Earlier this year, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released updated guidelines for re-opening and resuming schools and childcare facilities during the coronavirus pandemic.
The guidelines provide a three-step approach to scaling operations:
- Promoting health hygiene practices and intense cleaning
- Training on social distancing protocols
- Establishing a plan in the event someone becomes sick, or schools require closing
The CDC has also provided a “Child Care Decision Tool” to provide guidance specifically for childcare facilities.
Before the CDC’s updated guidance, many states created their own guidelines for operating youth and student programs. For example, the State of Minnesota created this document that incorporates guidance from the CDC and state officials.
Minnesota’s guidance states:
- Assign a coordinator who is responsible for any COVID-19 issues and preventive activities
- Adhere to a 1:9 staff to participant ratio
- Create pods of participants with a maximum number of 10 people in a pod
- Hold activities outdoors
- Rotate specialist staff to the pods instead of participants rotating into one shared space
- Promote cloth and face coverings
- Stagger meal times
COVID-19 is forcing programs across the country to reimagine their program offerings and how student, staff, and family interactions occur for the short term. As America re-opens, program leaders have to be proactive now by sharing the benefits of their programs and success stories to solidify their program’s place in the community post-pandemic.
Our blog "The 6 Benefits of Out-of-School-Time (OST) Programs" will help you start brainstorming, and this bonus guide can help create a successful educational grants management plan for an after-school or OST program to help plan for the program’s future.