June 24 - Updated Health Alert
COVID-19 Guidance for Child Care and Early Learning, School-Age Care, Youth Development Programs, and Summer Day Camps
Increase Group Sizes – Proceed with Caution
On June 19th the Washington State Department of Health (DOH) released updated guidance for child cares, youth development and summer day camps. Snohomish Health District updated our guidance document and FAQ for child cares as well. You can find the updated documents on our website.
One of the major changes in this update is the increase in group size. As Snohomish County progresses through the phased reopening, more people are heading back to work and thus the need for child care spots is increasing. The guidance has increased the total group size (children and staff) to a no more than 22 persons per group. Here are a few things to consider BEFORE you choose to increase your group sizes:
- Keeping group sizes as small as possible reduces the risk to children and staff by keeping the number of contacts low.
- With increases in group size, it is even more important to keep the groups completely separate. Do not combine children from different groups at any point during the day.
- Keep staff consistent. Avoid the use of float staff whenever possible. For example, it is better to have a group of 19 preschoolers and 3 staff to allow for breaks than to have 20 children and 2 staff and bring a float person into the room.
- If you must use float staff to provide breaks, make sure you read and follow the guidance carefully. See most recent updates Guidance for Child Care and Early Learning, School-Age Care, Youth Development Programs, and Summer Day Camps - (Updated June 24)
- Keep your room size in mind - - you still need to be able to physical distance within the room, allowing 6’ of space between persons as much as possible. Do not try to cram too many children into a small space and do not exceed the capacity a room is licensed for. Crowding increases the risk of virus transmission.
- Do not exceed licensing ratios. You still can only have a maximum of 8 infants in a group with 2 or 3 staff; 14 toddlers with 2 or 3 staff. If your room is only licensed for 7 toddlers, you cannot exceed this.
Face Coverings - Now Mandated
On Tuesday, June 23rd, Governor Inslee and Secretary of Health Wiesman announced that face coverings must be worn by all people age 5 and up while in any public indoor or outdoor space when they cannot stay 6’ away from others.Specifics include:
Who is exempt?
- All staff in child care settings must wear face covering as per the Labor and Industries face covering requirements.
- All children age 5 and up in child care, day camps, and other group care settings must wear face coverings.
- Face coverings are recommended for children ages 2 to 4 in child care or other group care settings.
- Family home child care providers must wear face coverings during child care hours.
- Children under the age of 2 should not wear face coverings
- Individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing, particularly while communicating
- Anyone with a documented medical condition that prevents them from wearing a face covering.
Refer to the following guidance documents for more details.
The Child Care Health Outreach Program is currently working to develop more detailed, practical guidance for staff and children regarding wearing face coverings. Please see our July Newsletter to be distributed next week for more information.
Please contact the Child Care Health Outreach Program
if you have any questions: