Child care providers raise concerns about new guidelines as families rely on their services

All children 5 and older are required to wear masks while inside child care facilities.
All children 5 and older are required to wear masks while inside child care facilities.(Gray tv)
Published: Aug. 8, 2020 at 7:11 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Maine (WMTW) - Child care is one of many industries bearing a particular burden during the pandemic. While some had to temporarily shut down, others have maintained services throughout. However, some Maine providers are expressing concerns about how the latest guidance could impact their operations.

Erica Russell, the owner of Baby Haven in Sidney, helped organize an effort in Augusta Saturday to raise concerns about the state’s updated guidance for child care providers released at the end of July.

They approached Republican legislators to share some of the experiences of owners with child care providers of Maine.

Russell says some parents have expressed concern about her staff wearing a mask at her infant to toddler daycare. Something that is required under the latest guidance.

The guidance also requires face coverings kids ages five and older. Even when outside if not socially distanced.

They're recommended for those aged two to four, but are not recommended for those younger than two, due to airflow concerns.

Russell argues that operators like her found ways to maintain the vital service during the pandemic,

and says more owners should have been involved in crafting the guidelines.

“We are the people that when all of the schools in Maine closed, we were open - we are the people that made our own policies.”

The DHHS office of Child and Family Services responded to the concerns in a statement Saturday.

Saying they provided guidance to facilities throughout the pandemic. adding in part, quote:

“Recent scientific analysis, including by the American Academy of Pediatrics, indicates that face coverings are vital to limiting the spread of COVID-19 in settings where children and adults congregate.”

Copyright 2020 WABI. All rights reserved.

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