Businesses react to new mask mandate for children

Published: Aug. 7, 2020 at 6:45 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Starting Monday, every childcare center and camp in Michigan will be requird to have every child of four wear a face mask while in indoor shared spaces.

Some businesses say they saw the change coming.

"It might be a little surprise especially to those centers that were closed during the summer or just do preschool. It it's going to be a little bit harder for them in the fall to come back to all of this and have to figure it out," said Chelsea Speers, Director of SonShine Early Childhood Center.

SonShine Early Childhood has been open since the pandemic hit Michigan in March and say they're embracing the change.

“It is a lot, but it’s, I mean we’re happy to do it,” said Speers.

”We started trying to align our Pre-K and Preschool with the school road map, which included that four-year-olds had to wear them in common spaces. So we figured LARA would be making the change so that the two would align and they did.”

They've already started making preparations.

“We’ve purchased lanyards that are breakaway so they’re not a strangulation that the kids will hook on their masks. Then when they take their masks off they can lay flat. Obviously, this isn’t ideal for the whole day because we know that they’re going to touch them so we have a system in place with baggies and Tupperware boxes for them to store their mask in,” said Speers.

TinkrLab has hosted camps for kids all summer. Owner Melissa Rabideau had the students wear masks they made with 3D printers and laser cutters. She says it’s not ideal but kids will adapt.

"It's not a personal opinion, it's how can we get the programming to the kids. Bottom line, our entire objective all throughout TinkrLab has been how do we get STEAM programming to kids. If them needing to wear masks is just one more component that we need to add in order to get this programming to these kids then that's what we're going to," said Rabideau.

Rabideau says she's already started planning for fall camps.

“This is unfortunately a new normal. Mandate aside, the fact that the kids are able to adapt is the really cool thing through all of this,” said Rabideau.

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