Q: Are residents of a Registered Family (RF) / Certified Family (CF) home required to wear face coverings?
Any adult or child kindergarten age or older in the designated child care portion of the home during child care operation hours must wear a face covering.
Q: Are staff required to wear additional layers of clothes and add/remove them as we move between groups of children?
Staff who are performing daily health checks, floaters, and adults feeding infants are required to wear a clean, outer layer of clothing (e.g., a larger size, long sleeve button down shirt, a smock, or an apron).
Q: Can you specify the PPE requirements specifically for floating staff and non-floating staff?
All staff must wear face coverings. Floating staff may use the same face covering for multiple groups. Face coverings must be changed after a daily health check if the adult interacted with a sick child.
Q: Does everyone in the entire building/facility have to wear a face covering while child care children are in the building/facility or does the rule only apply to the child care space and shared spaces such as entrances, hallways, and food prep areas?
This should be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. In a facility with multiple uses (e.g., church or school), only the child care areas require a face covering in accordance with the ELD guidelines. The remainder of the facility may have face covering requirements based on the Governor’s executive orders.
Q: Does a floater need to change coats for outdoor breaks between classrooms during the winter?
No, floaters can use one coat for multiple groups while they are doing breaks on the playground. We do suggest practicing social distancing while in this role as much as possible.
Q: Do aprons count as an outer layer of clothing?
Aprons are allowed as an outer layer of clothing for daily health checks and floaters but not for infant feeding. Infant feeding requires the full torso and arms be covered.
Q: Are children allowed to wear face shields?
Yes, if over the age of 2.
Q: When is a child considered a kindergartener?
Kindergarten age means that a child has turned 5 by September 1 and therefore is eligible to be enrolled in kindergarten.
Q: If we have a preschool classroom with mixed ages, do the 5-year-olds have to wear a face covering when younger children do not?
Yes, children who have turned 5 by September 1 are considered kindergarten age and must wear a face covering.
Q: Are outer layers changed between each child’s daily health check, or after all daily health checks are complete?
They must be changed when daily health checks are complete.
Q: Are there exceptions to wearing face coverings for adults and children experiencing medical conditions or disabilities? What would be required for documentation?
Adults and children can get an exception to the face covering requirement with a doctor’s note indicating that they have a medical condition or disability preventing them from using the face covering. The note does not have to specify the reason why they cannot wear a mask, but it must indicate that they are unable to do so.
Q. Is a new outer covering required every time a baby is fed?
The guidance requires a “clean” outer layer of clothing. If the layer of clothing has not been soiled in any way, it can be used for multiple feedings of the same infant; however, the outer layer may only used for one infant. Staff must have a clean outer layer for each infant they feed. Establishing primary caregiving for the infants will reduce the number of layers needed.
Q: What if a child is very upset and refuses to wear a face covering, do they need to be sent home?
The Office of Child Care suggests having parents support wearing face coverings at home prior to coming into care. Have conversations with the child to explain how wearing a face covering helps keep our friends safe. Parents could supply fun or silly masks and have them look at themselves in the mirror. Do the best you can to work with parents and help the child feel comfortable.
Q: Does the clean layer for feeding an infant apply only to bottle feeding?
Yes, this does not apply to infants who are seated and being spoon-fed.
Q: Are floaters required to change their face covering every time they enter a new room?
The guidelines do not require a change of face covering when you enter a new classroom – only when the face covering gets soiled. The requirement for an outer layer has been adjusted in response to comments during input sessions to clarify that you must wear a unique layer (e.g., the same smock in classroom A throughout the day and switch out for a different smock in classroom B when the classroom is switched).
Q: Is there money available to help with PPE?
The ELD is working on additional grants for child care programs that received a grant in Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the state’s grant program. ELD is also working on offering providers access to supplies at a discounted price.
Q: How do we properly dispose of soiled masks?
After removal of a soiled face covering, the face covering should be put away into a secure place that is not accessible to others. For example, it could be placed into a plastic bag or plastic container that is inaccessible to children prior to being cleaned.
Q: What happens if we cannot get a parent to provide a mask?
We suggest having a supply of washable masks on hand for children who do not bring one. Families should be informed of the requirements of operating during COVID-19. Providers should communicate directly with the parent and address any barriers they are having to providing a mask.
Q: Are face coverings required while eating and drinking?
Q: Could a receiving blanket be considered a clean outer layer?
If the blanket is large enough to cover the entire front of the adult, including arms, then it would be allowed.