WINGHAM, ONT. -- A group of in-home child care providers, independently contracted through Huron County, are worried about bringing children into their homes.

“I have chosen not to have children in my home because I feel my home is the sanctuary for my children at this time,” says Tanya Scruton, who is not accepting children during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Although child care has been deemed an essential service in Ontario, many home providers feel they’re not equipped to provide safe care for children.

“The recommendation is that each child would have their own space clearly marked and than any soft equipment, including couches and carpets not be accessible to children. You just can’t do that in a home setting,” says Scruton.

While some home daycares have remained open, they’re doing so out of obligation, believes Scruton.

Many home child care providers are calling for Huron County to create one facility to provide child care for only front-line essential workers.

Home child care providers could then work out of that facility.

Kathleen Greer-Armour is a home child care provider, who has also shut down her home to visiting children during COVID-19.

“I think especially for the front-line workers that’s what’s needed. Then we can be screening if they’re an essential service worker or not. Then we’re making sure we’re providing careto  those front-line workers and they’re getting the priority,” says Greer-Armour.

Scruton and Greer-Armour are also worried whether they will qualify for government assistance, since they “voluntarily” closed their homes to children.