HARLINGEN, Texas – Governor Greg Abbott has given the ‘go-ahead’ for all child care services to receive children from parents and guardians of all job statuses.
In efforts to reduce the risk of COVID-19, Gov. Abbott reduced child care services by only allowing essential workers to utilize their services. This included summer camps, youth programs, local area Boys and Girls clubs and daycare centers.
The change comes with a revised 13-page guide of minimum standard health protocols. “We’ve read all of it,” said Diane Nichols, Owner and Founder of Magic Kingdom Learning Center, LLC in Harlingen, TX.
The health protocols guide states, “Because of the hidden nature of this threat, everyone should rigorously follow the practices specified in these protocols, all of which facilitate a safe and measured reopening of Texas. The virus that causes COVID-19 is still circulating in our communities. We should continue to observe practices that protect everyone, including
those who are most vulnerable.”
The guide covers programs, products deemed safe and sanitary, along with do’s and don’ts for staff such as, “Children’s books and other paper materials should be rotated if used by one group in a cohort. They should not be used by any other cohort or group for at least 36 hours.”
While businesses are given the all clear, Nichols is verbally stressed telling us COVID-19 has been difficult on staff, “we didn’t lay anyone off and made sure they had jobs.”
The need to keep staff employed and provide wages was a parallel priority to safety with a zero-tolerance attitude toward symptoms by screening every child and parent, “if they tell us ‘yes’ well then we have to exclude the child.”
An underlined issue for reopening is health care. At Magic Kingdom, current immunizations for children are needed for a family to utilize their services, and they are also strict with flu shot vaccinations.
There is no vaccination for COVID-19 and until then child care services will be at the mercy of parents and guardians keeping sick children away and be truthful when asked if anyone in the home is ill, “they trust us to take care of their children so we’re going to trust them that they’re going to be honest with us.”
For the full revised Minimum Health Protocols click here.