Hundreds of child care centers across South Carolina starting to reopen
54% of all child care facilities in South Carolina are open
COLUMBIA, S.C. (WOLO) —As the state slowly starts to reopen, more child care centers across the state are starting to open back up to children.
The South Carolina Department of Social Services (DSS) says about 1,300 facilities (54% of all child care centers in the state) are open again.
When the coronavirus pandemic first hit South Carolina, nearly 1,300 child care centers closed their doors.
Child psychologist Dr. Betsy Grier says this along with schools closing has been especially hard for kids to handle.
“There’s a lot of extra anxiety, and then some days, you might be overwhelmed, you might not have any energy, you might be kinda ‘blah’, that’s kind of the depression/detachment phase of having that loss,” Dr. Grier said.
As educators go back-and-forth to determine how to safely reopen schools in the fall, over a hundred child care centers have already unlocked their doors.
Governor Henry McMaster (R-SC) never issued an order calling for these facilities to be closed, but some chose to in order to prevent any possible spread of the virus.
“Child care is a necessity for families and the education, the preschool education, the child care centers, that socio-emotional learning being around other children is as important as the grades that follow,” said Michael Leach, DSS Director.
DSS and the state’s Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) have teamed up to create safety guidelines these centers will need to follow in order to reopen.
Some DSS staff members even personally delivered personal protective equipment to child care centers earlier this week.
As more centers dabble with reopening, Leach says South Carolina needs more facilities to help foster future economic success.
“The state’s ability to reopen its economy is really dependent on the availability of child care, just as child care is dependent upon parents needing to go to work and we want to work with our partners to see what their needs are so that they can reopen,” Leach said.
According to South Carolina Child Care Services, there are 100 facilities open in Richland County and more than 80 are open in Lexington County.
For a full list of facilities open in South Carolina, click here.