DeSantis asks day cares to stay open despite financial crunches

Gov. Ron DeSantis continues to plead with day cares to stay open to help parents who need to work during the coronavirus pandemic, even as hundreds in Central Florida close.

Gov. Ron DeSantis continues to plead with day cares to stay open to help parents who need to work during the coronavirus pandemic, even as hundreds in Central Florida close.

Parents are pulling their children out of day care, leaving the facilities in financial distress and unable to pay workers.

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While DeSantis was in The Villages on Monday for his daily briefing on the state’s response to the coronavirus, Eyewitness News asked if the state is willing to provide assistance to day care facilities.

“We’re looking at some other states (that) have basically imposed restrictions. I got to look at that,” he said. “Here’s the thing, these parents, you can’t just shut it down. We have essential employees in this state, we have people working on very important things.”

The Orange County Early Learning Coalition provides funding for 750 child care sites. More than 100 have closed because enrollment is too low. Parents have either lost their jobs, or are keeping their children home because of fear.

“We serve about 32,000 children and after the announcement, and after the schools closure(s) we have gone down approximately 7,000 children,” said Mary Harper, chief program officer with Early Learning Coalition.