KSDE: Child care updates for superintendents and early childhood administrators in schoolsScott Rothschild
Child care professionals provide a critical service in our state. They allow parents who are doctors, nurses, police officers, firefighters, grocery store staff, and more to respond to this pandemic.
Yesterday the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) shared the press release: Guidance for Supporting Families in Accessing Healthy and Safe Child Care During the COVID-19 Outbreak posted under “Updates” at https://govstatus.egov.com/coronavirus. KDHE is recommending continuity of operations for licensed child care facilities at this time (centers, preschools, day care homes and school age programs). However, depending on the unique and changing situations of each community, local public health officers may implement more restrictive guidance and provisions for child care facilities, up to and including closure within their authority and jurisdiction.
FAQs and guidance regarding child care operations during the pandemic are available at the KDHE COVID-19 Resource Center website include guidance regarding licensed child care facilities located in schools.
Options for families in need of child care
- Child Care Aware of Kansas provides assistance to families searching for licensed child care. They can be reached toll free at 877.678.2548.
- KDHE has an online information system that serves as a tool to support families in making informed child care choices and can be used to review compliance history of a current licensed provider.
- Families that need flexible options or irregular care might consider having someone come into the home. Relatives, older siblings, and friends or neighbors currently not working due to COVID-19 related business closures might be available to help.
- Other options for families that need limited care include informal care arranged between friends/neighbors on an irregular basis or someone to provide care in their own home for no more than two children for not more than 20 hours week. None of these options require a license from KDHE.
What schools can do to support child care
- Connect with local child care providers to determine their needs. Many child care providers are reporting problems accessing soap, cleaning supplies, and food – districts may be able to help provide and deliver supplies so that community child care providers can remain open.
- Schools may be able to help connect high school students or staff members to families seeking irregular or informal care options