GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) — As closures continue to roll in, daycare centers have had to roll with the changes.
“We’ve had to make a lot of adjustments with the schedules for the staff and the kids with all the changes that have been coming in,” Candie Thomas, Director at Stepping Stones Child Care said.
She added that the center plans to stay open as long as the Health Department allows.
Childcare centers are allowed to remain open because they are exempt from Governor Tony Evers’ order to limit gatherings to less than 10 people.
Emilie Amundson, Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Children & Families explained that daycare centers are considered essential.
“Childcare is absolutely vital to keeping our healthcare and our first responders and our critical responders in the workforce,” she told Local 5 in a phone conversation Tuesday.
To help childcare providers during the pandemic, the department has eased restrictions.
“We have waived certain rules that allow providers to anticipate some of the workforce disruptions on childcare centers,” Amundson explained.
Those rules include restrictions on staff training requirements, staff ratio requirements, and age range requirements.
DCF is also offering supplies to daycare centers who find themselves overwhelmed.
“So that the policemen, the firemen, healthcare workers, retail workers for grocery stores and things like that have a place to bring their kids,” Thomas said, “so that they can go to work to supply us with our needs and our protection.”
Amundson said that childcare providers are being considered essential workers during the pandemic.
“It’s really come to the fore how absolutely critical this workforce is to keeping our communities going,” she said.