This article provided by Eye on Ohio, the nonprofit, nonpartisan Ohio Center for Journalism in partnership with the nonprofit newsroom, The Fuller Project. Please join Eye on Ohio’s free mailing list or the mailing list for the Fuller Project as this helps us provide more public service reporting. CHESAPEAKE, Ohio — The children at Stephanie Geneseo’s home-based child care center dart around in astronaut helmets while they battle green googly-eyed COVID alien germs, using play to learn about hand washing in a pandemic that shows no signs of letting up. “I want to make it fun so that it didn’t seem like something bad or weird to them,” Geneseo says. “We’ve done everything we can to make it as normal to their day as it could be,” she said in July after she reopened All Nestled Inn, her center in Chesapeake, Ohio.
The return to caring for children after a 10-week coronavirus shutdown was anything but normal for the 51-year-old, known as Mrs. Steffy to the families she serves.
Keeping her young charges healthy weighs on Geneseo as she works 18-hour days, watching children from early morning to midnight, to keep the business she spent 22 years building afloat.
Ohio, like many places across the country, didn’t have enough child care options before coronavirus struck.