March 14, 2020
The Department of Human Services (DHS) does not recommend preemptive child care closure at this time, and, in fact, stands ready to address child care shortages created by any school closure.
Should local officials, employers or parents call your child care business seeking openings due to a COVID-19 closure, please visit www.iowaccrr.org/families or call 1-855-244-5301 to help coordinate alternate sites.
To ensure these vital services remain in place while balancing safety, DHS recommends that child care programs employ the following mitigation strategies depending on the associated risk in their area.
Mitigation practices ALL child care programs should start today:
Mitigation practices for child care programs with community-spread in your area:
The health and safety of children, staff and administrators are of the utmost importance.
Employee Health: Centers must be flexible with staff who report illness or are caring for ill family members. We recommend contingency plans for staff shortages.
Child Health: Communicate with parents immediately to address vulnerable students with health conditions that may place them at risk.
The following guidance is designed to help child care programs determine when, or if, it is in the best interest of the public to consider closing to mitigate substantial spread of COVID-19.
Containment Decision-Making Process:
What risks may be eliminated by closing child care programs for disease containment?
What risks may be enhanced by closing child care programs?
When should child care programs close?
When should child care programs reopen?
After implementing recommendations of containment and receiving approval from the Iowa Department of Public Health based on data available by national and state health departments.
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