The US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention updated the guidelines and rules that are meant to be followed by childcare organizations and programs during the pandemic. With the virus on the rampage, a lot of care must be taken by all organizations and businesses. The same goes for those who see the care and welfare of young children.
CDC Guidelines For Childcare Programs During COVID-19 Pandemic
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has issued guidelines to better help people to know what to look out for and what safety precautions to take. The director of the US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Rochelle Walensky stated, “Early last year, CDC released initial guidance for childcare programs during Covid-19. As we learn more about the virus, CDC experts updated that guidance several times throughout 2020.”
Dr. Walensky went on to elaborate at a White House briefing on Friday, “Today, CDC is again releasing updated guidance based on the most recent science. That science includes additional evidence showing that, when used consistently and correctly, prevention strategies such as mask-wearing, staying home when sick, and good hand hygiene can allow childcare programs to operate safely and reduce the spread of Covid-19.”
The guidelines are issued for use by child care workers also known as Early Childhood Education providers. The CDC has stressed the importance of following the updated guidelines for the handling of child care programs during the pandemic. It advises that workers follow the guidelines so as not to endanger the lives of children, their families, and staff members swirling in the organization.
The guidelines emphasize the importance of vaccinations as a crucial part of fighting the virus. “I also want to stress that our childcare guidance emphasizes the importance of Covid-19 vaccination as an additional layer of prevention for childcare workers,” stated Walensky emphasizing the importance of vaccinations. “I strongly encourage America’s childcare workers to get vaccinated.”
It was reported just last week that the US Department of Health and Human Services had directed Covid-19 vaccine providers to ensure that the vaccines were made available to any child care workers or educators. According to the updated guidelines that the Center for Disease Control and Prevention has released on their website, “even after childcare providers and staff are vaccinated, there will be a need to continue prevention measures for the foreseeable future, including wearing masks, physical distancing, and other important prevention strategies outlined in this guidance document.”
The guidance also stressed the need for masks to be worn by all children aged 2 and older. While masks are encouraged by the CDC, face shields and goggles have not been considered a good alternative. Dr. Walensky maintains that the guidance also, “highlights strategies such as cohorting, where groups of children are kept together with the same peers and staff to reduce the risk of spread throughout the program.”
Another recommendation as per the CDC issues guidance is that doors and windows should be kept open to ensure that there is proper ventilation in the rooms. It also provides recommendations for children with disabilities or special needs and the measures that need to be taken to ensure their good health and safety. “The American Rescue Plan, signed by the President yesterday, includes $24 billion in emergency funding to help support childcare providers,” said Dr. Walensky when speaking about the billion dollars Covid 19 relief fund that President Joe Biden signed recently. “This funding can be used to pay for rent, utilities, and staff, but also to help childcare providers implement Covid-19 prevention strategies.”
“This updated guidance is intended for all types of childcare providers including childcare centers, family childcare homes, Head Start programs, and pre-kindergarten programs — and is meant to supplement, not to replace, other laws, rules or regulations that childcare programs must follow,” said Dr. Walensky.