Childcare centers are allowed to reopen as of Friday, May 29 thanks to child care advocates, State Rep. Margo McDermed (R-Mokena) and State Rep. Charlie Meier (R-Okawville). More childcare centers will now be allowed to reopen in Phase 3 of Governor Pritzker’s plan as more families head back to work.
According to Rep. Meier, “With Missouri already reopened and barbers, salons, retail, and manufacturing reopening on May 29, it’s good to know people returning to work in Illinois will have more access to child care.”
Last week Rep. Meier and 27 other House Republican members sent a letter to Governor Pritzker, urging him to allow all Illinois child care providers to reopen as regions move to Phase 3. The reopening of childcare centers was previously listed as a Phase 4 item in Pritzker’s “Restore Illinois” plan. Today the Governor announced that all 5,500 of Illinois’ child care centers that were not deemed as “essential” may indeed reopen on May 29 when all four regions of the state move to Phase 3.
“As childcare owners are mostly women, and women would be the ones forced to stay home if they can’t find sufficient childcare when trying to return to work, Governor Pritzker’s plan as originally proposed, left women all over the state high and dry,” Rep. McDermed said.
Newly reopened providers will have reduced capacity, of no more than 10 children per classroom, for the first 4 weeks. Once they have provided care safely for four weeks and have followed the new health, social distancing, and sanitation routines and guidelines, they will be able to expand to larger group sizes, though not their full licensed capacity.