WFIS is concerned that the childcare guidance given by the Department of Health (DOH) is virtually unattainable for early learning programs to stay or reopen. Granted, this GUIDANCE by the DOH is just that, guidance not a mandate or rule. However, we aren’t sure whether not following the guidance would leave a school liable should anyone get sick. This is a question for insurance providers and lawyers. WFIS is working with our partners at the Department of Children, Youth and Families, and the DOH to suggest safety measures that fit early education.
Here are some highlights of the guidance to think about:
- Limit rooms to 10 occupants, children and staff included. Don’t mix groups of 10 people for any reason. Do your best to keep groups the same each day.
- Stagger things as much as possible. This includes outside play, eating, and drop-off and pick-up.
- Check-in procedures: staff should wear gloves during screening. Children’s temperature should be taken every day, either before they come to the school or by the parent/guardian when they arrive. In the absence of a thermometer from the parent/guardian, staff should provide a clean thermometer and check the child’s temperature by reaching around a protective barrier. Staff should ask questions about child and family health.
- Clean and sanitize hands-on materials often and after each use. Remove toys and materials that are hard to clean.
- Staff and older children should wear cloth face coverings if possible. Staff who need to hold toddlers and infants should wear long-sleeved, oversized outerwear when holding children and remove any clothes (staff or child’s) that get bodily fluids on it. Staff should was their hands and any other place the infant/toddler touched them while being held.
For the full Department of Health Guidance on Childcare, go here: https://www.doh.wa.gov/Emergencies/NovelCoronavirusOutbreak2020COVID19/ChildCare