WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Empty daycares, a common scene around Massachusetts after the COVID-19 outbreak began.
But now the state is ordering the closure of all early childcare centers starting Monday.
The Department of Early Education and Care will be opening Exempt Emergency Child Care programs during the outbreak instead.
These emergency child care programs will be the only ones to operate during this state of emergency.Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker
The programs will provide priority to families of those directly confronting the pandemic.
Children’s House of West Springfield, an early education center, usually has around 40 students. The center now has just about 15 after the outbreak and most of those children are those of emergency personnel working during the outbreak.
They told 22News they’ve been taking steps to ensure all the children are healthy before the governor announced that they must close.
“No sick children in school. Even if it is just cough runny nose,” Danielle Mineau, owner and director of the center assured. “We’re asking that they get cleared by a pediatrician to be sure that they’re not going to spread their germs to someone else.”
Mineau told 22News, the center is also not letting people who aren’t enrolled into the building.
Governor Baker and his administration says they’ll work to make sure children whose families still have to go to work but aren’t considered emergency personnel, can get into the new programs.