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Yes. Strong practices for screening for signs and symptoms of illness, exclusion policies, and increased sanitation are essential. These provisions are in place in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19. When enrolling new children and hiring new staff, screen by asking appropriate questions. At a minimum, consider the following:
Is anyone showing signs of illness and symptoms?
Yes. To reduce the number of individuals touching serving dishes and utensils it is permissible to temporarily discontinue the practice of children passing and serving themselves. Staff should continue to sit with children during meals and encourage socialization.
While the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) supports continued child care operations, the Department recognizes that some licensees may make the difficult decision to temporarily close. Factors to consider include:
KDHE requests that licensees notify their local licensing surveyor when temporarily closing their facility and to let the surveyor know when the facility re-opens.
Updated: April 3, 2020
No. In the absence of more restrictive guidance from the state or local public health officer to prevent the spread of COVID-19, you are not required to close. However, you may choose to close based on your specific situation as stated above. Licensees are encouraged to remain in close communication with their local public health department as situations regarding COVID-19 are changing frequently. For additional information, refer to the Interim Guidance for Child Care Facilities licensed by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.
Yes, please complete the short survey available on the KDHE Child Care Licensing homepage to notify KDHE of the temporary closure and provide this update to your local licensing surveyor. Be sure to complete the reopen survey, also available on the KDHE Child Care Licensing homepage, and notify your local licensing surveyor when you reopen.
Yes, you may renew your license. We strongly recommend renewing at this time to prevent future delays. KDHE staff are available to process applications and to issue renewal licenses.
Added: April 13, 2020
To support licensees facing economic or other obstacles, Governor Kelly issued Executive Order (EO) 20-19 on April 9, 2020. Renewal dates are extended under the provisions of the order. A license that was effective and in good standing as of March 12, 2020, and that has expired or will expire during the COVID-19 State Disaster Emergency shall remain valid until 90 days following termination of the emergency declaration (date not yet determined). Licensees experiencing hardship may delay submitting a renewal application for up to 90 days following the end of the Governor’s emergency declaration. For those that are able to submit a renewal application, thank you. This helps KDHE staff accurately report out on the number of facilities and will help to reduce the backlog of renewals to be processed following termination of the emergency declaration.
The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) continues to request initial surveys and issue licenses. KDHE has the authority to issue a second temporary permit when deemed necessary. If more time is needed to complete the initial survey, a second temporary permit will be issued. Pursuant to EO 20-19 the second temporary permit will remain effective until an initial survey is completed and a license is issued or for 90 days following termination of the emergency declaration (date not yet determined), whichever comes first.
If a licensed facility is located in a school building that is currently closed, you will need approval from the school district and the local public health officer in order to continue operating at that location. Programs are only authorized to operate at the location printed on the license.
We recognize that in some areas access to certain foods and supplies continues to be an issue. The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) has been working with our statewide partners to identify needs and troubleshoot solutions. Many communities are already addressing the problem locally through partnerships with local public health and emergency managers. Start by contacting your local licensing surveyor and resource and referral agency to see if they can assist you in connecting with local resources. Your local school district may also be able to connect you. The response to these needs may vary by community.
There are no waivers or exceptions to processes or regulations in place related to the COVID-19 response. This includes issuing temporary licenses for an existing facility to operate in an alternate location.
KDHE has not set enrollment criteria beyond what is permitted by regulation and under the terms of your license. It is important to keep in mind that local health officials have the authority to apply more restrictions to child care operations (e.g., who can be served, group size, etc.) than the state/KDHE when not otherwise stated in an Executive Order.
The total capacity, as stated on the license, is the maximum number of children that may be present at the facility at one time. Licensees may further limit the number of children based on their own unique situation and ability to meet the health and safety needs of the children in care.
In the absence of more restrictive guidance from state or local health officials, new enrollment is permitted in accordance to the terms of the current license (ages of children, group sizes, total capacity, etc.).
