Should staff wear masks when caring for children?

Both the CDC and KDHE recommend the use of masks in public and other settings where physical distancing measures are difficult to maintain. KDHE recommends wearing a mask that fits snuggly around the nose, mouth and chin and has multiple layers of fabric. Alternatively, a thinner disposable mask may be worn underneath a cloth face mask to improve the fit. For more information, visit Local health officials and employers can apply additional health and safety requirements, including the use of masks in child care settings. When masks are worn, care should be taken to avoid touching the eyes, nose, and mouth when removing and to wash hands immediately after removing. Masks should be washed frequently. Staff wearing masks should consider the speech and language skills of young children as visual access to caregivers’ mouths is critical to infant/toddler speech development. Additionally, be aware that young children may try to touch or remove the mask from their caregiver which could result in contamination. Licensees should consult with parents before routinely requiring 9 | Page 3/11/2021 10:01 AM children in care to wear a mask. If feasible and necessary, children two years of age and older may safely wear masks once they are able to: put one on and remove it without assistance and are able to avoid touching or sucking on it. Masks should not be placed on anyone—adult or child—who has trouble breathing, is unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove their mask without assistance. More information about the use of masks and facial coverings is available on the KDHE COVID-19 Resource Center and CDC website. CDC also has specific Guidance for Child Care Programs that Remain Open. A note about face shields (made of see-through material and covering the entire face): KDHE is not recommending that face shields be routinely used by young children in child care settings, with or without a mask. CDC does not recommend the use of a face shield for normal everyday activities or as a substitute for masks. Additionally, CDC guidance specifically states that plastic face shields for newborns and infants are NOT recommended. It isn’t known if face shields provide any benefit as a control measure to protect others from the spray of respiratory particles. Some adults may choose to use a face shield when sustained close contact with others is expected. If used without a mask, a face shield should wrap around the sides of the individual’s face and extend below the chin. Disposable face shields should only be used one time. Reusable face shields should be cleaned and disinfected after each use.

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1. Why are some facilities closed and others open?
2. Am I required to close my facility?
3. Should I be screening new children and new staff?
4. Is it OK to suspend the practice of children serving themselves at meals?
5. If I am temporarily closing my licensed facility, do I need to notify anyone?
6. My license is going to expire soon. Can I renew my license?
7. Is there a grace period if I’m temporarily closed or for some other reason can’t submit my renewal paperwork?
8. What if my temporary permit is expiring and I’ve not had an initial licensing survey?
9. Our facility is located in a school that is closed. Can we continue to operate?
10. I am having trouble getting basic essential items needed to safely care for children (e.g. food, baby formula, toilet paper, cleaning products, wipes). Are there resources to help?
11. Can a facility licensed to operate in a school building be granted an exception to operate at an alternate location?
12. Are we limited to caring for children of essential workers? How do we determine who is essential? May I continue to care for children of anyone who wants care?
13. May I limit the number of children enrolled to fewer than what is stated on my license?
14. May I continue to enroll new children as long as I don’t exceed my licensed capacity?
15. Are facilities (centers and homes) limited to a capacity of 10?
16. Can I get an exception to exceed my license capacity or for another reason?
17. Can the two school age children currently enrolled in my home-based child care facility attending before and after school and on breaks stay in care for full days until the crisis has ended?
18. I am hiring new employees. Is KDHE processing background check requests? What if our local law enforcement agency has suspended non-criminal fingerprinting? Will there be a grace period?
19. My program might be able to hire school district staff that aren’t currently working. They have already been fingerprinted by the school district; will they need to be re-printed?
20. With some school districts delaying the start of the 2020-2021 school year, may a licensed school age program allow children entering kindergarten this fall to attend before school begins?
21. My child care center has children in our preschool unit that are scheduled to attend kindergarten this fall. With some school districts delaying the start of the 2020-2021 school year, may these child
22. I have applied for a license and face-to-face trainings needed to complete the initial training requirements are not available. What am I supposed to do?
23. I am due to renew my First Aid and CPR training soon. Organizations are canceling in-person training right now. What am I supposed to do?
24. May facilities take precautions like asking parents to stay at the door when dropping off and picking up their child?
25. I have not completed my annual training requirements due to lack of face-to-face training available right now. What am I supposed to do?
26. Should I be screening new children and new staff?
27. What about children and staff already enrolled and in attendance? Should I be screening them?
28. Is there anything specific I need to do depending on where a child lives (county) or where their parent works?
29. When should children and staff be excluded?
30. What should I do if an individual with COVID-19 has been in the facility?
31. Where can I find information about cleaning and disinfection procedures to reduce the spread of COVID-19, including a list of approved cleaning products?
32. Is it OK to use bleach to sanitize or disinfect?
33. What if a parent is looking for child care and I do not have any openings?
34. May I continue to charge fees if I am closed or if a child no longer attends due to COVID-19 concerns or stay at home orders?
35. Are there financial supports for child care facilities to assist with loss of income due to COVID-19?
36. I have questions regarding the Department for Children and Families child care subsidy program policies. Who should I contact?
37. Have there been changes to the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) due to COVID-19?
38. How do I contact my local child care licensing surveyor?
39. I am not currently licensed. Can I get an emergency or temporary license?
40. Should staff wear masks when caring for children?
41. What should I do if someone in the facility (child, staff or resident of a family child care) is told to quarantine due to an exposure to COVID-19?
42. How soon will it be before COVID-19 vaccinations are available to child care providers?
43. If I get the COVID-19 vaccine will I still need to wear a mask?