While we understand the deep need for the return to the normal routine for many of our community children who enjoy the quality learning environment and comradery of licensed child care, we, 18 Degrees, the Berkshire Family YMCA and the Gladys Allen Brigham Community Center, will not be able to reopen on Monday, June 8. We have been operating Exempt Emergency Child Care Programs during this pandemic adhering to strict health and safety guidelines, and will continue to do so through the June 28 date the state had established. Understanding that the Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care (EEC) has issued Minimum Requirements for Health and Safety, which stipulate that we must generate and complete a plan, train our staff for those requirements, and obtain approval from the state to reopen under the new normal in child care. The EEC Commissioner estimated most programs will need approximately 3 weeks to complete this process. Depending on the state’s re-opening process, the earliest we might expect to be ready is the end of June. We operate some of the highest quality group child care in our city and we must be able to pivot in a way that meets or exceeds those minimum standards. This requires a thoughtful and extensive process where we engage in creating the new environment in which you will entrust us with your care of your most precious commodity, your children. We appreciate your patience and understanding during this time of transition toward reopening. We miss all our children, youth and families, and we want to allow you all to enter our doors once again, when our sites are approved and ready for the new normal.
Kelly Marion, CEO, Gladys Allen Brigham Community Center
Colleen Holmes, President and CEO, 18 Degrees
Jessica Rumlow, CEO & Executive Director Berkshire Family YMCA