Some Shuttered Classrooms Will Reopen for Child Care This Fall

While many K-12 campuses are closed to students this fall, some are open to another cohort — children in daycare.

EdSource’s Zaidee Stavely breaks down the strange dichotomy, where some children in child care will find themselves in the same classrooms students are banned from entering.

“Child care licensing standards distinguish those programs from schools,” California Department of Public Health staff told Stavely in an email. “Additionally, child care is in smaller groups and cohorts, and typically brings together fewer families and children per site on average compared to schools.”

But CDPH could not say whether one setting (school or child care) was safer than the other.

One major difference is the people providing that care. Teachers are unionized. Until recently, daycare providers were not. Teachers unions have been stalwart in their efforts to prevent a rush to reopen schools. 

Prioritization is also a factor. The programs taking place on school campuses tend to prioritize low-income children and children of essential workers, such as health care personnel and first responders.

The difference remains a tough pill to swallow for those who eagerly want campuses to reopen. They see the contradiction as confirmation that school closures are more about politics and labor union wish lists than safety.

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