ADHR: 14 percent of licensed Alabama day cares open with restrictions


ABC 3340

By Lauren Walsh / ABC3340

Alabama day care facilities are allowed to open with limited capacity.

Right now, just fourteen percent of licensed facilities in this state are caring for children. That’s 353 facilities, according to the Alabama Department of Human Resources.

Brian Riddle’s is one of many parents adjusting to a new normal. His preschool is closed. All four children are home.

“It’s driving me crazy sometimes to be honest with you but I’d say at the same time it’s a good opportunity to have more time with them than I otherwise would,” said Riddle.

His family is able to balance work with childcare, but many others are counting on their day cares to reopen.

Grace Community School in Pelham re-opened this week, following the state guideline of no more than 11 children to a room.

“Lots of disinfecting- We’ve done some stuff to the air system and just a lot of wiping down,” explained Nate Wells, owner of Grace Community School.

Wells says safety is the priority.

“We’ve been checking temperatures and also looking for any symptoms at all,” said Wells. “If we see the symptoms we would call the parent and they would have to pick them up and the only way to return is with a doctors note clearing them to come back.”

His facility did not charge families while it was closed.

With 20 students in the school now, he questions the ability for small attendance to pay the bills.

The school’s selling snow cones on Saturday to raise money.

“It will become more of a strain as weeks go by if we’re still under restriction and of we don’t pick up out numbers,” Wells said.

With capacity restrictions, some facilities will face hard choices on which students to allow back.

Wells has a second location ready to open if all his families return.

“What we’re hoping is that restrictions would be lifted on classroom sizes and obviously we hope pray for low numbers with the virus,” Wells said.

We asked the Alabama Department of Public Health when it expects to reevaluate the capacity restrictions. We’re told guidance will be updated when the CDC makes changes.