New COVID-19 safety requirements in effect for child care providers

Mask requirements change for children.
Mask requirements change for children.(WBKO)
Published: Dec. 23, 2020 at 9:08 AM CST
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WBKO) - New COVID-19 requirements are in effect for Kentucky child care providers.

CHFS Secretary Eric Friedlander said many of the changes are a result of several public comments and discussions:

“These changes reflect our commitment to listening to the needs of providers and parents as we all continue to balance financial needs with protecting the health and safety of children, families and staff,” he said. “This pandemic has only emphasized the critical role that child care providers play in our economic and community infrastructure. Child care is a bridge for many parents – and the providers themselves – to navigate a successful career or track to complete their education.”

The new regulation updates criteria for children’s mask wearing, including exemptions in accordance with DPH’s face covering regulations.

DCBS Division of Child Care Director Sarah Vanover said two guidelines stay the same: Children under age 2 do not wear masks, and children in first grade and older do wear masks, unless exempted.

Now, under the new regulation, when parents of children between age 3 and first grade do want their children to wear masks while in center, both parents and their providers must sign a child care face mask permission form.

“This is something parents need to talk about with their children at home to make sure children understand their role,” Vanover said. “Providers are not responsible for making sure that every child in the class wears the same mask, all day long, while also completing their other responsibilities. This is a team effort,” said Vanover.

Children who are deaf or hard of hearing or who have a disability or a health exemption do not have to wear masks. Children cannot wear lanyards with their masks because of risk of suffocation or strangulation.

Children shall not wear masks when they are napping because of a risk of suffocation.

Children also should not wear masks when they are engaged in vigorous play, when they’re outdoors and 6 feet apart from each other, when they are actively eating or drinking.

Vanover appears in a video explaining the new masking requirements to providers and families. Watch it here.

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