According to Governor Phil Scott, all child care programs can re-open by June 1st, but they are not required to open if they don’t feel safe. Also, summer camps can plan to open this year.
“The health department, ACCD, EHS will be providing guidance to help keep our kids and employees safe. But we know meeting all the new health and safety expectations will be a financial challenge”. Said Scott.
The Governor says to help these programs reopen, they will be creating re-start grants of about six million dollars.
“These grants will help cover the cost of making these programs even safer and healthier.”
To get ready for the reopening of day care programs, the governor said that all childcare workers are now eligible to be tested for COVID-19 under an expanded testing program outlined by the state last week. The state says it will open nearly a dozen new testing sites around the state for health care providers, first responders and other frontline workers.
Doug Bishop, the Director of Communications at the Greater Burlington YMCA says, “We will integrate the newest guidelines and testing opportunities that the governor announced today as more information is known next week.”
Bishop says they are very glad to hear the news from the Governor and when starting summer camps, they want to go into it with open optimism.
“We want to be able to provide the summer camp experience this summer more than ever for kids. Obviously only if it is safe to do so and this is a good sign.”
Staff from the Greater Burlington YMCA have been staying in contact with colleagues across the country to get information on the best practices and what is going to be the safest way to open up summer camps.
Doris Sleeman from Kinder Works child care says she misses the interactions with the children and is excited to welcome them back.
“I think that opening up is going to be a tremendous help to the families and not only that, but for the mental health of the children as well.”
Doris thinks that the hardest part about all of this is that she is not going to be able to help everyone because she can only take in a certain amount of children, to keep everyone safe.
Child care programs are encouraged to operate with only ten employees but officials says they understand if this is not possible, and will work with facilities if they feel they need more staff.