Is It Safe for Child Care Centers to Reopen Sooner Than Expected?


Businesses across the state are preparing for an eventual reopening under Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s Restore Illinois plan.

But some industries fear that plan moves too slowly. Among them are the leaders of some child care centers, who say operating with a reduced capacity is harmful to their business model.

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“You can’t get the economy back on track if there’s not a safe place to take children,” said Sarah Stoliker, president of the Illinois Directors and Owners of Childcare Centers, who is advocating for child care centers to reopen sooner than expected.

Today, some child care facilities are working with emergency licenses that allow them to take care of essential workers’ children — albeit with fewer staff and children.

Stoliker wants to propose a plan to allow these centers to fully open sooner than the timeframe outlined in Pritzker’s plan.

Not everyone supports the idea.

Maria Whelan, the president and CEO of Illinois Action for Children, supports the governor’s plan for reopening. She argues that much about the disease is still unknown.

“First and most importantly we have to protect the health and safety of young children,” Whelan said.


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