June 25, 2020

The Texas Health and Human Services Commission has enacted new emergency rules (PDF) related to health and safety standards for child day care operations.  These emergency rules include many of guidelines from the Open Texas Child Care Checklist (PDF).

The emergency rules require you to operate in accordance with the Guidance for Child Care Programs that Remain Open released by the Centers of Disease Control in addition to the requirements described below.

Caregiver Requirements
The emergency rules require you to:

  • Ensure all caregivers have taken required health and safety training related to COVID-19 through the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension.
  • Encourage all employees age 65 and older to talk to their health care provider to assess their risk and to determine if they should stay home.

Screening Requirements
The emergency rules require you to:

  • Implement screening procedures that align with the CDC’s most recent guidance.
  • Conduct daily screening of anyone who enters the operation and denying entry only to those who fail the screening criteria.

Drop-off and Pick-up Procedures
The emergency rules require you to:

  • Implement drop-off and pick-up procedures that limit possible exposure between families and child care staff, such as staggering drop-off and pick-up times.
  • Complete pick-up and drop-off of children outside the operation, unless there is a legitimate need for the parent to enter.

Diapering Procedures
The emergency rules require you to follow current minimum standards related to diapering, and:

  • Wash the child’s and caregiver’s hands before beginning.
  • Wear gloves.
  • Post diaper changing procedures in all diaper changing areas.

Soiled Clothing Requirements
The emergency rules require you to ensure all children and caregivers have multiple changes of clothing available in order to change any clothing with secretions on it. If clothing becomes soiled with bodily secretions, you must:

  • Place contaminated clothing in a sealed plastic bag to be sent home with the child or caregiver, or wash in a washing machine at the operation.
  • Wash the child’s and caregiver’s hands.
  • Not allow a child to wear another child’s clothing.

Environmental Health
The emergency rules require you to:

  • Adjust the HVAC system if possible, to allow fresh air to enter the operation.
  • Limit machine washable cloth toys to one person at a time and launder toys before being used by another child.
  • Post signs describing handwashing steps near sinks used for handwashing.

Food Preparation
The emergency rules require you to:

  • Have a sink used exclusively for food preparation if your operation prepares food.
  • Serve children individual meals and snacks. Family style meals may not be served.

We appreciate your continued effort to keep the children in your care safe.  Email questions to MSC.