For more information about limiting the spread of COVID-19, read about:
- Current status of the COVID-19 crisis in North Carolina
- COVID-19 Emergency Child Care Provider Application
- Financial Assistance for Providers
- Financial Assistance for Parents
- Resources available
Following the presentation, NC DHHS leadership will lead a moderated Q&A session.
There will be four different opportunities for child care providers to participate in the webinar. Please choose the time that works best for you.
Tuesday, March 31, 2020 – 11:00 am-12:30 pm
Attendee Link: https://cisco.webex.com/cisco/onstage/g.php?MTID=e488e912d05a555da3c329bfe944c5106
Password – covid19
Tuesday, March 31, 2020 – 1:00-2:30 pm
Attendee Link: https://cisco.webex.com/cisco/onstage/g.php?MTID=e761628ddd93b2612789ad82661e7946a
Password – covid19
Tuesday, March 31, 2020 – 3:00-4:30 pm
Attendee Link: https://cisco.webex.com/cisco/onstage/g.php?MTID=e644cd1debe269c018cd0c95a1b8c608e
Password – covid19
For best results, it is recommended that each attendee join the meeting by computer, laptop, or tablet.
- Updated guidance for cleaning and disinfection of soft (porous) surfaces
- Updated links to EPA-registered disinfectant list
- Added guidance for disinfection of electronics
- Updated core disinfection/cleaning guidance
For more information on the steps child care facilities who remain open to serve essential personnel in their communities, visit the NC Department of Health and Human Services website. Read more about checking temperatures and using thermometers during the COVID-19 outbreak here.
For Training Requirements in Child Care Rule 10A NCAC 09 .1102 it is allowable to provide an additional six months for administrators and any child care provider to complete CPR, FA and ITS-SIDS training if needed. This change is allowed as long as one child care provider who has completed the CPR, FA training is present while children are in care, and as long as one child care provider in the infant room who has completed the ITS-SIDS training is present while infants are in care.
If early educators are unable to get the ITS-SIDS training at this time, please review this document carefully. It includes rule changes that were made in October 2017. It is important that these rules are followed so that safe sleep environments can be provided for infants.
In addition, there are current sample policies available on our website that reflect the rule changes (available in English and Spanish).
According to guidance from DCDEE, only children and staff who are needed to maintain ratio should be in classrooms. In order to limit the chance of COVID-19 spread:
- Have parents drop off children outside the classroom. Staff should meet children as they are dropped off.
- Have someone posted at the entrance to talk to staff and families who are entering the building about their symptoms.
- Conduct a Daily Health Check, upon arrival, every day, for every child – and periodically throughout the day. During the COVID-19 outbreak, taking children’s temperatures during the day is another sensible precaution.
In addition, ask staff and parents of the children entering the building if they or their child is experiencing:
- Fever (temperature of 100.4 degrees F or higher)
- Shortness of breath
- Sore throat
Exclude both staff and children who are experiencing any of these symptoms or have been in close contact with anyone with any of these symptoms.
As an additional measure, some early care and education programs are using thermometers to check for fevers, in addition to interviewing staff or families about symptoms and whether or not they have taken fever reducing medication in the last 24 hours.
Which kind of thermometer
We recommend, considering Caring for Our Children standard 126.96.36.199 and after consultation with medical professionals with the Division of Public Health, that during the COVID-19 outbreak:
- Do not take oral (under the tongue) temperatures using a shared thermometer. The coronavirus that causes COVID-19 is most contagious through respiratory droplets coughed, sneezed or breathed out of the mouth. Even with a disposable cover that is changed between individuals, if a droplet gets on the handle it could pass from one person to another.
- Infrared (touchless) thermometers are ideal for use during the COVID-19 outbreak, as they allow multiple temperatures to be taken without the thermometer touching individuals.
- Tympanic (ear) thermometers are an option for children four months and older. However, while a tympanic thermometer gives quick results, it needs to be placed correctly in the child’s ear to be accurate and the presence of ear wax can cause the reading to be incorrect.
- Digital axillary (under the arm) and temporal (forehead) temperatures are less accurate, but are a good option for checking for fever in child care settings.
However, thermometers are in short supply and difficult to find in some areas. If an appropriate thermometer for use during the COVID-19 outbreak is not available for purchase locally or online, you can:
- Ask the family or legal guardian to fill out and sign a form that reports their child’s temperature as taken at home (or affirming the child does not have a fever) and any symptoms.
- Contact your Local Partnership for Children or Child Care Health Consultant and let them know of essential items you are unable to obtain. They may be able to coordinate with local resources about options that might be available.
Protecting staff who are performing checks during drop-off:
To protect the person posted at the entrance to the facility, consider one or more of the following suggestions:
- Have the person posted at the entrance maintain a six-foot distance from individuals as much as possible – use tape on the floor to delineate the space.
