DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – After saying last week he would announce the plan for child care Monday, the governor now says he’s still not ready. Governor DeWine says he simply does not have enough information yet to make a decision that keeps children, parents, and daycare employees safe. Parents are now stuck, wanting to return to work after weeks away, but with no one to care for their children.
Kim Jarvis is the owner of On Purpose Academy and Mentoring Center. She says, “I do understand it’s frustrating for all of us. It is frustrating for me because I’ve been looking forward to this call today.”
Both child care workers and parents expected to learn when things would get back to normal. But Governor Mike DeWine said, “Look, I apologize to the people who tuned in today and wanted an answer today, but I think what we owe you is a good answer.”
Governor DeWine is choosing to wait to announce when child care will reopen. “There may not be a more important decision that we make.”
This week millions of people can return to work, but parents may be stuck if no one can care for their children. Jarvis says, “Now you have employers that are opening up their businesses, expecting to have the staff to support their business, and they’re not able to do so. So it’s a catch 22.”
On Purpose Academy is getting 25% more calls from parents looking for childcare, but her pandemic license caps the staff-to-children ratio at 1:6. Her staff of 10 can usually handle 140 children, but the cap means they can care for just 60 right now.
Jarvis says, “I let them know immediately that we have no openings, but as soon as an opening comes up or the regulations change, they’ll be the first one we call.”
The governor said he knows that childcare is an essential part of people going back to work. But when asked, Governor DeWine refused to offer guidance for parents who need to work but now have nowhere to take their children, only say he’s trying to make child care as safe as possible.
“I’m not going to get in the way of the parent making that decision or telling a parent what to do or even suggest that. That’s not my job.”
On Monday Governor DeWine wouldn’t say when the reopen date will be announced. But Kim Jarvis says parents should start preparing now for the rush whenever they do reopen. That means start applying and get your children on waitlists right now.