Reopening CA: How does phase 2 of Newsom's plan affect child care? Options for parents needing day care as shelter-in-place restrictions ease

ByKris Reyes KGO logo
Wednesday, May 6, 2020
Child care options for parents going back to work as CA shelter-in-place restrictions ease
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Bay Area day care providers have been serving only children of essential workers since the shelter-in-place started in March, but as Gov. Newsom plans to further reopen businesses, more parents will go back to work and need help finding child care.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Day care centers and child care providers in the Bay Area have not been forced to shut down during the novel coronavirus pandemic but the general guideline has been to serve only essential workers. As more parents in low-risk jobs head back to work this week as part of the state's gradual easing of shelter-in-place restrictions, the question is, will they be able to find child care?

The answer is complicated, but the place to start is using the state's government portal with a list of child care providers, which can be found here:

YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED: California launches new child care portal

Many child care centers that did not cater to essential workers have closed down since the Bay Area locked down in March.

We tried to press the Governor's office on how phase 2 affects daycare centers and child care providers, including summer camps.

We didn't get any new details, other than Newsom's response during Monday's news conference.

"Child care is already allowed with conditions and criteria and specifications," Newsom said. "Some modifications in the existing phase that we're in, so it's not part of phase two because it's already in place."

RELATED: Home-based child care programs searching for answers during shelter-in-place

One of the largest child care providers in the country, Bright Horizons only kept a few of their locations in the Bay Area open, ones that serve essential workers.

They told ABC7 that for now, they have no plans to open to the general public until the shelter-in-place order is lifted.

Seabird Preschool in downtown San Francisco wants parents to know that they are open for business this Friday. But, right now they're having trouble filling spots.

"At this point, we are available to open but we don't have enough demand," said Yulia Iskandar, General Manager of Seabird.

RELATED: How to overcome challenge of working at-home with house full of kids

With touchless bathrooms and even personalized toilets, the preschool is prepared to follow all safety guidelines. Now it's just a matter of getting parents to sign on.

"At this point many parents are afraid to bring their kids until shelter-in-place is lifted," Iskandar added.

Child care centers have been able to remain open for families of essential workers or children in vulnerable groups.

As more parents go back to work, Seabird preschool said they're ready to follow safety guidelines and receive students, but they will not ask about a parent's work status.

"We have availabilities, we want our existing students to come back and we are open to new students," said Iskandar

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