For Some Parents, Day Care Still Feels Risky

“Parents are scared of bringing their kids in. Many are still at home. They don’t need us — they don’t need a day care"

A girl in a face mask plays outside in a day care
Mikhail JaparidzeTASS via Getty Images

For some parents, the news that day care centers can operate again couldn’t come soon enough. But for others, sending their child back now feels too risky, too costly or too complicated. As a result, day care centers are scrambling to open their doors with expensive new health protocols, while contending with the possibility of having fewer parents pay tuition, NBC News reports.

The regulations they face vary by state. In New York, day care facilities must have no more than 15 children per room; staff members must wear masks; daily health screenings must be performed; and there must be frequent cleaning and disinfection of toys and the facility, among other requirements.

"We are completely ready. But I’m concerned that kids just won’t be coming in," Ruben Zagagi, Arcadia Children’s Daycare's executive director, said. "Parents are scared of bringing their kids in. Many are still at home. They don’t need us — they don’t need a day care."

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Reluctance to send children back to day care without a vaccine or a reliable treatment yet for the coronavirus, especially as the pandemic continues to cost millions of Americans their jobs, extends across the country. In May, 63 percent of the 2,000 families surveyed by the online child care marketplace said they were uncomfortable placing their children in day care as states reopen, and nearly half said they were more concerned about the cost of child care now than they were before the pandemic.

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