Saturday, August 22, 2020

Commonwealth Magazine: delays in childcare licensing; "A color coded map is not a plan"

 From CommonWealth Magazine we share two articles of interest for Franklin:

"NICOLE MCCORMACK, a hairstylist from Haverhilll, always dreamed of opening a home daycare. So with her youngest son entering kindergarten, she started applying for a license in March.

Five months later, she has not been able to take the training courses required by the Department of Early Education and Care, and her licensing process is stalled. The delays have left her and several families who are interested in her daycare, either neighbors or people who saw her website, in limbo.

“There’s people that are calling, and I don’t know what to tell them, when I’ll be able to accept them,” McCormack said.

As many existing childcare providers struggle with the decision about whether to reopen amid the COVID-19 pandemic, a crop of potential new providers have been prevented from opening by pandemic-related delays in the state’s licensing process."
Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required) 

"EVERY CITY AND TOWN in Massachusetts has spent months trying to figure out how to return to in-person schooling. We all know the social, emotional, and educational benefits for our children. We all know a fully functioning school system also primes the pump of our economy because it allows everyone to go to work. I recognize the importance not just as a mayor, but as a parent of four school-aged children. However, the stark reality is we’re in the midst of a pandemic with COVID-19 cases still cropping up all over our state.

What we have needed from the start is a real plan from the state and the support needed to implement it. We need pervasive surveillance testing so we can catch and isolate new cases before we suffer general outbreaks. We need robust contact tracing. We need to re-outfit ventilation systems in our schools and reorganize our classrooms. We need to have a rational understanding of how many other things in our society we can have open before we attempt to bring back our schools full-time. Instead, what we got last week was a color-coded map that provides no new information for those of us working on these issues.

I appreciate the bind in which Gov. Charlie Baker finds himself. Much of what we need to develop a sustainable reopening plan relies upon federal funding and support, and that’s a black hole from which no help is likely to emerge. However, a map is not a plan.

Municipal officials already are well aware of our local numbers. Yet it means very little that our community ranks as low risk of transmission when we have two extremely high risk communities, Everett and Chelsea, on our border and a school workforce that resides throughout the region. What happens in Everett and Chelsea happens in Somerville. Coronavirus doesn’t recognize city lines. If we’ve got an outbreak on our doorstep, then we need to respond like we’ve got an outbreak."

Continue reading the article online (subscription may be required) 

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