Court of appeals judge strikes down Gov. Beshear’s order limiting size of child care center classrooms

Court of appeals judge strikes down Gov. Beshear’s order limiting size of child care center classrooms

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Child care centers across Kentucky can now have larger class sizes after a judge upheld a ruling challenging Governor Andy Beshear’s orders. The limit has expanded from 10 previously to 28.

Some centers like Our Angels Childcare Center will continue to limit how many children they care for at once despite the ruling.

“You cannot keep 28 kids safe in an environment like that, so I think with less numbers it will keep them safe,” Deve Collins Frias, the owner of Our Angels Childcare Center, said.

Frias has followed the strict guidelines put in place for child care centers by the state for the past month. Some of the rules include regularly checking the children’s and employees’ temperatures, sanitizing high-touch areas and ensuring everyone washes their hands. Frias also put up dividers between the classrooms.

“It’s a lot of extra work, but some of the things we were doing anyway.” Frias said.

Steve Magre, Executive Director of Child Care Advocates of Kentucky, is on the other side of the argument. He told WAVE 3 News that some of the state’s strict regulations have put centers out of business.

“We’re really concerned that if we stay on this more than rocky road, that’s looking more like a narrow road, we won’t have the centers, and even more so, we won’t know where these children are.” Magre said. “We know they’re not going to be in situations where they’re getting rest, they’re getting a good diet.”

Magre said child care centers are the backbone of the economy; without them, parents cannot go back to the office. He hopes the state will loosen some of its regulations and trust child care centers’ directors to ensure the health and safety of the children. At the same time he agrees the centers should continue to limit classroom sizes to 10 for the children’s sake.

“I think it would be premature for child care centers to go ahead and say well there’s a ruling and I’m going to follow that lower court ruling and go for it, because what happens if it gets reversed?” Magre said. “What parent are you going to go to, or what child are you going to dismiss from being ones that you serve for the next month or six weeks?”

Governor Andy Beshear plans to file another appeal with the Kentucky Supreme Court.

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