On May 13, 2020

Child care, camp are crucial for economic reopening

Child care centers and day camps can reopen, overnight camps in question

Staff report

Gov. Phil Scott announced Friday, May 8, that child care centers can reopen June 1 and summer day camps will be able to open this summer, provided they can follow specified safety guidelines. State officials acknowledged opening child care programs will be an important part of ensuring Vermonters can get back to work, as modeling continues to indicate a slowdown in the spread of Covid-19.

“I know that there are many who are worried they won’t be able to return to a job because schools and child care providers are closed,” Scott said. “It’s one of the ripple effects that we have to be sensitive to, and aware of.”

Killington ‘s rec department has announced it will be open for day camps, but all details haven’t been worked out yet.  (See story on page 3.)

Scott ordered child care facilities to shut down in mid-March as the state began to close down to prevent the spread of Covid-19, though child care options have continued to be available for essential workers through the crisis.

The state will provide $6 million to help child care centers resume operations, Scott announced.

Child care centers can begin the process of reopening  on May 18. Scott said that centers can but  are not required to open on June 1.

State officials also said that child care workers will be included in expanded testing efforts.

The coronavirus is spreading much slower in Vermont than in any state in the Northeast — in fact Vermont’s rate of case growth (measured by time it takes to double cases) is the third slowest in the country, at 12 weeks. Only Montana and Hawaii do better; Alaska is tied with Vermont. Meanwhile, last week, New Hampshire’s rate increased from cases doubling every three weeks to every two weeks.

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