Dear Governor Lamont,
Connecticut's childcare sector performs an essential service. It cares for children so parents can work. Our families, and our entire economy depend on this system. We are writing because many of us have remained open while schools were closed or temporarily switched to distance learning. Unlike k-12 schools, we are required to maintain rigid staff to child ratios to assure child safety. Recently, as infection rates have ticked up, more of us have had staff out because they have either tested positive themselves or had quarantine due to an exposure to someone who tested positive. Losing staff to illness or quarantine challenges our ability to maintain the ratios necessary to remain open so that parents can continue working.
We are writing to request that all child care providers, including staff at child care centers, home-based family child care providers and camp counselors be put into the 2nd priority group for vaccinations along with other essential workers like public school teachers. We work with very young children who need more assistance with eating and toileting, so our work puts us in closer contact with children than public school teachers. Additionally, children under 2 cannot wear masks, creating another level of vulnerability for everyone involved. We ask that you not forget us as you plan the priority groups to receive vaccinations in the first phase when the vaccine is still in limited supply.