The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) is not putting limits on group size for child care because the Governor’s Executive Orders have exempted child care from these requirements. In the absence of more restrictive guidance from state or county public health officials, facilities may continue to operate within the terms of the current license. Local health officials may enforce more restrictive requirements to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
As a public health matter and in order to meet goals to reduce the spread of infection, following foundational health and safety requirements are protective measures for all--child care providers/staff, the children in care, and families (caregiver’s and children’s). For this reason, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) will not be granting exceptions to exceed license capacity or eliminate other health and safety requirements related to COVID-19 response.
In the absence of more restrictive guidance from state or local health officials, the provisions of the existing regulation (K.A.R. 28-4-114(j)(2)) apply. In addition to the number of children permitted under the terms of the license, K.A.R. 28-4-114(j) authorizes two additional school age children to be present full days during scheduled or emergency school closures. As authorized by the regulation, two additional school age children may be present in the licensed day care home/group day care home if a school district adopts a hybrid attendance model (part time in the classroom/part time remote learning) or a fully remote learning environment model during the 2020-2021 school year.
Licensees must continue to submit the necessary request for background checks for individuals working, regularly volunteering, or residing in the facility. KDHE staff are working and affiliate names are being processed. Currently, all affiliate names are undergoing name-based records checks. This process is similar to the KDHE requirements prior to June of 2018. Name-based records checks include Kansas Bureau of Investigation (KBI) Kansas adult criminal and juvenile adjudications, Kansas sex offender registry, and the Kansas Department for Children and Families (DCF) child abuse and neglect registry.NOTE: For affiliates requiring comprehensive fingerprint-based checks, the automatic NORPLY email with the OCA numbers will continue to be sent. KDHE expects fingerprints to be completed within 90 days from the date the state of emergency is lifted (date not yet determined). However, for now licensees may disregard the “14-day requirement” that is stated in the OCA email. Please keep a record of the OCA number on file; it will be needed once fingerprinting resumes.
Individuals who have lived outside of Kansas within the last five years will need to submit the necessary out-of-state request forms available on the KDHE Child Care Licensing Program website.
During the COVID-19 State Disaster Emergency, individuals may begin working once the request for background checks has been submitted to KDHE.
Updated: April 14, 2020
New prints are required if staff previously working for school districts are transitioning to work in licensed child care facilities. The reason for this is that background check information cannot be shared between agencies or businesses (in this case, school and child care) and each may have specific prohibitions mandated by law. Keep in mind that individuals transferring from one licensed child care facility to another licensed facility would not need to be fingerprinted if they had previously passed a fingerprint-based background check.
Yes. To accommodate the needs of parents, effective August 10, 2020 licensed school age programs may permit children attending kindergarten this fall to attend their program prior to the official start of the school year. Licensed capacity and staff/child ratios must be maintained at all times. At the start of the 2020-2021 school year, school age programs must revert to the terms of their current license.
Yes. Children may remain in the preschool unit until the start of the school year provided that the unit capacity and staff/child ratios are met. As an alternative, effective August 10, 2020 centers with units for kindergarten enrollees or school age units may transition children scheduled to attend school this fall to the next appropriate unit. Licensed capacity and staff/child ratios must be maintained at all times. At the start of the 2020-2021 school year, child care centers must revert to the terms of their current license.
Many training partners, including Child Care Aware of Kansas and Kansas Child Care Training Opportunities, are offering KDHE-approved initial health and safety training online. However, if face to face training is necessary, pursuant to EO 20-19 licensees and staff will have up to 90 days following the termination of the emergency declaration (date to be determined) to complete the initial professional development hours required to obtain a license.
KDHE understands that all classroom trainings have been cancelled. Please take the First Aid and CPR training as soon as it is offered. KDHE will not hold the licensee accountable for training that isn’t available. Pursuant to EO 20-19 licensees and staff will have up to 90 days following the termination of the emergency declaration (date to be determined) to complete the trainings.
Updated: April 13, 2020
Yes. In response to this outbreak, you may adopt social distancing practices intended to limit exposure to COVID-19. This may include asking parents to wait at the door or otherwise limit movement within the licensed premises.
