TEMPLE, Texas — Due to the spike of COVID-19 in Texas, the Department of Health and Human Services established a new set of emergency guidelines for all childcare centers to abide by.
A representative from HHSC released a statement to 6 News that states, "Protecting the health and safety of children in regulated care is our highest priority. HHSC has enacted emergency rules in Texas Administrative Code §745.10003 requiring operations to implement screening procedures that comply with the CDC’s guidance and we continue to update that guidance per CDC direction. We continue to advise child care operations to follow the guidance of the CDC and those laid out in Governor Abbott’s Open Texas Checklist for Child Care Operations and the Reopening Guidance to Child Care Providers."
Some of these new guidelines include added mandatory health screenings and less foot traffic inside facilities.
"We added an additional staff member to stand outside and take temperatures," said Jennie Schneider, Exc. Director of Central Texas Children's Center. "We also take them from the cars for pick-up and drop off because we aren't letting parents inside the building.
Some of the other new include:
The emergency rules require you to follow current minimum standards related to diapering, and:
- Wash the child’s and caregiver’s hands before beginning.
- Wear gloves.
- Post diaper changing procedures in all diaper changing areas.
This is something Ebony Marriott, the Exc. Directory of Ebony & Ivory Childcare and Learning Center said they have already been doing so they've added rules of their own.
"We are not accepting kids that were at other facilities," Marriott said. "If you go to a water-park or an adventure park you need to quarantine for 14 days before you come back."
The same goes for Schenider who said, "We have gone above and beyond and made our facility a shoe-free zone to eliminate traffic and keep everything clean."
They have also hired a cleaning service to come in each night.
Some more of the guidelines include:
The emergency rules require you to:
- Have a sink used exclusively for food preparation if your operation prepares food.
- Serve children's individual meals and snacks. Family-style meals may not be served.
While Texas is pretty much reopened, Schneider said they still see parents that are not ready to send kids back to daycare.
"We normally see around 95 kids per day but right now we're only around 60," Schneider said. "We have a lot of families still paying but they are not attending they just want to hold their spot."
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