COUNTY — Local agencies jointly released new recommendations to support child care and day care operations in San Luis Obispo County as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

The recommendations were created by the County of San Luis Obispo Public Health Department, Child Care Resource Connection of Community Action Partnership of SLO County (CAPSLO), and the SLO County Child Care Planning Council, to offer direction that aligns with State-issued COVID-19 guidance and reflects the realities of a child care setting.

“Safe and responsible child care options are vital to the sustainability of our county,” said Dr. Penny Borenstein, County Health Officer. “All of SLO County benefits when child care providers follow key steps to protect staff and children in their care during this pandemic.”

Local recommendations to limit the spread of COVID-19 in child care settings include encouraging anyone over the age of 2 to wear a face covering, replacing group singing activities with lip-syncing or dancing, embracing outdoor learning environments, and maintaining small and fixed group sizes, or “cohorts.”

The document also details how childcare providers can access specialized training or get necessary supplies for a safe learning environment.

“These are practical tips based on the best available data and the everyday realities of managing a child care program,” said Shana Paulson, CAPSLO’s Children Services Manager. “While this doesn’t mean conducting business as usual, local child care programs can persevere and adapt in ways that keep us and our children safe.”

Additional guidance for child care settings can be found at ReadySLO.org.

For updates on COVID-19 in SLO County, visit ReadySLO.org or call the recorded Public Health Information Line at 805-788-2903. A staffed phone assistance center at 805-543-2444 is available Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., to assist with COVID-19 questions.

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