Updated Guidance about COVID-19 for
Child Care and Early Learning, School-Age and Youth Development Programs, and Summer Day Camps
Over the weekend, the Washington State Department of Health updated their guidance for Child Care, Youth Development, and Summer Day Camp Programs during the COVID-19 Outbreak. In turn, Snohomish Health District has updated its guidance to remain in line with the state. The document can be found on our website:
COVID-19 Guidance for Child Care and Early Learning, School-Age Care, Youth Development Programs, and Summer Day Camps
Please review this document carefully, paying particular attention to the updated sections.
A few highlights of the updates include:
GROUP SIZE – Group size is increased at this time to no more than 22 individuals per group including children and staff (such as 3 staff and 19 children). With this increase in group size it becomes even more important that you:
STAFF BREAKS –
- keep staff and children in each group consistent during the day and from day to day;
- do not combine children or youth from different groups at any time during the day;
- avoid bringing other staff into the group space as much as possible. If a float staff person must be used, they must follow the guidance in this document;
- do not crowd children and staff in indoor spaces. The space must be large enough to accommodate the group;
- follow licensing regulations – for example, you must maintain ratios and group sizes for infants and toddlers and keep within the occupancy for which a classroom was licensed.
Especially now that the group size has been increased, keeping the people in each group the same throughout the day is very important. It is best if the staff-to-child ratio allows for one staff member to take a break without having to bring another individual into the small group space. For example, in a toddler room with 7 children and 2 staff or 14 children and 3 staff, one staff could take a break and the group would remain in ratio. If a break staff person must be used, read through the guidance document for precautions. CLOTH FACE COVERINGS –
Cloth face coverings must be worn by all staff members per the Governor’s directive and the Department of Labor and Industries safety and health rules. You can find more information on the Department of Labor and Industries website:OUTDOOR PLAY STRUCTURES –
The restriction on the use of outdoor play structures has been removed from the CDC and Washington State DOH guidance. If resuming the use of outdoor play structures:
- Allow only one group to use the structure at a time
- Minimize the number of children on the structure to allow adequate physical distancing
- Ensure children wash hands thoroughly after outdoor play
Finally, here is a poster from the CDC that you may wish to use with your child care.
Stop the Spread of Germs poster from CDC
FREE 1 hour In-service Training (formerly called STARS Credit)
COVID-19 Class for Child Care Providers in WA State
This new in-service training (STARS training) is intended to be a one-stop-shop for COVID-19 including background information, what the science tells us about its spread and how to control it, and specific guidelines for limiting exposure in out-of-home settings including child care and preschool centers, family home child care and school-age care programs. It will also provide the most updated guidance for engaging in all the regular daily activities children do in child care while practicing physical distancing and sanitation including physical activities, games and play, and gardening activities. More than ever, it is important for children's mental and emotional health to have a stable, familiar and safe place to be while parents and caregivers are at work. Child care remains a critical place for children to thrive, grow, and develop.
How to sign up for the FREE COVID 19 Training:
Along with all of our trainings, this class is now available on our website: SHD Child Care Learning Portal. This course is being offered for a limited time at no cost as a public health service to the child care community of Washington State and offers 1 In-Service hour (1.0 STARS credit) to everyone. Log in and select Course Catalog. Scroll down until you see the familiar COVID-19 image.
Please contact the Child Care Health Outreach Program
if you have any questions: