(WTAJ) — As counties move into the yellow phase, daycares and other child care providers are changing their routines to fit life during this pandemic.
The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services can be difficult for kids in these environments to follow some of the CDC guidelines, such as wearing masks or social distancing.
“They recognize that the 6-feet of social distancing is not always appropriate or applicable in child care space,” Tracey Campanini, Office of Child Development and Early Learning, said.
The Department states child care providers should follow the recommendations from the CDC on reopening and operating their facilities safety, implementing a limit on the number of items a child can bring from home, strict hand hygiene, and constant communication with families about any signs of COVID-19.
Appropriate groups also must wear a mask.
“When feasible, staff members and older kids should wear face coverings within the facility. Cloth face covers should not be put on babies and children under age two because of the dangers of suffocation,” Department of Human Services Secretary Teresa Miller said.
Classes should consist of the same group of children and staff.
“The CDC actually makes recommendations about maintaining consistent groups of children and adults together so there’s not cross contamination across rooms as well,” Campanini said.
This could include mixed-age groups and siblings that wouldn’t usually be together.
“That again keeps families coming from the same environment together in a group and less exposure throughout the whole child care program,” Campanini said.
Once a county is in the yellow phase, any child care facility may reopen without a waiver.
If there is a provider still in the red phase, the department encourages them to fill out a waiver if they have the means to operate.
A full list of the CDC guidelines can be found here.