Coronavirus: Tampa Bay day care centers remain open while waiting for guidance

Coronavirus

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – As many businesses shut down to prevent the spread of coronavirus, day cares in Tampa Bay are staying open, at least for now.

Several day care owners tell 8 On Your Side they’re not getting much guidance from the government.

At First Discoveries Child Development Center in South Tampa, they’re asking parents if they have other options, to avoid sending their children. However, owner Cindy McConnell said she wants to be able to help the families on the front lines.

McConnell said they are deep cleaning, doing health checks for every child, as well as staff, and they are limiting visitors.

McConnell said she’s waiting for more guidance on whether she should remain open. She told 8 On Your Side she received an email from the National Association for the Education of Young Children stating that daycare facilities should close when schools do, but they’re recommending a limited number remain open for healthcare workers, first responders and others managing the pandemic.

“We want to be here to serve families that need care because we understand childcare is important for families to work. But, we also know how important it is to reduce transmission, so we encouraged families when they have other options to take advantage of those,” McConnell said.

So far this week, McConnell estimated that less than 25% of parents were dropping off their children.

McConnell believes daycares may not remain open throughout the week.

“I fully expect that we are going to be closed and I think that we should be, but in the short term, we’re trying to provide some bridge services to our families. We have a lot of professional families that are transitioning to a work from home,” she said.

During the White House press briefing, staff said they would start looking into what daycare facilities should do.

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