NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Child care centers in New York City will be allowed to reopen next week.
The Department of Health voted in favor of the resolution Tuesday and centers are getting ready to have socially distanced day cares, CBS2’s Ali Bauman reported.
Gigi Izpin has loved having her 2-year-old daughter home with her these last few months, but it has made finding a job even harder. So, she’s ready for child care centers to reopen.
“I have to work and stuff to pay bills, so I’ll have to send her back,” Izpin said.
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Since April, only 125 child care programs have been allowed to operate citywide for essential workers. But starting Monday, all childcare centers regulated by the city Department of Health — roughly 3,000 programs — will be allowed to reopen.
“To avoid the kinds of situations that not be as safe and might be unregulated, we want parents to know that the best quality child care will be there for them. So, strict safety requirements will be in place,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said.
The city and state health departments mandate:
- No more than 15 children will be allowed in a room
- All staff will be required to wear face masks
- Children and staff must have daily health screenings
- Surfaces must be sanitized throughout the day
Centers will also be required to limit children from sharing toys that cannot be sanitized frequently, such as stuffed animals.
“The problem is children are always curious, so even if I have four children here socially distanced here playing, they see someone playing with Play-Doh over there, all of a sudden they just get up and go,” said Sue Sussman, the educational director at Arcadia Children’s Daycare in the Bronx.
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Sussman said she’s putting colorful circles on the ground to teach kids about social distancing.
“We can try positive redirection. If all of a sudden we have 10 kids here we say, ‘Oh, what if some of you, let’s try the water table or some of you wanna do some puppets,'” Sussman said.
The Health Department says if a child tests positive for coronavirus, everyone in that classroom — students and staff — will be notified and asked to quarantine for two weeks.