As the state continues its phased reopening, various agencies are beginning to spell out what that means for day-to-day operations in different industries, including child care and education. The Louisiana Department of Education, in coordination with the Louisiana Department of Health, has released the K-12 Supportive Guidance for Summer 2020 to ensure proper steps are taken to ensure the health and safety of children and educators in Louisiana. 

Safety Guidelines For Child Care Entities 

This new, more detailed guidance sheds light on the guidelines originally laid out in the Office of Public Health Memo to Child Care Entities (which also applies to summer school operations). It’s critical that schools and other child care entities stay up to date on guidelines to ensure a safe summer! We’ve highlighted some of the guidelines below.

  • Social distancing is a must – Although we understand the challenges of ensuring social distancing with groups of small children, it’s still a critical practice. The office of public health recommends small groups (including adults) to help maintain social distance. 
  • Screen for illness before daily attendance – as children and adults arrive for summer school or extracurricular activities, it is highly recommended to ensure no participating students have a fever of 100.4°F or above or other signs of illness. The document also outlines a step by step process for screening individuals as they enter. 
  • Keep it clean – Any interior room or space may only have one group inside at one time. These rooms must be cleaned before and after to ensure that there is no possibility of transmission from one group to the next. 
  • Wash hands regularly – It is recommended that adults and children participating should wash their hands every two hours, as well as before and after meals or snacks, using play equipment, and more. 

We recommend reading the document in full. It has helpful information and links to resources including CDC guidance on disinfecting buildings, food and nutrition staff operational standards, and even a sample letter to parents outlining the health and safety precautions recommended in the guidance. Finally, remember for the latest official information, a good place to start is with the LA Dept. of Health and the CDC.