PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Childcare facilities across Rhode Island were allowed to reopen on Monday under Phase 2 of Gov. Gina Raimondo’s plan to reopen the state’s economy.
The Boys and Girls Club of Providence has eight locations in the city and typically take care of 650 children per day. But due to social distancing guidelines, the number of children inside each facility is much lower and dozens of families have been placed on waiting lists.
CEO of the Boys and Girls Club of Providence Nicole Dufresne said despite the new restrictions, they are ensuring that families receive the same care they did before the pandemic.
“They were welcomed by people who hadn’t seen them in weeks and we are like a second family, so for us, it was like our kids coming home,” Dufresne said. “We are serving a much lower number of children, however, the quality of the programs are still there.”
Dufresne said the Boys and Girls Club is making sure children wash their hands every hour and that staff is checking their temperatures upon arrival.
The facility has also placed marks on the floor outside to help families stay six feet apart when checking in. Dufresne said the kids are also social distancing while inside.
“We operate now in what are called pods, so we have no more than ten children right now with one to two adults in one room and they stay in that pod and in the same places all day,” she said.
At their Fox Point location, Dufresne said they typically have 250 kids, but on Monday, they could only allow 20. In July, their summer program will allow 40 kids at the location.
“As we’re given more guidelines and we are told we can do more we will add more children to the facilities, so it is quite different however the kids are getting a lot more attention,” Dufresne said.
Raimondo said previously that summer camps should be able to open on June 29.