Daycares to operate under pandemic licenses


By Aimee Hancock - Miami Valley Today



MIAMI COUNTY — Gov. Mike DeWine announced during his daily coronavirus press briefing Monday, that beginning Thursday, March 26, all operating child care centers in Ohio must do so under a Temporary Pandemic Child Care license.

The announcement was an expected next step, following an executive order signed by DeWine last week establishing this license and allowing Ohio Department of Job and Family Services to provide child care to families where parents work in the health, safety and essential service fields during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It is important that professionals who are essential to protecting the public are able to ensure their families have safe places to go while they are at work,” DeWine said. “Helping to address this need, allows our health and safety providers to focus on protecting and caring for all Ohioans.”

Pandemic child care licenses can be granted to already existing child care centers or new child care centers that may be created in response to community needs.

According to DeWine’s order, centers which acquire this license are to adhere to the following guidelines:

• There should be no more than six children in a class.

• Ratios must be kept at one teacher to no more than six children.

• Children whose parents are employed by the same entity should be kept together whenever possible.

• The same teachers and children in each room should be maintained whenever possible.

• There should be limited use of shared space or mixing of groups.

• If shared space is used, a rigorous cleaning schedule must be in place.

• Parent interaction should be limited at drop off and pick up.

The program will operate until April 30, with the potential to extend and adjust as needed.

ODJFS and county agencies are responsible for licensing and inspecting all child care settings in Ohio. In addition, ODJFS offers financial assistance to eligible parents to help them with child care costs while they engage in work, education or job training.

Some local child care facilities had preemptively made the decision to close temporarily prior to Monday’s announcement. Early Beginnings, which has multiple locations in Miami County, Future4Families, in Troy, CORS Head Start, in Piqua, and Tipp City Enrichment Program closed last Friday until further notice.

As of press time, the following centers in Miami County have been approved as pandemic providers:

• Miami County YMCA Youth Center, in Piqua.

• Wee Care Childcare, in New Carlisle.

• Tipp City Preschool Learning Center, in Tipp City.

• Play Learn Grow Child Care, in Piqua.

• Miami County YMCA/Alexander Davis Child Care Center, in Piqua.

• Miami County YMCA Robinson Branch, in Troy.

• Ginghamsburg Christian Preschool and Childcare Center, in Piqua.

This list will be updated regularly. It also provides details, including address and phone number of eligible centers, days of operation and ages of children accepted. To view, visit www.jfs.ohio.gov/cdc/docs/Pandemic-Provider-Approved-List.pdf

Citizens can get real-time information and updates about coronavirus in Ohio by visiting www.coronavirus.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/covid-19/

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By Aimee Hancock

Miami Valley Today

Reach the writer at ahancock@aimmediamidwest.com. © 2020 Miami Valley Today, all rights reserved.

Reach the writer at ahancock@aimmediamidwest.com. © 2020 Miami Valley Today, all rights reserved.