But that step forward comes with big changes, as child care centers that chose to reopen have a number of new safety measures in place to protect both kids and the people who work there.
At the World of Wonders Childcare Center on New Utrecht Avenue in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, they were expecting about 40 children at their 8 a.m. opening.
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The following state regulations have been implemented:
--No more than 15 children in a room
--Face coverings required for children (except those under 2) and adults
--Daily health screenings
--Frequent cleaning and disinfecting
--Limited sharing of toys and supplies
There will be an emphasis on social distancing and more playing with the children outside when and where possible.
The daily health screenings include questions regarding symptoms and recent travel, and workers will perform temperature checks on the children.
Kids are encouraged to put on a mask if they are over the age of 2, and inside the center, clear partitions at desks are required along with smaller groups and social distancing.
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All this will help parents get back to work, but still, many child care centers say their enrollment is way down amid concerns from both parents and employees.
Meanwhile, cleaning, new outdoor gear, and materials all cost money -- and some providers say their razor thin budgets are about to be stretched even further.
"We were not given guidance as to what equipment we need so that we could've, A, saved for it, B, hoarded it ahead of time," said Fabiola Santos-Gaerlan, with Honeydew Childcare. "Because right now, 3,000 programs in this city alone will order these things. They're going to run out."
Many providers say a Monday reopening was out of the question, and that it will take at least two months to get it right.
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