- Use a touchless thermometer if one is available.
- Have parents, family members or legal guardians bring a thermometer from home to check their own child’s temperature at drop off
- If using the facility’s thermometer:
- Do not take oral (under the tongue) temperatures because of the risk of spreading COVID-19 from respiratory droplets from the mouth.
- Let the parent or staff pick up the thermometer and take their own temporal / axillary or tympanic temperature on their child or themselves.
- Use disposable thermometer covers that are changed between individuals.
- Clean and sanitize the thermometer using manufacturer’s instructions often, and between uses if disposable covers are not available.
- Wash hands or use hand sanitizer between direct contact with individuals.
Please download and read this guidance, as it includes:
- Temporary changes in normal procedures and products to follow the CDC’s Environmental Cleaning and Disinfection Recommendations
- Reminder to clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces (e.g., doorknobs, light switches, countertops) with cleaning products according to the directions on the label
- Guidance on increasing the concentration for disinfecting solution that follows the CDC guidance on cleaning and disinfection recommendations for childcare and schools
- Link to the EPA approved disinfectants that are effective against SARS-CoV-2, which is the virus that causes the disease COVID-19
If you have questions, please contact a Child Care Health Consultant in your community or your local environmental health specialist.
For more information, visit the :
- NC Environmental Health Section
- Centers for Disease Control
- NC Department of Health and Human Services
And as always, handwashing is the single most effective method of controlling the spread of disease. Download and print our handwashing posters in English and Spanish by visiting our Resources page.
The NC Department of Public Safety said today that “North Carolina 2-1-1 remains open to help people with things like food assistance, questions about rent and housing and other COVID-19 related questions and concerns.” NC 2-1-1 is an information and referral service provided by United Way of North Carolina. Accessible via an easy-to-remember, three-digit number, families and individuals can call or go online to obtain free and confidential information on health and human services and resources within their community. 2-1-1 is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Dialing 2-1-1 is free, confidential, and available in most languages.
Yesterday, North Carolina announced its first documented case of community spread, meaning the person infected did not have contact with someone who had tested positive or traveled to a highly impacted area. Confirmed community spread signals a need to further accelerate the next phase of the work.
North Carolina has already been taking actions as if community spread had occurred to get ahead of the virus. With the goal of flattening the curve, Governor Roy Cooper has taken aggressive actions by limiting large gatherings and closing restaurants and bars. The idea is to lessen the number of people who get sick at the same time and avoid overwhelming the state’s hospitals and health care system. As this next phase begins, North Carolina needs to continue to reduce the chances for further spread and exposure and protect our healthcare system, so it is there when needed.
North Carolina wants to reduce the chances that people will be exposed to the virus or expose others so other surveillance methods will begin to be deployed to understand the spread of the virus and drive the decision-making.
Protecting the state’s health care workforce and making sure they have the protective equipment they need is paramount. As licensed child care providers, the state needs you to be there for the children of the health care workforce, emergency responders, and others who are on the front line of this crisis.
The Division of Child Development and Early Education (DCDEE) knows this a challenging time and wants to be supportive by providing the most current and up-to-date guidance. NC DHHS recommends that child care facilities:
- Cancel or reduce large events and gatherings, such as assemblies and field trips.
- Limit inter-school interactions.
- Consider dismissals if staff or absenteeism impacts the ability to remain open. Short-term closures may also be necessary to facilitate public health investigation and/or cleaning if a case is diagnosed in a child or staff member.
- Follow the guidance for child care settings.
Child care settings should also:
- Take precautions to protect children and staff from the spread of respiratory illnesses.
- Review absenteeism policies and procedures to make sure children and staff are not being encouraged to attend or work if they are sick.
- Establish a relationship with the local health department and communicate with them if there are any questions or concerns about COVID-19.
- Remind staff and the children’s guardians that an annual flu shot is an important way to support overall health. While the flu shot does not protect against COVID-19, it is the best defense against the flu, which is a common respiratory illness.
- Make sure to get reliable information. Be thoughtful about any information received on the virus and take steps to separate rumor from fact before forwarding information on to staff and children. All North Carolinians can better prepare for COVID-19 by getting up-to-date information directly from reliable sources like NC DHHS and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
Finally, here are several resources to assist in the navigation of these challenging times.
- NC 2-1-1 by United Way of North Carolina is now available for people to call for assistance related to the COVID-19 coronavirus
- COVID-19 text information and updates are available. To sign up, text COVIDNC to 898211.
- The NC DHHS website publishes regular updates, including new guidance that is developed, information about Executive Orders, and other important information.
- The DCDEE website publishes regular updates, including new guidance specific to child care facilities, as well as provide parents and educators with COVID-19 virus guidance and home learning resources.
Thank you again for supporting North Carolina and its families by providing vital care and services.