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Posted Monday, June 1st, 2020

Outlines Safety Standards for Centers

Following Governor Murphy’s signing of Executive Order No. 149, which will reopen childcare centers in Morris County and across the state beginning June 15, the state Department of Children and Families has released specific operating guidance for centers required to preserve the health and safety of children, staff and families being served.COVID-19: State Announces Safety Guidelines to Reopen Childcare Centers

The childcare safety guidelines are posted on the NJ DCF website and will be communicated to all licensed childcare centers in the State of New Jersey, would require centers to abide by certain safety guidelines as a condition of reopening.  Among the safe guidelines for childcare centers:

  • Centers are required to screen children and staff each day, prior to entry into the center. Anyone exhibiting symptoms or with a fever over 100.4 will be prohibited from entering.
  • Class and group sizes will be limited, and groups must be spaced out throughout the center.  Staff members will not be able to move between groups.
  • Staff must wear cloth masks, and children over age of 2 will be encouraged, when feasible, to wear masks.  Masks will not be required if they inhibit an individual’s health.  Masks for children under age of 2 or during nap-time will be prohibited as they may pose a suffocation hazard for young children.
  • Childcare centers will be required to engage in enhanced cleaning and sanitation practices.

Licensed childcare centers will be required to file an attestation form with the Department of Children and Families, Office of Licensing, indicating that they plan to reopen and will follow the prescribed safety guidelines, modeled after best practices and standards released by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other health organizations.

 Office of Licensing inspectors will begin to visit licensed childcare centers beginning June 15 in order to support centers in implementing safety guidance.

“This is an important step forward in New Jersey’s reopening strategy, ensuring a safe, stable and seamless childcare infrastructure for New Jersey’s returning workforce, not just those designated as essential,” said state DCF Commissioner Christine Norbut Beyer.

“It probably comes as welcome relief for parents who did not know how they were going to juggle summer care or childcare needs with their job responsibilities.  But to be able to take this step safely, we have to move forward in a planful and methodical way to support centers and camps in reducing the likelihood of spreading the virus.”