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Child care services in RI closed for one week

Coronavirus

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Gov. Gina Raimondo announced that all child care centers will be closed until at least April 4.

She acknowledged that she has changed policies on this multiple times — first asking them to close, then allowing some to reopen with new guidelines — but said the situation has to change once again.

With the new guidance in place to maintain gatherings of five people or less, Raimondo said that it only makes sense this applies to childcare centers as well.

“I’m sorry for that,” she said. “I just don’t think it’s safe for this week, for child care centers to remain open.”

She continued saying that she would make the decision about opening child care centers one week at a time.

For now, Raimondo is hopeful Rhode Islanders will consider using Care.com. Last week, she announced a partnership with the site, allowing free premium access for 90 days.

RELATED: What to know about child care help in RI during the COVID-19 crisis »

Department of Human Services Director Courtney Hawkins says, as a mother, she understands finding the right childcare is a big decision.

“I think parents need to do what they’re comfortable with,” Hawkins said. “I’m hoping that this opportunity, having a free, three-months of access, levels potential referrals so that parents who might not have the opportunity to have an option like this, do have the same opportunity that I might have for my family.”

Raimondo is also asking Rhode Islanders that if you are not sick and in a position to help out, to sign up as a caregiver for childcare or eldercare.

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