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FAQ: Early Childhood Program Class Size during COVID-19

Updated 4.1.20 

This following is our interpretation of the most recent information regarding class size currently available from State of Nebraska and federal sources. We encourage early childhood and child care providers to stay current with ongoing developments in their counties and municipalities by consulting Nebraska DHHS and your local health department website

Frequently Asked Questions on Class Size

How many children can I care for in my programs?

Child care providers and centers should work to follow the federal government's guidance to limit social gatherings to no more than 10 people. These establishments should use common sense when applying the guidance with the goal of reducing class sizes and increasing space between children. The Novel Coronavirus: Schools and Child Care guidance will remain active until further notice.

Recommended Guidance

  • Family Child Care Homes I and II: As much as possible, all care should be limited to 10 children.
  • School-Age Only Child Care: As much as possible, all care should be limited to 10 children in care. For larger programs, group size can be 10 children per classroom.
  • Child Care Center: As much as possible, all care should be limited to 10 children in care. For larger centers, group size can be 10 children per classroom.
  • Preschool: As much as possible, all care should be limited to 10 children in care. For larger preschools, group size can be 10 children per classroom.

 


Is this a mandate?

No, this is the Governor’s state-level recommended guidance to prevent further spread of the virus, but not a mandate. Some counties, however, are under a Directed Health Measure (DHM) which does mandate group/class sizes in child care, possibly resulting in legal action for failure to comply.

 


What is a Directed Health Measure (DHM)?

A Directed Health Measure (DHM) is an action taken by either the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services or a County Health Department to limit the spread of communicable diseases, illnesses or poisoning in specific Nebraska counties. The measures are often more stringent than the state guidance and failure to comply can result in legal action. See a list of current DHMs.  

 


Do Directed Health Measures apply to licensed child care environments?

Yes, if stated explicitly, DHMs do apply to child care environments and supersede the Governor’s state-level guidance. Counties other than those noted above remain under the guidance issued March 18 by the Governor’s Office. If further community transmission cases of COVID-19 occur in other regions of the state, the Governor will announce DHMs covering the additional regions. 

 


Do Directed Health Measures apply to child care environments opened in response to the Governor’s Executive Order?

No. In the Governor’s March 31, 2020, media release, it is says a State DHM “does not apply to daycares that may be operated at a school per the Governor’s executive order regarding childcare” Social distancing and keeping children in small groups, however, must be maintained.

 


Important Links

 


We'll continue to keep this page updated as the COVID-19 pandemic evolves.

Posted April 01, 2020 in
early childhood, covid-19,

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