Daycare, preschool workers to PM: Please give us a chance

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley -
Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley -

AS more businesses begin to reopen and many return to work, daycare and preschool workers are pleading with the Prime Minister to reconsider the decision for their workplaces to reopen in September.

They say they cannot survive without a source of income for such a long time.

On June 3, Chief Medical Officer Dr Roshan Parasram had said it was difficult for school children to practise physical distancing.

“Anything having to do with school children should be aligned to the phase when we deal with the reopening of schools,” he said.

Speaking with Newsday on Sunday, one daycare worker who wished to remain anonymous said it has been a very difficult period.

“We understand the situation, we do. But we are looking at other places being opened with rules and regulations, and we are asking for the same thing. Parents really trust us to leave their kids with us, so my thing is, if they can tell us we can only take in a maximum of ten children a day, we could live with that.”

She said she was forced to close down her business because she could not afford to continue paying rent.

“My landlord was not satisfied. We even had a fundraiser and tried to liaise but still.”

She said many parents are also feeling the same level of frustration and have been “crying out.

“(They are asking) ‘How am I going to go to work?’ Everybody was glued to the TV on Saturday hoping there was a change of heart. At least, ‘Daycares, hear what: You are allowed five to ten children at once.’

“In the media, we are hearing people being charged with assaulting children because parents leave children with these people and they are unsafe. Parents are more comfortable with the daycare. Kids are gonna be out anyway. The zoo is opening, parents are going out with their kids, beaches now, malls, they can sit and eat in restaurants now. So why not us?”

She said a July 1 reopening would be ideal.

“Please give us a chance. Give us rules and guidelines to follow and we are definitely going to follow it. You can send health inspectors randomly even to make sure we are following them.

One preschool worker said she expected preschools would have been among the last types of businesses to reopen, but she has been feeling the brunt of it.

“My hopes weren’t really up. All the children will be mingling, coming from different areas. It will be hard to separate them.” she said.

But she added that with daycares, it may be a bit different.

“Once they manage it properly, they can separate the children. I think they could reopen.

“We have a lot of other things to do too. We have to literally start from scratch. In addition to just separating desks, we have to monitor the children upon entry, stop them by the gate and go to collect the children.”

But without a source of income and having to prepare these businesses for the “new normal,” she said it will be even tougher as money is needed to purchase many of the things that would assist.

“It has been very rough and it has been difficult.”

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"Daycare, preschool workers to PM: Please give us a chance"

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