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New state license could allow child care through coronavirus pandemic

The license is meant only for children of parents in essential services.

CLEVELAND — Daycares in Ohio remain open for now, but there is a concern that could soon change.

On Friday, Governor Mike DeWine stressed he will do what he must to save lives.

“Make the decisions which I think are in the best interest of the people of the State of Ohio,” he said.

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DeWine has hinted daycares could close, as places such as Loving Cup Kids Academy in Old Brooklyn brace.

“Unless we’re told to close down, we’re going to stay open,” said Annette Diotalevi, an administrator.

Over the past week, Diotalevi said her families have been slowly pulling out.

At one time, there were up to 76 children a day. On Friday, there were only eight, as families found other options.

“With the universities closing, with the high schools closing, they have, a lot of our families have older siblings and college students,” she said. “So, they’re able to stay home with the younger children if they have to work.”

But daycares may now have options too.

Some are applying for a “temporary pandemic child care center license” from the state. It would allow them to continue services to children from birth through 13.

Parents say those who provide essential services need it.

“The first responders are the actual ones and the ones that work in health care are actually the ones that’s helping,” parent Paige Giernacky said. “To me, it’s fair.”

With 8 locations, administrators at Loving Cup are preparing to close all but two of them when the governor announces the change.

They would like to keep one location open on Cleveland's east side, which is close to an Amazon fulfillment center, and one open on the west side, which is close to a hospital.

Bret Crowe, a spokesman for Ohio’s Department of Job and Family Services, told 3 News that pandemic child care should only be used as a last resort for those who provide essential services and have no other options.

He said there is no limit on how many locations could be approved, and that a list of approved programs would appear on their website.

Click here for our special coronavirus section.

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