Daycare centers prepare for potential increase in students as schools remain closed

Coronavirus

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – With schools staying closed and the economy closer to reopening, some daycare centers say they’re prepared to take on more children of essential workers or parents heading back to work.

As required by the state, only centers with a temporary pandemic child care license are allowed to remain open.

At the On Purpose Academy and Mentoring Center in Dayton, owner Kim Jarvis told 2 NEWS she is doing what she can to accommodate more families while abiding by the state order on daycare centers.

One of the children currently attending is the 5-year-old son of Michelle Mitchell, who works at a local hospital.

“It’s a struggle, but knowing that I have Ms. Kim and her daycare, I’m relieved because I don’t have to worry about where my son’s going to go for the next day or having to ask a family member to watch him,” Mitchell said.

Before the pandemic, Mitchell said, her son attended classes through Preschool Promise at a different facility.

“When they published the list of essential workers, I had no idea how many of our families were essential,” Jarvis said. “We have nurses here, we have…people who work at Walmart.”

The On Purpose Academy has about 50 students right now, Jarvis said.

The child care center is taking several precautions in accordance with state guidelines, Jarvis said, assigning only six children to each room, making sure kids and staff members wash their hands regularly and taking the temperatures of everyone who enters the building.

The facility has about a dozen spots open for preschool students only, she added.

“We’ll remain open,” Jarvis said. “If families that are going back to work during phase one, we’re able to accommodate 2 1/2- to 4-year-olds for that if parents need that.”

For now, many parents on the front line are doing what they can to give their kids a sense of normalcy.

“He actually enjoys coming all the time,” Mitchell said. “This is all he talks about, so he’s very excited about being here and learning.”

At a news conference Monday, Gov. DeWine said he is not ready to reopen all daycare centers yet.

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