, , , ,

Wisconsin Puts Limits On Child Care Centers Over COVID-19

State Asking Most Families To Keep Kids Home, Keeps Child Care Open For Workers In Health Care And Other Essential Services

older toddler classroom
A book shelf in the older toddler classroom, where children learn through a play- and inquiry-based curriculum at Saint Mary’s Hospital Child Care Center. Phoebe Petrovic/WPR

Wisconsin is putting new limits on child care facilities in response to the new coronavirus.

The state has kept child care centers out of closure orders, like the ones affecting K-12 schools. Gov. Tony Evers said keeping those centers open was necessary to ensure care for dependents of hospital workers, first responders and others working to stop the COVID-19 outbreak.

But the Evers administration announced measures “scaling down” child care settings Wednesday. Under an order from the state Department of Health Services, child care centers can now have no more than 50 children on site and no more than 10 staff members.

Stay informed on the latest news

Sign up for WPR’s email newsletter.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

And state officials say the centers should prioritize care for families providing health care or other essential services.

They’re asking all others to keep their kids home.

The state also said it was looking into on-site child care options at health care facilities, in conjunction with officials in health care, child care and the Wisconsin National Guard.

The order takes effect Thursday morning.