Here are the notes from the Ohio Association of Child Care Providers (OACCP) March 13 conference call. This is not a complete transcript but we were able to staff captured as much as possible. Please note especially the information about the increase in ratios.
Karen Lampe welcomed providers
LeeAnn, representative from Governor’s office, thanked providers for the service they provide. Right now, the advice is that we do not need to close our child care providers. They are listening to the advice of health professionals.
Kara Wenke – Assistant Director of Health and Human Services, ODJFS
Three primary changes coming as a result of the Governor’s press conference
1. Governor’s executive order allows us to increase ratios during this time for preschoolers and school-agers
- 3 year olds – 1:16, double ratio with two providers
- 4 year olds – 1:18, double ratio with two providers
- Kindergartens – 1:30
- All school-agers – 1:30
- Family Child Care (Type B) – 1:12 with no more than 3 under 2 years
- Will exempt programs of the ratio requirements during this time so will not impact SUTQ ratings.
2. Will increase absence day from the current 10 days to 20 absence days for January – June period
3. Have created pandemic days in rule that will work like the professional development days; for those who have to close there will be 21 pandemic days for those impacted
Wanted to draw attention to the emails sent by ODJFS calling attention to disaster/emergency plans and having programs start to think about what their plan is if someone in their program is infected. Encourage programs to look at the CDC website to access the most accurate and up-to-date information.
Can send questions to ODJFS and they will be on their website with the responses.
Everyone recognizes that you are providing a critical service when families are in need.
Brain Fowler, Ohio Department of Health
Coronavirus, COVID-19, lower respiratory tract infection. Symptoms appear 2 – 14 days after exposure. Symptoms are fever, cough and difficulty breathing. It is one of seven coronaviruses that effect humans.
Website that has guidance and latest information: coronavirus.ohio.gov
This virus is new and unpredictable, no cure, easily spread. Sometimes don’t know how or why people are getting infected. Doesn’t seem to be impacted children like it does older adults. Do expect the total infected to rise.
Where are we in Ohio?
We have a total of 13 confirmed cases in Ohio with some cases in Butler County. Currently have 160 samples being tested.
Most people have mild illness – it is not a severe illness for everyone. Seems to impact the elderly with underlining health conditions or younger people with compromised immune systems. Children seem to be carriers without having extreme symptoms. No one has immunity to it so it is spreading that it is why it is a pandemic.
What are we doing to get through this?
If you don’t take action to try to control the spread of disease, you see lots and lots of cases and the severe cases increase and can be more than the health system can treat. A decision then has to be made of who is more deserving of receiving treatment – we want to avoid this. If you can spread the curve out and make the number of cases per day lower than the health care system can handle those in need and we can save lives.
Preventative interventions are critical in this situation. Stay home when sick, avoid contact with people who are sick, wash hands with soap and water for 20 seconds or longer, cover mouth with tissue or sleeve when coughing/sneezing, get plenty of sleep, eat well-balanced meals, avoid touching face/nose/eyes, clean services often, see doctor when ill, practice good hygiene habits, practice social distancing.
All K-12 schools are closed for at least 3 weeks, banned large gatherings of 100 or more people, no visitors to nursing homes, allow anyone that can work from home to do so.
Thanked everyone for taking the time to listen to call and doing what they can to prevent the spread of this illness. Dr. Amy Atkins would have loved to have been on the call – she is doing all she can to stop the spread of this disease.
Karen Lampe reminded everyone of the survey monkey link where providers/programs can ask questions: surveymonkey.com/r/covid19ece
How can we stay open to support those needing to work, especially our hospital staff and first responders, and prevent the spread of this disease?
- Proper hand washing – especially upon entering building
- Sanitize all door handles, light switches, touchpoints
- Send children home when ill
- Increase how often cleaning cots and cribs
- Increase how often cleaning toys/equipment
- Good hygiene practices
- Look at menus and see if there is anything that is easier to serve due to lower staff
- Look at practices in cleaning infant/toddler rooms
- Ensure children are fever free without medication – might even take temperatures upon entering buildings
- Think about how communicating with families – stay up-to-date on newest developments and share with families
- Know what symptoms to watch for
- Make sure giving information to staff and families and what they can do at home
- Post hand washing procedures everywhere – even on the front door
- Social distancing – how do you keep children 3 – 6 feet apart? What can we do?
- Think about drop off/pick up time and limit time parents are in the building – also can get children from the car
- No hugging, no hand shaking, etc
- Talk about personal space and how we need to increase that space right now
- Look at transitions and limit ones that aren’t necessary
- Clean and disinfect shared spaces after use
- Limit groups of children on the playground at the same time
- Separate cots further than usual
- Limit sensory tubs/water play right now – may even stop the use for now until over
- Look at having more small group activities instead of large group activities
- Suspend those coming into your program that aren’t essential
- Suspend field trips
- Don’t bring tours into the classroom – only bring to the door
- Delay face-to-face trainings
- Have deliveries dropped off outside of building and wipe off before bringing inside
- Track who is entering your building – keep a log
- Think of your staff and who might fall into the high risk categories
- Tracking the sickness of staff and families
- Might need to restrict staff and families on when they return to your program after traveling or being out of program
- Think about the mental health of your staff and how to best support them during this time
- Need to figure out how we are going to support these families and the Ohio economy during this critical time
OACCP and OCCRRA have submitted suggestions to ODJFS on what they can do to help programs during these time.