Lawmaker Wants To Make Reopening Child Care A Priority

May 1, 2020

Several industries are preparing to reopen in Ohio over the course of the next two weeks, including health practices, manufacturing plants, and other offices. But the state's first phase of reopening excludes daycares, which lawmakers say poses a serious problem.

Rep. Allison Russo (D-Upper Arlington) says there are working parents who can't return to their job if no one can watch their kids.

She's calling on Gov. Mike DeWine to form a strike team to come up with a plan that creates access to daycares but remains in the best interest of public health. Russo says, because of the lower class ratios, a plan should include some assistance.

"They need resources to reopen. Many of these centers, even the ones that have been able to remain open as pandemic childcare centers, they already operate on very thin margins," says Russo.

DeWine says he's bringing a team together to figure out what can be done about child care.

"This should not be an afterthought, this is something that needs to be happening right now, really yesterday, because the reality is many parents cannot go back to work if they do not have reliable, safe, quality childcare," Russo says.

Health experts say kids can become vectors for coronavirus, which poses an infection risk to the community when they gather in one place then go back to their homes.