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Parents pulling kids from daycare as New York’s mask mandate is imposed again

Daycare facilities across the state say parents are pulling their children out now that masks are required.

This week Governor Kathy Hochul announced that masks would be required at all childcare facilities for kids 2 and older.

Jackie Ranzenbach recently spoke with 13WHAM-TV. Her son attends TLC Adventures. When New York State resumed the mask mandate at facilities like TLC she was concerned.

“It falls off of him. He says he can’t breathe. It’s very concerning, and he doesn’t understand what’s going on,” she explained. “He already does have asthma on top of it. So to get him to wear a mask all day long, him running around breathing issues. It’s just not OK.”

Those concerns don’t stop with parents. Michelle Smith is executive director at TLC. As it turns out — keeping masks on 2- and 3-year-olds is difficult work and has added to staff stress.

“I had several children come in in tears today. I have had to several families come in in tears,” Smith added to 13WHAM-TV. “To be following a 2-year-old around to ask 110 times a day to please put your mask on your face is just sometimes the straw that breaks the camel’s back.”

For facilities like TLC — Smith says there are several families considering immediate withdrawal from daycare. “As of Monday it could go up to 20 or 30 which is a concern for our business. I’m scare to lose the business that our owner worked very hard for to establish. I’m scared to lose my families. I don’t know what the future holds,” she added.

Daycares have struggled throughout the pandemic — and the new mask mandate from the state could force more families to choose unlicensed facilities or nannies instead of licensed daycare providers. It could further cripple the struggling industry.