Update for CORVID-19

March 24, 2020

 Joint Guidance for Emergency Child Care during Statewide School Closure

Virginia Department of Social Services & Virginia Department of Education

Updated March 23, 2020


The Governor, recognizing the significant impact of that school closures have had on families across the Commonwealth, simultaneously, called on communities to provide emergency childcare to young children and school-aged children of essential personnel during this unprecedented pandemic. Within the healthcare industry alone, this includes approximately 80,000 children under age 12 in Virginia.


Existing Child Care Providers in Centers and Family Day Homes:

Existing childcare providers operating in the Commonwealth will continue to play an immensely important role in providing quality care for families during this uncertain time. Childcare providers themselves, whether in childcare centers or family day homes, are essential personnel and are experts in providing safe, healthy and supportive environments to young children including during times of crisis.

 

New guidelines have been issued by the Department of Social Services regarding childcare settings. The following is a synopsis.

·       Staff and providers of childcare and education services (including custodial and kitchen staff and other support staff) are defined as essential personnel.

·       No more than 8 children may be in a group with two staff members

·       Groups should be broken into two smaller groups (1 staff member, 4 children)

·       Keep the same small group of children together throughout the day and maintain the same groups from day to day

·       Physically rearrange the room to promote individual play

·       Plan activities that do not require close physical contact between children – set up individual play stations

·       To increase distance between children, only allow four children per table

·       No water or sensory play

·       Increase outside time and open windows if possible

·       Washing hands for at least 20 seconds and sanitizing surfaces are the most important things we can do now

·       We are sanitizing toys and equipment twice a day. Touch points are sanitized throughout the day

·       Large rooms may be divided into two rooms

·    Children are to eat in their individual groups, keeping at least six feet of space between groups

·       Eliminate family style meals, have staff handle utensils and serve food to reduce the spread of germs

·       Explain for a child’s understanding: “social distancing” and “physical boundaries” and “personal boundaries.”

·       Advise children, families, and staff to avoid touching their eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. Cover coughs or sneezes with a tissue, discard tissue and wash your hands for 20 seconds

·       Take temperatures and check symptoms for staff and children upon entry each day. Ask parents if medications were used to lower the child’s temperature and if there are any household members with COVID-19

·       Symptoms of COVID-19 include, but are not limited to, a fever of 100.4 or higher, cough, or shortness of breath, body aches

·       Pens should not be shared. Frequently clean screens and keyboards

·       Restrict outside visitors (Dance class is now by Skype. Soccer Shots and class pictures have been postponed.)

·       VDSS (Virginia Department of Social Services) recommends that childcare programs follow the guidance of the CDC, VDH, and Federal and State officials if children, staff, or parents develop COVID-19 symptoms

·       Facilities with a confirmed case of COVID-19 among their population should close at least temporarily (e. g. for 14 days or the duration advised by local health officials.)

 

Food resources for children under 18 years old can be found by texting FOOD or COMID to 877-877. You can also contact 211 or https://schoolmealfinder.hoonuit.com/

 

We give thanks each day for the true concern and support our families are showing staff
during this difficult time as we endeavor to stay open to serve our first responder families and others in the community.

 

Thank you,
April Cruz-Webb

Teddy Bear Day Care and Preschool
Director of Operations