PAINESVILLE TOWNSHIP, Ohio (WJW)– As the state of Ohio continues to close several sectors and industries to slow the spread of coronavirus, day cares are still open. The governor has said the closure is coming.
“We’re servants, you know, so as long as everyone is safe and healthy, we will do as much as we can,” said Cradle 2 Crayons II owner Lucretia Dillard. She operates two other locations as well.
She and her staff are doing all they can for parents who can’t care for their children at home as many wonder when Gov.Mike DeWine will be closing the businesses statewide.
“Day care centers are unique. Somebody has to take care of these kids and what I’ve tried to signal is that they will be closed,” DeWine said on Sunday. But he said it’s not something that can be done abruptly.
“I would plead if anyone has a child in daycare and you can conceive of a way to take that child out of day care, please do so.”
Some parents seem to be following that recommendation.
“We usually have between 100 and 125 kids. Today we had about 30,” Dillard said.
In the meantime, she is putting policies in place to protect her staff and families. Parents are now only allowed in the glass-enclosed lobby area and only until 9 a.m. during drop off.
“They have to sign in, we have alcohol wipes for them to wipe off their writing utensils, they have to hand sanitize and then we will escort their children to their classrooms.”
If a child is showing any signs of being sick, even a runny nose, “We will be calling their parent immediately, we will isolate them and then they will have to come and get their children. we’ve just gotta be safe.”
Despite an impending closure, she still plans to do what she can.
“My team, who is wonderful, they’re going to stay. We’re going to make lunches, and do whatever we need to do to help these parents and families. We will have our kitchen open for everybody.”
She said having a non-profit she established will help them help others.
At any given time, Dillard has between 14 to 20 staff members. If they have to close their doors, she said they will be taken care of for as long as she is able.
“We’ve put everything in the works weeks ago and I’ve assured them, rather the government pays us or not, they will be paid because without them there would be no me, there would be no Cradle 2 Crayons.”
DeWine said this weekend that state officials have already contacted 1,500 day cares about specific guidelines.
He has yet to give a timeline on when day cares would close.