An Edmonton daycare operator is asking the provincial government to modify rules to allow her and others to reopen amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
On Sunday, the province announced it was cancelling all classes in Alberta and closing all licenced daycare centres.
The following day, Chief Medical Officer Dr. Deena Hinshaw said people could safely have up to six children in their care in addition to their own.
Some small dayhomes were permitted to stay open because they have a small number of children in their care.
Allyson Bonkowski owns Global Aware Children’s Care Ltd. She wants the province to allow centres like hers to care for six kids in a room at a time.
“Our biggest thing is: we want to be part of the solution and helping our community in this time of crisis,” she said.
Bonkowski’s facility usually has 14 kids per room with about 100 children in one facility.
Prior to daycares closing, Bonkowski was already making changes amid COVID-19 concerns. The centre was having parents drop kids off in the lobby without going into classrooms. Bonkowski had also stocked up on sanitizer, wipes, gloves and thermometers with plans to test each child for a fever when they were dropped off.
“Dealing with sickness and illness is something that we deal with every day. We have regular inspections from health inspectors, we have a number of cleaning protocols in place,” explained Bonkowski.
While other provinces have made different decisions on child care, the Alberta government said it would not reopen daycares.
“On the advice of the Chief Medical Officer of Health, daycares are closed and they cannot open with fewer kids per room or other adjustments at this time,” a Children’s Services spokesperson wrote in a statement to Global News.
“The government of Alberta is working on ways to support child care centres through this public health emergency and will have more to say on this soon.”
Bonkowski said that support needs to come quickly.
“Come April 1, I have no parent fees, I still have rent to pay, I still have taxes to pay, so on and so forth.”View link »