As Mass. Parents Return to Work, Non-Emergency Day Care Centers Remain Closed

Massachusetts officials say existing emergency child care facilities are only at 35% of their capacity of 10,000 kids, but as more industries begin to reopen, new questions are being raised

NBC Universal, Inc.

As businesses begin to reopen in Massachusetts, parents heading back to work will have to plan around non-emergency day care centers remaining closed.

Child care facilities in the state that are not designated as emergency centers cannot reopen until June 27, but other businesses are already starting to get back up and running.

With child care slated to resume at the end of June, daycare centers are struggling to keep up with demand as businesses begin to reopen and parents return to work.

Linda Hassapis is trying to help families where she can, opening three of her six child care centers as emergency centers — locations approved by the state to care for children of essential workers.

"As of next week, we'll be completely full," she said.

But the rest of her locations have to stay closed.

"Why is it that we are not phase 1?" Hassapis asked. "We can't keep up with the demand, especially now that phase 1 is starting to reopen."

State leaders said Monday that existing emergency centers have space for 10,000 kids and are currently only at 35% capacity.

As parents get back to work, some are wondering what they will do with their kids with day care centers closed.

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said Tuesday there should be enough to meet the immediate demand, but that moving forward, care might have to be expanded.

"City Hall, our child care facility shut down," Walsh said. "As we think about reopening City Hall, we have couples that work in City Hall that have children. So we would have to think about, 'How do we get the ability to reopen our child care center here at City Hall?'"

From government workers to others in communities around the state, the service is crucial for families as they prepare to return to work.

"I definitely am concerned that there's not going to be enough care, that centers aren't going to be prepared," Hassapis said.

Walsh said it's possible that officials will move up the date to reopen child care centers if capacity is an issue."

Contact Us