Ohio will issue temporary pandemic child care licenses to ensure communities have access to safe child care during the spread of the coronavirus, official announced on Wednesday. The temporary licenses are aimed at helping health and safety providers have a safe place for their children while they working to fight COVID-19.
“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,” said Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine in a statement. “Helping to address this need allows our health and safety providers to focus on protecting and caring for all Ohioans.”
The new “temporary pandemic child care centers” will be held to reduced regulations that focus on the health and safety of children. The pandemic child care licenses can be granted to existing child care centers or to new ones that may be created in response to the pandemic.
Ohio officials warned that children should be kept “out of a group setting and not with an elderly provider,” but said that is “not an option for all families.”
A previous executive order raised the number of children able to be supervised by staff. It also increased the number of paid absent days for child care providers from 10 to 20, as well as provides child care programs with 21 paid days if they must close due to the coronavirus.
Ohio Department of Job and Family Services Director Kim Hall in a statement. that the measures will be available for the “duration of the pandemic.”
“Health care workers, first responders and those working so hard to provide Ohioans with essential services are needed now more than ever,” Hall said in a statement. “These measures will ensure that these families can maintain their work schedules, while resting assured that their children are safe.”
As of Wednesday evening, there are 88 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Ohio, according to the Ohio Department of Health.
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Jordyn Pair is a reporter with Battleground State News and The Michigan Star. Follow her on Twitter at @JordynPair. Email her at [email protected]