“It’s going to take some time but I think the silver lining out of all this is we’re going to have a more urgent discussion at the state level about how to make that happen,” he said.
The group was announced days after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention posted long-awaited public health guidance for schools and other public spaces and services, including summer camp providers.
Those providers have started going through the 60-page manual and are noticing things that may be difficult to comply with, said Katie Landes, director of the Georgia Statewide Afterschool Network. For instance, hand sanitizer, a crucial element of any reopening plan, is in short supply, noted Landes, who was appointed to the restart working group that is focused on supplemental learning. Some operators told her their facilities may be too small to stagger child drop off and pickup times, she said. Perhaps the most daunting challenge: hiring staff and doing the requisite backgrounding although some fingerprinting facilities are closed.
Schools may face similar challenges.
Landes predicted that child care will be a crucial component of any school reopening plan that does not involve a full return to classrooms. She hopes school districts will include local providers in their own local reopening advisory groups to coordinate services for parents: “If young people aren’t going to be in the school building, where are they going to be?”