New rules for Wisconsin daycares ordered by Gov. Evers could shut some down

Posted at 10:09 PM, Mar 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-18 23:23:04-04

MILWAUKEE — New rules go into effect that could have some daycare centers in Milwaukee and across Wisconsin shutting down. Governor Tony Evers signed an order limiting the number of children and workers that can be at daycares. The governor says the open daycares should give priority to families of healthcare workers and first responders.

Natasha Velez is like a lot of families right now. The Wauwatosa mom is home with her kids. She was still sending her two boys to daycare until just a few days ago. But even before the governor's order to limit the number of children, their family decided to give up their kids' spots.

Natasha Velez, her two sons and her husband

"Basically, in one day we decided like, no, we need to prioritize the doctors and the families that can't work from home," said Velez.

Natasha's daycare is right across from Froedert and the Medical College of Wisconsin and Children's Hospitals. She said her daycare is filled with medical worker's families.

The governor's order says daycares can only have ten staff members and a maximum of 50 children.

"If they can stay under that, then they can remain open as long as they practice social distancing in the child care center as well as the hygienic practices to prevent the spread of disease and monitoring for fever for staff and for children," said Jeanette Kowalik, Milwaukee Health Commissioner.

Natasha and her family are doing what the governor has asked, leaving spaces in daycares for the first responders and medical community.

"We were really conscious that we were part of the solution," said Velez.

The governor's order said if a daycare cannot comply with the new rules, then they have to close by 8 a.m. Thursday.

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