“I grew up here in Warrenville. I’m four blocks from my home. My parents were teenagers when I was born. I shouldn’t have made it where I am today. I grew up in a happy home, but I understand not having a lot.

“Growing up, I always wanted 12 children. My home ec teacher told me, ‘You’ll never make it in college, your grades aren’t good enough.’

“When I opened my child care center, I had two of my own children at that point. My first license only allowed me to care for eight kids, but my client base grew pretty quickly. To get the next level up license, I needed a degree. No one in my family ever went to college.

“When I graduated high school, my dad told me my husband would always take care of me, I didn’t need an education. I’ve always resented my dad saying that. I never felt like that. I always felt like I could stand on my own two feet. I wanted to have my own business, like my dad did.

“So, I ended up going back to school and got my degree. I went to school every other weekend just to graduate with my associate’s. I was the first person in my family to have an associate’s degree. Then when I went on for my four-year degree, I did it for myself. I wanted to prove to myself I could do it and give that example to my kids. My daughter is a BSN and my other daughter is in college for her teaching degree. My third daughter has an associate’s in psychology.

“Since getting that next level up state license, I have up to 12 kids with me at any time. I have an assistant who works with me.

“Some of my most fascinating moments working with kids happen outside. Once I took the kids outside to see an anthill in my yard. I told them the bugs were called ants and we got books out and read about them. They asked what ants eat, so we got paper plates and put out different foods. We watched the ants come onto the paper plates and take the food back into their anthill. Within an hour, all of the food was gone. The kids watched that firsthand and were fascinated. We had syrup and cheese and crackers and cut-up hotdogs. The last thing the ants took in was the hotdogs. We talked about how the ants all worked together and how important it is to work together to achieve a greater goal. Kids are amazing.

“Now things are a lot different.

“My center is family child care. The governor took and suspended all of our licenses throughout the state. No one is working on their normal license. Those of us working right now were given an essential workers license, meaning any child you care for has to be the child of an essential worker. Right now, I’m only allowed to have six children, period.

“I’ve written all over the place to try to get an answer to ‘Why did you take my license?’ I’ve maintained that license for 30 years.

“My safety procedures are exactly what the state is mandating. I feel like we’re really all taking a risk. In DuPage County, we’ve not been hit like Chicago has. So I have to ask, why has Pritzker lumped us in with Chicago?

“When Phase 4 comes, there will be a whole new set of rules and regulations we’ll have to abide by. I’ve heard one of those rules is everyone has to wear a mask. It is crazy to expect children to keep a mask on all day.

“I’m not in agreement with how long this is taking at all. We hear it will be between 9-15 more months under Pritzker’s rules. Our state can’t handle this.

“Most centers do not have more than two weeks of backup funding. I would not be surprised to see multiple closings.

“I do feel based upon things I’m seeing that Pritzker is making us more afraid as a society. He’s saying that staying inside is healthy for us when it’s not. The CDC is not saying that. Why is he making us fear to step outside our homes when we’re probably safest in the sunlight?”

Jan Munday
Owner, Weekdays at Munday’s day care
Warrenville, Illinois