As Chicagoland begins to reopen, many working parents are focused on what child care might look like or if it’s even safe to send the kids this summer.
The good news is that Illinois hasn’t seen the coronavirus hit child care centers, some of which have been open to essential workers.. The Restore Illinois plan is designed to keep it that way. When Chicago enters Phase 3, following the rest of the state, here are the changes to expect in licensed home and group day care centers:
- Daily health checks for kids, caregivers, staff and visitors. Those with any sign of illness or fever will be prevented from entering.
- Masks in the hallways and classrooms for kids over age 2, as well as when arriving and leaving the building. Masks are optional for outside play. The guidelines do say masks for kids will be used when practical.
- Kids will have to change shoes or wear shoe coverings when they arrive for the day.
- No more mixing between classroom groups or sharing teachers. The group they’re in will be the group they stay with all day and on the playground. Toys will be assigned to the group and not shared with other groups of students. Public playgrounds will remain off limits.
- Nap time spots must be 6 feet apart.
- The number of kids in child care centers will be reduced for the first four weeks — 8 infants room and 10 children in all other age groups. After four weeks, that will increase to 8 infants, 12 toddlers, 12 2-year-olds, 15 children ages 3-5 and 15 school-aged children.
- There will be more cleaning and handwashing.
- Windows should be left open as much as possible.
- Kids will eat in their assigned rooms and food must be individually packaged.
- Potentially staggered drop off and pick up times as well as a designated person to do it.
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