, state officials are working to obtain $30-million, for daycares that would continue to operate with reduced capacity. This is in addition to the $60-million already committed to child care programs.

Crow said details are being finalized, and it is too soon to know how much each individual daycare would receive.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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