Now more than ever, it is clear that child care is an essential part of our communities. As a result, operating your child care program in the time of COVID-19 can be fraught with tension. Programs must balance the need to serve and support families, as the pandemic causes financial strain for many programs, with the realities of what is required to keep caregivers, families and neighbors healthy and safe. Getting back to day-to-day operations should only be considered if programs have everything they need to implement the newly required guidance on how to slow and stop the spread of COVID-19.
To this end, last month Kids Win Missouri convened a group of statewide partners to discuss and prepare a guide of operational considerations and guidance for child care programs. Under the leadership of our partners at Mid-America Regional Council, the group produced the Preparedness and Planning for Child Care Programs guide. Other contributing partners include Child Care Aware of Missouri, Community Partnership of the Ozarks, the Family Conservancy, the Missouri AfterSchool Network, Southside Early Childhood Center, and United4Children.
This guide will help programs assess their ability to reopen during the first phase of local and state governments lifting stay-at-home orders. During this stressful and unprecedented time, this guide is meant to provide a roadmap for child care programs during this reopening phase. No single strategy is going to support the public health needs of the workforce, children and families. Instead, several practices need to be put in place that take the unique aspects of your program into consideration. It is our hope that this guide will be helpful as it brings together information from state and local health departments, state licensing departments, Caring for Our Children standards, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommendations and the American Academy of Pediatrics into one document. On Thursday night at 7 PM, the group will host a webinar to walk through the guide and answer questions that programs have. We realize this may not apply to everyone on our list, but please share this information with others who you think may benefit from it.
We’d like to thank all of our partners for their leadership and expertise in creating this guide, especially Jovanna Rohs with Mid-America Regional Council for spearheading this project.
We’re all in this together!
Director of Outreach and Engagement