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NY day care director fears for business as governor mandates masks for children as young as two

The director of a day care center slammed New York Governor Kathy Hochul on “Fox & Friends” on Tuesday for the child care mask mandate saying the policy is hurting her business as the future of many child care centers remains unknown. 

Michelle Smith, executive director of TLC Adventures in Child Care, expressed her frustration with the state mandating toddlers wear masks. 

“It doesn’t make sense. It’s very difficult to make a two-year-old comply and wear a mask … I think that there’s a compromise that we can come to at an age, possibly four years old, that understand this,” she told host Brian Kilmeade.

She also explained many parents have pulled their children from the facility and others are contemplating the same action if the policy does not change.

“I have many parents who have decided to withdraw from the facility in the interim, hoping that there’s a change in the government policy.”

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“I have some that are holding out, possibly for a week, and have notified me that if this continues with our two and three-year-olds, they will be withdrawing,” said Smith. 

“So it’s a lot of uncertainty for us as the business if we will succeed past a year. … Her mandates are hurting our business and I’m scared for what the future will bring,” she added.

Smith continued by explaining many parents are upset because “their parental rights have been taken” as their toddlers are forced to comply with the new policy. She said many children are becoming upset each day as they are forced to keep the mask on. 

“Most families need child care because they’re working families; they are very upset.”

“They understand that it’s not my policy, that it’s been forced upon us by the government agencies, but it’s being taken on myself, our owner, and many of my other staff that hear the parents yelling and screaming at us a lot,” said Smith. 

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Despite the fact almost two-thirds of New Yorkers are fully vaccinated and 70% have at least one dose of the vaccine, Smith highlighted their facilities’ successful strategy in adapting to the pandemic. 

“We have zero positivity rate contracted over the last 22 months through any of our day care facilities,” said Smith. 

Governor Hochul announced the policy last week, which became effective immediately, and requires all children ages two and up to mask up at day care facilities across the state. 

All staff members and visitors will also be required to wear a mask according to the mandate. 

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