Dear Child Care Provider:
On March 21, 2020, the St. Louis County Department of Public Health issued an order to ensure the maximum number of people remain in their residence, while enabling essential services to continue, to slow the spread of COVID-19 within St. Louis County.
The order allows businesses or independent child care providers to provide services to people who are necessary employees of Essential Businesses, provided they take reasonable actions to comply with Social Distancing Requirements and provided that:
- Child care must be carried out in stable groups of 12 or fewer (“stable” means the same 12 or fewer children are in the same group each day);
- Children shall not change from one group to another in the same day;
- If more than one group of children is cared for at one facility, each group must be in a separate room and groups will not mix with each other; and
- Child care providers must remain solely with one group of children in the same day.
For definitions of Essential Businesses and Social Distancing Requirements, the order can be found at https://stlouisco.com/portals/8/docs/document%20library/CountyExecutive/Executive%20Orders/Stay%20at%20Home%20Order.pdf
Based on this order, licensed child care providers cannot utilize the emergency school closing rule unless the care complies with the number and group size requirements outlined above. All staff/child ratios and group sizes required by licensing rules are still in place and must be complied with.
We realize this is a lot of information to understand. Simply put, any child care that is operated in St. Louis County beginning on Monday, March 23, 2020 must only care for the children of necessary staff of an Essential Business. Children of employees who are not necessary staff of an Essential Business should not be in care. This will help ensure child care is available for those staff who are necessary to operate emergency and health care entities.
If you have specific questions about what businesses are considered an Essential Business, or which employees are considered necessary, please contact the St. Louis County Department of Public Health. If you have questions about your child care program, you can contact your child care facility specialist.
Section for Child Care Regulation
3418 Knipp Drive, Suite F
P.O. Box 570
Jefferson City, MO 65109