Note: Be sure that all parents are aware of your practice/procedure and that you apply the practice uniformly across all families. For additional information, please see the comprehensive guidance for licensed child care facilities.
Many training partners offer KDHE-approved professional development training online. However, pursuant to EO 20-19 licensees and staff will have 90 days following the termination of the emergency declaration (date to be determined) to complete the annual professional development/in-service training hours required to renew the license.
Note: Be sure to remain current on the KDHE recommendations for screening as well as quarantine and isolation of travelers, continuously updated on the COVID-19 Resource Center. Additional information related to screening for symptoms of illness information is included in the Interim Guidance for Child Care Facilities on the COVID-19 (PDF). Additional information pertaining to isolation, quarantine, and travel is also available via our Isolation & Quarantine FAQs. Information about travel guidelines is also available through our Isolation & Quarantine Toolkit.
Screen children and staff for signs and symptoms as outlined above before daily admittance and monitor health throughout the day. In addition to asking the questions above, observe children and staff for signs of illness and check for fever. For more information, review the guidance for licensed child care facilities available on the COVID-19 Resource Microsite (https://www.coronavirus.kdheks.gov/) under the Child Care and Foster Care tab.
In the absence of more restrictive guidance from state or county public health officials, there is nothing special a facility needs to do if children from other counties with confirmed cases are receiving care in a facility or if children being served are those of health care/emergency workers. The same guidance for screening for signs and symptoms of illness and exclusion apply.
First, review and update your current policies for the exclusion of sick children and staff as necessary. Determine how screenings will be conducted prior to entry and how health will be monitored throughout the day. Make sure that parents of children in care and staff are aware and follow the policies.
a fever greater than 100.4 degrees (F)
shortness of breath
sudden loss of smell or taste
other signs of illness (headache, sore throat, general aches/pains, fatigue/weakness/extreme exhaustion)
Current information about when individuals with symptoms consistent with COVID-19 should stay home is available on the COVID-19 Resource Microsite and on the CDC website at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/steps-when-sick.html.
Updated: April 24, 2020
Immediately notify the local health department and your local licensing surveyor if someone who is infected (child, staff or resident of family child care home) has been in the licensed facility. The local health department will help determine a course of action for the facility.
To reduce the spread of illnesses, including COVID-19, it is important to intensify cleaning and disinfecting of surfaces and frequently touched items, including but not limited to doorknobs, handrails, toys, and other shared items. In addition to the guidance for licensed child care facilities available on the COVID-19 Resource Center, Caring for Our Children, National Health and Safety Performance Standards has nationally recognized standards for cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfection of child care facilities. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has detailed information and a list of EPA products is available on the EPA website. When choosing products be sure to read the label and carefully follow directions.
Yes, diluted bleach may be used. However, before purchasing bleach or a bleach product read the label. Some bleaches, for example Splash-less®, are only intended for laundry use, not for sanitizing or disinfecting.
Refer parents to the Child Care Aware website or toll-free number 877-678-2548 for assistance with searching for child care in their area. The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) has online information system that serves as a tool to support families in making informed child care choices and can be used to review compliance history of a current or potential child care provider. The online tool is an important step to verifying that a facility is licensed and provides compliance history for parents and guardians.
Providers are individual operators/licensees and set their own rates and policies regarding fee payments. The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) and local public health officials have no authority to set rates or limits on fees.
Recent federal legislation, the CARES Act, provides several forms of economic relief for small businesses, including child care.
Please contact your DCF Provider Enrollment staff or call 1-822-765-2003.
The CACFP program utilized by many licensed child care facilities is administered through the Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE). Current information about the program, including guidance during the COVID-19 pandemic, is available on the CACFP website.
For more information about local licensing contacts, visit the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) Child Care Licensing website and click on Local County Contacts.
There are no waivers or exceptions to processes or regulations in place related to COVID-19 response. This includes issuing a temporary license. For more information about applying to become licensed, contact your local licensing surveyor to start the process. For more information about local licensing contacts, visit the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) Child Care Licensing website and click on Local County Contacts.
Note: A license is not required for: