Transportation and child care, including summer camps, are key pieces of the "infrastructure" necessary for Massachusetts to reopen its economy, Senate President Karen Spilka said.

Spilka said the COVID-19 crisis "has made it really clear just how important accessible, reliable, quality child care is for so many families across our commonwealth," and that she's asked the Senate's COVID-19 working group, led by Northampton Sen. Jo Comerford, to make recommendations around child care.

"I think we can fight for, hopefully, some federal funds to help our economic recovery, public private partnerships with our business community, because I just don't think it's realistic at all to expect people to be able to go back to work without giving them a timeline for day cares, and for that matter summer camps," Spilka told the News Service.

Day cares in Massachusetts are closed until at least June 29, under an order from Gov. Charlie Baker, and Spilka said many summer camps -- both municipal day camps and sleep-away programs -- start at the end of June and need to know if they will be allowed to open this season so they can recruit staff and prepare to implement any new guidance.

As part of an economic reopening agenda released this week, the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce called for the state to aim to reopen child care centers by June 1 and plan for alternatives, "including resources for older children who would have participated in camps, summer school, or other activities."

Connecticut officials have announced that summer camps there will be permitted to open effective June 29, and plan to soon release public health guidance the camps must follow. - Katie Lannan/SHNS | 5/8/20 11:13 AM