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Kentucky Childcare Centers Reopening in Two Phases

Kentucky childcare providers are able to open their services again in two phases starting next month.

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear announced on Thursday, May 21st that smaller, at home daycares will open June 8th, with bigger childcare centers and summer camps reopening on June 15th — both with safety contingencies in place.

A few of these include playground time being staggered between different classes, socially distanced drop-off and pick-up times, discontinuing water fountains and lost and found bins, and no hosting field trips or large-family events.

Lesley Nelson and Leigh Ann Siewert, sisters and co-owners of Busy Bee Educare in Henderson, Ky., are sad they’ve missed out on the past few months, but glad to have some more guidance about being able to have their students back in session.

“As a teacher, you have a lot of traditions and a lot of memories and you still want to say goodbye,” she said. “It’s kind of like we walked out of here on March 13th and we have leprechauns still in the building.”

And it’s been a difficult adjustment for not only Nelson, but the entire staff.

“It’s been very scary,” Nelson said. “A lot of unknowns, very sad and emotional.”

While parents balancing working from home and taking care of their kids, are eager for preschool to start again.

“We have people desperately calling saying, ‘When are you going to open the doors,'” Nelson said.

In the meantime, teachers have been cleaning their classrooms in preparation.

“I’ve been purchasing Lysol, bleach, Clorox wipes, masks,” Nelson said. “I have an army of people looking for supplies.”

Although they are still on standby, Nelson and Siewert are excited for the time they can welcome their kids back.

“It would be a dream come true,” she said.

And a chance for them to finally host their preschool graduation.

“We’re going to be redoing that the first week of June hopefully. And it’s gonna be a drive-by,” Neslon said. “But we’re going to let them wear their caps and gowns and just walk up and get their diploma. So, we’re still going to do traditions — but it’s just going to look different.”

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