Child care centers reopen under Phase 2 in R.I.

LINCOLN, R.I. (WLNE) – Phase 2 of reopening Rhode Island’s economy began on Monday, June 1.

In this new phase, almost every sector of the economy is now partially reopen, including child care centers.

The MacColl YMCA in Lincoln is the first branch of Y to reopen in the state. The staff welcomed back kids to the child care program on Monday.

“They’ve been so happy to see other kids and to see their counselors who they’ve missed,” said Jeanine Achin, the Chief Operating Officer of the YMCA.

Under the new reopening guidelines, the children are split into pods of no more than 10 kids. Each pod must have the same counselor everyday.

“We’re lucky here because we have 126 acres, so we’re able to spread out and not have any pods of kids touch any other pods of kids. Then they have their own classrooms where they can do their school work,” said Achin.

The children follow social distancing in the classrooms. They either sit at an isolated desk or at opposite ends of a six-foot long table.

Other branches of the Y will reopen throughout the week. Summer camp is set to begin on June 29.

Many parents like Tressie Seymour of Coventry need access to day care to get back to work.

“My job actually let me go two weeks ago now. They tried to offer me work on May 18, but with the kids not in school and day care not open at the time, they weren’t willing to wait, so I’m out of work now because of that,” said Seymour.

She has a three-year-old daughter and an eight-year-old son, as well as two step children.

She said her daughter is also anxious to get back to day care to see her friends again.

“Every day she asks me, ‘Am I going today? Am I going to school today?’ She’s excited,” said Seymour.

Categories: Coronavirus, News, Rhode Island