CAPITAL REGION, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Parents are welcoming the news from the state saying little ones will not have to wear a mask in childcare after all.
The NYS OCFS and DOH announced on Monday they have revised the guidance allowing childcare providers to encourage, not require, children aged 2-5 to wear masks, effective immediately. Both agencies understand how difficult it is to require young children to wear masks.
For 4-year-old Harrison Fuller, he is ready to say goodbye to his mask.
“It’s been a year and a half. I feel like it would be a nice change to let them let go of the mask,” said Jessica Fuller, Owner of the Hot Yoga Spot.
Harrison’s mom Jessica says she feels safe to her son take his mask off and interact with others.
“You really have to wonder does the potential benefit of wearing a mask outweigh the cons of not having those genuine interactions and reading facial expressions,” said Fuller.
“They look at our lips. They are learning from our mouths, and they can’t do that if we have masks on. Plus, these things are hot. If it’s hot for us as adults, it’s hot for them as kids,” said Latriena Bryant, Head Teacher for toddler room at Mrs. Marva’s Childcare Academy.
Bryant, a teacher at Mrs. Marva’s Childcare Academy in Albany, says she is ready to engage with her toddlers again.
“Let it be on us to keep the mask on our face and to do our part to make sure the young ones are safe,” said Bryant.
Dr. James Saperstone from Community Care Pediatrics agrees with the new guidance for young children.
“If you’re in a safe area, you’re careful and you socially distance, and if daycare and summer camps are careful, then the kids should be fine,” said Dr. Saperstone.
From counting numbers, to playing with dinosaurs, and being outside, both moms say it’s time to let their kids masks go.
As more families are returning to work, New York State is investing federal funds in stabilizing the industry and expanding child care programs throughout the state, especially in underserved areas.