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Links to Health and Safety Guidance
The California Department of Industrial Relations Division of Occupational Safety and Health released the Safety & Health Guidance:
– COVID-19 Infection Prevention in Childcare Programs.
The California Childcare Health Program offers a Health and Safety Manual. These are associated with the Caring for Our Children national health and safety performance standards and guidelines for early care and education programs which includes:
– Guidance on Cleaning, Sanitizing, and Disinfecting
– Prevention of Exposure to Body Fluids
The California Department of Education(CDE) Early Learning and Care Division (ELCD) is announcing funds authorized by the Governor and Legislature to provide money to providers for cleaning, personal protective equipment, and other supplies to support emergency care during the COVID-19 State of Emergency.
This apportionment, in the amount of $50 million, is provided by Section 2 of Senate Bill 89 (Chapter 2, Statutes of 2020) to Resource and Referral (R&R) programs to support Cleaning and Supplies for Childcare Providers (CSCP).
CocoKids will receive an allocation of $2.2 million for child care providers in Contra Costa County currently open or intend to open serving essential workers during the COVID-19 state of emergency. Providers may be either licensed providers, license-exempt center, or home-based providers and are not required to serve children receiving subsidies.
Providers that are currently closed and do not intend to reopen during the period of the COVID-19 emergency to serve children of essential workers, at-risk populations, and children with disabilities are not eligible to receive the CSCP.
Any providers that are not open at the time of being awarded CSCP resources must self-certify that they will reopen and provide CocoKids with the expected date of reopening. Additionally, providers can receive the CSCP resource through only one R&R. Providers may only access funds once unless the R&R has additional funding and resources left after the first round and makes the resources available again.
The CSCP funds must be used to ensure healthy and safe childcare and ELC settings for children. Examples of allowable expenses include:
- Cleansers and sanitizers
- Masks, gloves, and other PPE (Personal Protection Equipment)
- Labor costs associated with additional time for cleaning or cleaning services
- Supplies including instructional materials necessary to implement social distancing and other reasonable health and safety costs associated with responding to state and local health official COVID-19 guidance.
Funds may be utilized for supplies and services purchased beginning on March 4, 2020. Funding must be spent by June 30, 2020. Awards for CSCP funds shall be made on a first-come, first-serve basis, and allocated based on the capacity of the childcare provider and a per-child funding amount of $65.89. For licensed providers, capacity shall be the licensed capacity. For license-exempt providers, capacity shall be the total number of children served by the provider at any single time. For example, a licensed facility with a licensed capacity of 20 would receive $1,317.80 (20 x $65.89). Local awards shall demonstrate effort to meet the local needs utilizing available funding for both licensed and license-exempt settings.
Considerations for Cleaning Facilities
- Consider removing materials from the classroom that are difficult to clean (e.g., soft toys).
- Follow regular cleaning protocols and use a disinfectant recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as being effective against coronavirus. A list of such disinfectants can be found on the EPA website.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces, including but not limited to:
- Door handles, crash bars, and doorknobs
- Entry windows
- Office counters and surfaces
- Sinks and drinking fountains
- Desks and tables
- Anything else that is handled frequently by multiple children and staff.
- Clean and sanitize all toys at the end of the day.
- Clean any machine-washable items safely at the warmest setting possible.
- Keep a designated bin for separating toys that have been in children’s mouths. When a child is done with a mouthed toy, place it in a bin that is inaccessible to other children and wash hands. Clean and sanitize toys prior to returning them to the children’s play area.
- Increase the ELC program’s cleaning and disinfection routine to multiple times per day, including measures to ensure children do not encounter cleaning supplies.