MUSKEGON, Mich. — Daycare centers across West Michigan are dealing with implementing new safety protocols after a new state mask mandate went into effect on Monday.
Children ages 2 to 4 are now required to mask up while in public spaces and spaces like daycare centers and learning centers. The mandates had previously only required children ages 5 and up to wear face masks.
Kids are also required to wear face masks while riding the school bus.
You can read the full updated mandate on the state's website.
Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced the expansion earlier this month in response to a spike in COVID-19 cases among kids.
FOX 17 stopped by Tina-Tots Daycare and Learning Center in Muskegon Monday afternoon to see how staff there was dealing with the updated mandates.
“As far as trying to follow the protocols of wearing face masks, especially with the little ones it has not been easy, it has not been easy at all,” said Tina Grissom, owner of Tina-Tots.
Grissom opened up Tina-Tots a little under 2 years ago, turning her passion for quality childcare into a viable business.
“I think the more we work together and we build as a community, we can help teach other people about the importance of keeping our children safe and making sure that they're all safe together,” she told FOX 17 Monday.
Luckily, Tina has found that face shields work best for her kids.
"They can see one another's faces, we can see when they smile, when they laugh," she explained.
“I think when you're hiding behind a mask, they don't know what you're saying, or they can't really feel your facial expressions."
She introduced the new face shields on Monday once the mandate went into effect.
“We talk about why we're wearing the mask, and how wearing the mask makes you feel."
Tina reminds her kids that the masks are only temporary, and meant to keep themselves and the people they love safe.
“It's not just a staff thing, it's a group thing, where we all work together, and we always talk about teamwork makes the dream work.”