Child Care Centers in Wisconsin Should Close During COVID-19

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Early childhood educators are crucial to modern society and the backbone of the U.S economy- it is inevitable that they are on the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis. While all K-12 schools are closing indefinitely, child care centers are under guidelines to limit staff members to 10 adults and students to 50 children, but they remain open. Child care providers are unique educators in that social distancing is not possible or realistic. Even when we practice constant hand washing, we must blow noses, change diapers, and rub backs at nap time.

You are putting tens of thousands of teachers at potential risk of infection. According to a study published in the medical journal Pediatrics and reported by CNN, “More than 90% of all pediatric patients were asymptomatic, showing mild or common forms of illness.” While it is true that the risk to children is low, it is equally true that they can be carriers. This places our workforce at an increased risk of exposure. Alarmingly, the study also demonstrated the risk of COVID-19 to infants stating “Young children, particularly infants, were vulnerable to COVID-19 infection. Nearly 11% of cases were severe and critical for infants less than 1 year old.” 

We understand the burden this would cause to families across Wisconsin, but it is absolutely necessary to protect teachers, students, and families. It is wrong to pass the responsibility to each individual child care center and not the government or licensing authority.

We are asking Wisconsin to recognize this massive issue and follow in the steps of the state of Massachusetts. According to the Boston Globe, “Governor Charlie Baker ordered most child care programs across the state closed by Monday, while announcing the creation of free child care hubs to accommodate the children of those who need to go to work as the region tries to stem the spread of coronavirus.” These child care hubs prioritize and aim to serve at-risk children as well as children of critical employees including healthcare workers, researchers, first responders, and those who maintain the transportation and food chains. The state will continue to pay daycare providers for this care and the providers impacted will continue to receive child care subsidies in order to ensure they are able to reopen once the crisis is over. Childcare workers in childcare hubs will also receive enhanced hazard pay.

Wisconsin- please be on the right side of history and follow in Massachusetts footsteps in making these difficult, but necessary decisions.


#weareteacherstoo #flattenthecurve