Mass. childcare centers look at operating at a loss of money under state reopening guidelines

SOMERVILLE, MASS. (WHDH) - As the state moves forward with Phase 2 of its reopening plan, childcare centers and summer camps are hoping to get back to business soon – but many know that getting back to work is going to look a lot different than before.

Those running the businesses that are so important to many families say they want to adhere to the strictest standard to keep children safe, but that they will be operating at a massive loss if they are forced to do so under such guidelines.

Sarah Sian, the Executive Director of the Open Center for Children in Somerville, said, “The biggest issue I think we face, my center and many other centers, is it’s just very expensive.”

This week, the state loosened their original guidelines in hopes of making it easier for these childcare facilities to stay open.

Children will no longer be required to wear masks, though the staff will be when they are within six feet of one another. Childcare centers will not have to check the temperatures of every student upon their arrival.

The state also waived a rule that would have mandated more than one teacher per 10 kids.

Even with these newly dropped requirements, daycare operator Sarah Sian says they’ll still be losing tens of thousands of dollars every month.

“I want to have two teachers or three teachers in a classroom with 10 children, but it comes down to money,” she said. “If we’re cutting our class sizes from 20 children to 10 children, we’re getting half the revenue so it’s hard to maintain those ratios. The biggest thing is we need more money. The industry needs funding.”

Congresswoman Katherine Clark announced Tuesday one of two bills in Washington, D.C. that are designed to keep childcare centers afloat.

Sian said she hopes that money comes through but if it doesn’t, she will try to find a way to stay open.

“I really feel like it’s gonna be hard but it is possible. It just involves a lot of creativity,” she said.

The Open Center for Children said they hope to open by the end of the month.

(Copyright (c) 2020 Sunbeam Television. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)