The Austin-Travis County COVID-19 Child Care Task Force would like to share the following information with child care providers:
Staying Vigilant with COVID-19 Safety Practices
First, we want to thank you so much for your efforts to keep families, children and yourselves healthy and safe during this pandemic. We know implementing these extra measures and precautions is difficult, challenging, and tiring. We recognize and appreciate what you are doing and want you to know it is working to reduce COVID-19 spread in our community!
On August 25, the City of Austin and Travis County announced they are moving to Stage 3 of the Austin Public Health (APH) COVID-19 Risk-Based Guidelines. Nevertheless, it remains imperative that residents continue to practice all necessary precautions to continue to reduce the COVID-19 positivity rate. Austin-Travis County Interim Health Authority Dr. Mark Escott urges, “As much as possible, though, we would like individuals to continue to act as if we are still in Stage 4,” to further reduce spread in the community. We can't do this without you! Please help us by doing the following:
- Keep class groups and staff assignments as stable as possible and minimize contacts across groups. The more stable the staff teams are the less opportunity there is for virus spread. For example, if your kitchen staff bring the food into the classroom, there is more opportunity for virus spread. A safer option would be to have the food delivered outside the classroom and have the classroom staff bring it into the room.
- Read about Rhode Island's success in reopening child care programs here. Rhode Island’s approach to child care during COVID-19 differed significantly from that of Texas, in that child care programs there were closed for three months. However, the findings there highlight that universal masking for adults, along with reduced community spread, were keys to limiting new COVID-19 cases.
Supporting Child Care
- City Council 20200729-089 resolution directed City staff to work with the Austin-Travis County report back to Council regarding the state of child care and supervision and support for children and youth in our community impacted by COVID-19. The report, which was drafted with input from members of the Austin-Travis County COVID-19 Child Care Task Force includes approaches for City Council to consider taking to stabilize, strengthen and sustain child care in our community. Read it here.