LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – During his coronavirus briefing Thursday, Governor Andy Beshear announced child care centers can re-open on June 15, with some new safety guidelines.
Roaa Jarrar, director and owner of Smart Bees Learning Center in Lexington, says she can’t wait to see 48 smiling faces walk through those doors.
“It’s not just a business, it’s a family,” Jarrar says.
She says it was hard to close the daycare’s doors back in March.
“The last day was just the saddest day that I have seen in my life,” says Jarrar.
She says she’s not only ready to re-open, but to also follow the state’s new health safety guidelines, such as children staying in groups of 10 or less at all times.
“Most of the day, that’s how it’s running anyway,” Jarrar says. “Groups of kids are staying the same all day long.”
She says the hardest adjustment will be no field trips.
“We go to the nearby pools, or we have a park that’s close to us,” says Jarrar. “We walk there sometimes. So, that’s not gonna be happening anymore, so the kids are really going to miss that.”
Jarrar says besides missing the kids, one of the biggest burdens has been financially.
Daycare centers must have insurance at all times, and they’re covered if they have to close for an extended period of time, but there’s a catch. The insurance companies will only pay a claim if the daycare had a coronavirus outbreak while still open. That’s bad news for daycares because the state shut them down before that could happen, so without an outbreak, centers will not receive any money.
“I really hope the governor will issue an order mandating the insurance companies to pay what we have been paying for years, the same way we’re mandated to have insurance,” Jarrar says.
Hardships aside, Jarrar is thankful for the resilience parents have shown during the pandemic.
“We’ve always had a good relationship with our parents and teachers, but I did not expect they were going to be this supportive,” Jarrar says.
She says she’s going to continue contacting government agencies to try to get the funding Smart Beez Learning Center desperately needs.