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What will child care look like when it reopens in Kentucky?

'There will very likely be places that just don’t reopen, they just don’t come back.'

LOUISVILLE, Ky. —

When will child care centers reopen and what will they look like? Those are the questions parents, kids and child care centers around the state have been asking over the past couple of months. 

“It’s exhausting mentally it’s exhausting physically," said Laura McDonald, who said she's eager for childcare centers to reopen, but skeptical about the timeline. 

With three kids and a job running her own marketing business from her home in Georgetown, McDonald said she has her hands full. She said Zoom calls have become slightly embarrassing. 

“And in the middle of the call a pool noodle came into the screen and hit me on the head," McDonald said. Her 2-year-old son, Bennett, wanted her attention.

It’s a struggle parents around the country can relate to after child care centers in Kentucky closed March 20 to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

“I’m typically up no later that 5 in the morning and I work until about 11 or 11:30 at night,” she said.

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear has said child care centers would have the opportunity to reopen on June 15. On Tuesday, he said they will provide guidance by the end of the week.

“And I think they’re really concerned with the reopening process," said Bradley Stevenson, executive director of Child Care Council of Kentucky. 

Cori Gadansky, who heads a nonprofit helping parents find child care, said the industry won’t be anything like it was. 

“We fully anticipate reduced capacity and group size," Gadansky said.

Of about 2,200 child care centers around the state, she expects facilities that receive state subsidies, catering to parents with lower incomes, will have the ability to open first.

“And there will very likely be places that just don’t reopen, they just don’t come back," she said. 

Gadansky said there could be a silver lining: child care centers will be forced to adapt and innovate. Others in the industry said they hope state and federal funding will help child care centers operate, and help parents with the expense.

The governor is expected to give more information on child care centers reopening Thursday, May 21.

RELATED: Kentucky child care facilities scheduled to open June 15 as owners await guidelines

RELATED: 'Where are these children gonna go?' | Day cares not included in Kentucky's first re-opening phase

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