MAHONING CO., Ohio (WKBN) – On Monday, all child care centers in Ohio were allowed to reopen, but with new guidelines to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Many across the Valley have reopened, but it’s not business as usual.
“Our capacity kind of went under 50% of what we were allowed to have before,” said Stacy Cupples, with Eagle Christian Preschool & Child Care in Youngstown.
Eagle Christian decided not to operate under a pandemic license so Monday was the first day welcoming kids and parents back.
“We expected more back today than did come back, so we’re hoping that throughout the week, we get a normal going on here,” Cupples said.
During the time away, Eagle Christian made some changes. It’s added portable sinks to each classroom for handwashing.
Down the road at Crawling to Destiny, staff members were happy to see more of their kids Monday.
“It’s nice to be back servicing all of our families because as we were a pandemic center, we were only servicing the essential workers,” Hasheen Wilson said.
Inside, Crawling to Destiny has created a sticker system on the floor to help with social distancing.
It’s also added plastic barriers between areas in the classrooms.
“We missed them and they missed us and all of our families came back, which is great,” Wilson said.
Over at the YMCA in Boardman, there was no daycare Monday but for the past couple of months, there was a child care program through a pandemic child care license.
“Normally, we do not have a full-year child care program but we were able to operate under it if the building was shut down, which it was,” said Nicole Murray, with the Davis Family YMCA.
Now the classrooms are empty but next week, they will be open again for summer camp.
Murray said they are more prepared after operating under the pandemic license.
“It did help a lot…with making sure we’re practicing with keeping the kids six feet apart, which is not an easy task,” Murray said.