Vermont’s COVID-19 child care rules worry some providers

Coronavirus

Gov. Phil Scott recently announced that child care and summer camp prorgam can open June 1.

But with thirteen pages of guidelines to follow, Jeni Maynard, who runs a registered in-home daycare, says she has some concerns about the recommendations.

“I don’t know how feasible it is for children to wear masks,” she said. “I mean, when we are talking about a three-year-old, I don’t foresee that.”

Keegan Albaugh, the president of the Burlington Dad Guild, said he’s worried about state funding and adequate supplies of personal protection equipment for staff and children.

“My biggest concern is that teachers and childcare centers are given the resources that they need to do their job safely and well,” he said.

Staff at childcare centers are being asked to wear facial coverings and continually disinfect toys, bathrooms, and bedding. Staff must also check each child’s temperature every day.

“I have deleted a lot of the toys and a lot of the stuff that I offer in my program because I don’t know how, first of all, to clean it and second of all I am not going to be able to do my job if the only thing I am doing all day is cleaning”, says Maynard.

Stipends are available with conditions. Facilities must serve Vermont children and open by July 6, offer half-day or full-day programs and be a part of an organized group. The deadline to apply is midnight May 22.

“I am anxious to see what we get from this program to see if it will sustain us through the summer,” Maynard said.

Keegan says he has talked to other fathers with questions and who want to mke sure their kids are safe when they return.

“Try to find that balance of returning to and being able to focus on their work once again and also making sure their kids are safe,” he said.

For more information about health guidance for childcare programs click here.

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