CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - South Carolina child care centers do not have to close during the COVID crisis, but can if they choose to.
"About 51% of all licensed child care facilities in South Carolina have chosen to close," said Director of SC Department of Social Services Michael Leach.
He said the agency is sharing information from DHEC and CDC to help daycares decide whether to stay open.
"People rely on childcare for employment and [so do] our first responders who are critical to making this work happen. We're just trying to provide proper guidance to make sure centers have enough information about the direction they're going."
DSS is keeping a list online for parents of closed centers.
Right now there are 308 child care centers closed in our local counties- more than a third of those (126) are in Charleston County.
Leach said, "We are continuing to look at temporary child care settings, and a few of them have been set up in the state to be able to help a lot of our first responders dealing with these situations. Some businesses have done that, some hospitals have done that, and are working with us in terms of emergency licensure."
Charleston County Schools and Roper St Francis Hospital set up a free daycare at the end of March to help while medical staff are working.