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Coronavirus In Ohio: Daycares Face Financial Uncertainty Even With 'Pandemic' License

A worker reads a story to children at Rediant Kids Childcare in Dublin.
Radiant Kids Childcare Inc.

Daycare locations that received temporary pandemic licenses to stay open in Ohio may still face some financial difficulty.

“We definitely are not making any extra money,” says Jamie Batchelder, director of Radiant Kids Childcare Inc. in Dublin. “We’re just basically trying to make enough to pay our staff and all of that. To be honest with you, we’ll be losing money each week with what we have happening right now.”

Some 2,000 child care centers across Ohio were granted the "temporary pandemic" child care licenses this week, which limit the number of kids per room and requires greater health precautions. The rest were required to close under the state's new "stay at home" order.

Batchelder says she currently has 44 kids enrolled, with room for 76 more, to help parents of first responders, medical professionals and others deemed essential workers. 

“Our license shows 277, but because of the limit of six children per room, we don’t have the room space for that now,” Batchelder says.

This week, she says her staff has done more cleaning and sanitizing throughout the daycare, and that the children are washing their hands more often to help prevent the spread of any germs.

“Right now, we’re not using any shared spaces,” Batchelder says. “Keeping them in their rooms and so a little more just separated out, so that if anything does make it in there would be less chance of it spreading throughout the center as well.”

Batchelder says half of her teaching staff of 40 decided to remain home. But the remaining 20 staffers still meet the state guidelines for 120 children.

Batchelder is hoping to get financial assistance to help cover payroll until things return to normal.

“We stayed open to try and serve the community, which is always what we’ve been here to do, as Radiant Kids and Radiant Life Church,” Batchelder says. “So, we’re trying to serve the community even if it kind of hits us in the wallet a little bit.”

Debbie Holmes began her career in broadcasting in Columbus after graduating from The Ohio State University. She left the Buckeye state to pursue a career in television news and worked as a reporter and anchor in Moline, Illinois and Memphis, Tennessee.