State to issue guidance for day cares amid coronavirus pandemic

“We want to make sure that our children are safe."
Posted at 12:59 PM, Mar 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-18 13:04:02-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- State officials say they are issuing a guidance for day cares that are staying open amid the coronavirus pandemic, can do so safely.

Duke Storen, Commissioner of Virginia Department of Social Services, said the guidance will meet the governor’s directive to limit gathers to 10 or fewer people in a given place.

That means, day cares will be required to limit the number of children per classroom to 10 inclusive of the staff and the children.

“We know that this will be a hardship for many child care providers to change their model, but we know that they are up to the task,” said Storen.

Other directives for child care providers will be feeding children in their individual classes, stagger recess, and playing outside one classroom at a time.

“We will be providing tips on programming that can be done to keep children six feet apart,” added Storen.

State officials said that 1200 of the state’s roughly 7800 Daycares have closed amid coronavirus concerns.

Official said they need some to stay open so that essential workers like law enforcement and medical personnel can send their kids day care and keep working.

“I know that as our schools close, child care is a large concern for many of our families," said Northam. “We want to make sure that our children are safe, while also ensuring that essential personnel like medical professionals are able to go to work to know that their children are being cared for.”

Storen says the state is reaching out to the healthcare community to assess their needs for additional child care.

“We ask all of the parents of the Commonwealth, if you are not an essential personnel, that you stay home with your children… to make available capacity for childcare centers to provide the necessary care to essential personnel,” said Storen.