EUCLID, Ohio (WOIO) - Day care centers have finally reopened in Ohio this week after months of being closed because of Covid-19.
While a lot of parents are relieved, one Euclid mom said the new restrictions on day care have left her with no options for her special needs son.
“It affects his speech,” explained Marlana Kendricks. “It affects his motor skills, being able to feed himself, mobility there’s no cure for it, so we just do a lot of therapy.”
Osyah Todd has a rare genetic disorder. He is non-verbal so it wasn’t easy for his mom to find a day care to take care of him while she works as a teacher, but four years ago she found one at Early Achievers Enrichment Center in Euclid.
“The kids love him, the staff loves him, it’s really became like a second home and they’ve done so much for me, and it’s just gonna be really hard for me to find somebody that I trust with him not being able to speak up for himself,” explained Kendricks. “You really have to trust people to take care of your child when they can’t come and tell you mommy somebody did this, mommy somebody did that.”
When she found out the day care could no longer care for her son because of the Covid-19 restrictions, she was devastated.
“One of the restrictions they told me that would be really hard is children staying in their area,” Kendricks said. “He’s very active and he has no clue what’s going on right now, so to get him to just stay in one spot…he’s not staying in one spot right now.”
Another issue is capacity. A maximum of nine children are allowed at day cares under the new restrictions, which makes it difficult because her son needs a lot of one-on-one attention. “It made me just wanna fight harder,” the mom said. “So, I started posting on my social media. I started sending stuff to my family and my friends. I wrote a letter to the governor and the senator. I started asking people, ‘How do I get my voice heard?’ I started doing research and I found you.”
Bishop Thomas Owens is the senior pastor at the church the day care is run out of. He said their hands are tied because of these new rules. He thinks Gov. Mike DeWine needs to take action.
Kendricks wrote a letter to the governor, but so far, she hasn’t heard back. So, she is sharing her message now.