Childcare centers to continue rendering services

By John McPhaul

Island childcare centers will continue to operate with strict unaltered health and safety measures, guaranteeing essential services to working families and offering appropriate spaces for minors, government officials announced over the weekend.

After the disclosure of Executive Order 2021-027, La Fortaleza Chief of Staff Noelia García Bardales said “the care centers will be able to continue operating as usual.”

“The 30% occupancy established in the current Executive Order does not apply to the occupancy [rate] of children in the centers,” she said. “The centers are governed by the protocols established by the Department of the Family, together with the Department of Health, which have been in force since the care centers began to operate. They have been effective and, therefore, will continue unchanged.”

Likewise, the Family Secretary Carmen Ana González Magaz asserted that the new executive order mentions the care centers in an informative way meant to reinforce precautionary measures, not to increase restrictions.

“The care centers continue to offer services to minors, reinforcing their health and safety measures,” González Magaz said. “This is an essential service, particularly for those parents who keep working outside the home, such as first responders.”

Meanwhile, the head of the Administration for the Care and Comprehensive Development of Children, Roberto Carlos Pagán, said that to date the centers have operated safely and have provided services without interruption since last August.

“In eight months of operations there has been no outbreak in a care center,” he said. “The establishments and their operators have been very disciplined observing the established measures. Our commitment is to continue collaborating with the centers to facilitate their operation and services.”

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