(Ohio) – Governor Mike DeWine announced in a press conference this week that childcare providers can legally return to normal class sizes starting August 9th, 2020.
However, DeWine is not mandating that the centers return to normal class size, but is rather leaving it up for each center to decide. Those that do not return to normal class sizes will also be able to continue claiming an incentive payment from the state.
“We will give childcare providers a choice,” explained DeWine. “They can get a significant subsidy. If they do that they need to keep a small ratio. If they opt not to do that, they can go back to the (regular) ratio.”
The state has provided approximately $30 million to childcare centers from the federal CARES Act to help them stay in business while receiving less money from parens due to class size restrictions that were imposed earlier this year.
DeWine explained that the changes to the policy are due to many schools returning to classes with in-person options. He noted that could leave working parents with younger children in a difficult poison. Additional safety precautions will remain in place at all centers such as daycare staff wearing masks as well as children age 10 and older.
Since the COVID-19 outbreak began, 442 people associated with daycares have tested positive for the virus. 306 were staff members and 136 were children. The state is currently participating in a multi-state study about the risk of COVID-19 in childcare centers.