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Ben Asks a Question: What happens to Ohio daycares that can't afford to reopen?

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Posted at 6:06 PM, May 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-28 19:51:38-04

With the majority of Ohio’s economy reopening, childcare is once again a necessity for families across the state. However, to minimize the risk of transmitting COVID-19, reopened childcare facilities can only have a certain number of children in a room at once.

WCPO viewer Scott Thompson says his wife owns a daycare facility but is now being forced to stay closed or lose money by reopening at limited capacity.

I asked Gov. Mike DeWine about the issue on Thursday. DeWine responded by noting that the state is already financially supporting childcare facilities and saying the rules are in place to keep children and families safe.

Ben Asks a Question is a feature we started as a way to help give you a voice during Gov. Mike DeWine's daily press briefings. Since then, Ben has gotten hundreds of questions a day. If you'd like to ask a question, find us on Facebook and feel free to message us there, or send us an email at

“I know that we are actually subsidizing these daycares to the tune of about $20 million a month," he said. "I don’t question your caller’s computation about whether they can make money or not — that’s, I’m sure, if they say they can’t make money that that’s correct. But we are subsidizing it, and the reason we’re subsidizing it, quite candidly, is because we think it’s important for the safety of the kids and the safety of their families and the safety of the people who work there to have much smaller ratios, to have much smaller classrooms, fewer kids who are intermingling with each other each day.”

DeWine said his administration is ready to change its approach as needed. Officials need to see how the current plan plays out before deciding where to go from there.

“We are going to see how this works," he said. "We’re going to see if there are problems in people not being able to get childcare. We have committed to adjust as we move forward if in fact there are problems. We’ve got to see exactly where the market is, and exactly how things are going to work out. So I sympathize with your viewer, your caller, I understand they have to run a small business. But we have a responsibility to try to protect people and keep people safe.”

In Ohio, childcare facilities have been closed since March 26. They will be allowed to reopen on May 31 under these mandates.