WALNUT HILLS, Ohio (WKRC) - Unlike teachers and staff at K-12 schools, day care employees are still waiting for their turn to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Now, educators are wondering why they’re not on the list.
Doors have remained opened at Divine Daycare Center in Walnut Hills even when most of the would was shut down. Day cares were deemed essential last spring, so Janice Toussaint has been showing up to work, caring for first responders’ children every single week day.
“All this time schools remained closed and we remained open,” said Toussaint.
Because of Toussaint’s commitment, she feels let down that they are not priority for the vaccine.
“Well, the first thing I thought was how unfair that is,” said Toussaint.
On the other hand, both public and private schools that are K-12 are offering the vaccine to anyone they deem essential. Cincinnati Public Schools' teachers union pushed back, trying to delay in-person learning until vaccines have been fully distributed. Yet, teachers like Toussaint march into work without a vaccine option.
Dr. O’dell Owens, the CEO of Interact for Health and a part of the governor’s Minority Task Force, says he raised his hand a month ago to push for day care teachers to move up on the rollout list.
“We don't want to create a second-class citizen. I think we have done enough of that with preschool and child care,” said Dr. Owens.
Dr. Owens says the fact remains that there isn’t enough of the vaccine to go around. While preschool and day care teachers do not have a specific date they can receive the vaccine, that could change in the coming weeks.
“They’ve always looked at our profession as if we are just babysitters without recognizing we are true teachers,” Toussaint said.