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Kids Ages 3 And Older Must Wear Masks at Daycares, Preschools Starting Today

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There is a big change taking effect today for children at daycares and preschools across Connecticut.

Children ages 3 and up will now be required to cover their faces and wear masks.

It's an effort by the state to keep children safe, but it comes with its fair share of challenges.

Wearing a mask all day will be an adjustment for the children, but the director of the YWCA in Hartford said it is becoming the new normal.

“I think that people are underestimating children. Children are resilient," said YWCA of Hartford Director of Early Learning Jill Marini.

The YWCA has been preparing, knowing the guidance on children wearing masks could change.

Now all child care providers have to have a written policy for masks and must enforce it for children 3 years old and older.

The state will now require children age 3 and above to wear masks while at daycare or other childcare programs.

Exceptions will be made if a child has a documented medical condition, special health care need or developmental need.

The children will be able to remove their masks while eating, drinking or at recess, but must stay six feet apart from one another.

The Commissioner of the Office of Early Childhood said the state is requiring this now because of a new study showing young children could carry a heavy viral load of COVID-19.

The reaction from parents has been mixed.

"Some are like thank goodness you finally listened to the CDC and others are very angry saying, 'how could you put masks on my 3 year old?" said Office of Early Childhood Development Commissioner Beth Bye.

Last month, the CDC and the Academy of Pediatrics changed their recommendations for masks to be worn by children ages two and up.

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