This page is built to support early care providers. This is a seasonal page and resources will be provided as available.

At OKAEYC, we are committed to educating our membership, partners, and families in every aspect we can. As we face COVID-19 and its effects, there are a number of resources and tools that have been shared with us and we want to pass that along to you. The information below has been compiled by OKAEYC Board Members and Staff to help keep you informed; this by no means an exhaustive list and there will likely be more information to share in the coming days and weeks.

What is quality in an early care and education setting?

 

This is a question that people often ask and most of us have a hard time answering. Early childhood research often focuses on this topic and the answer can seem a little confusing since a variety of words and categories are used to describe essentially the same characteristics that come together to make high quality settings for our young children.

The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) is a well-respected leader in working toward understanding and ensuring the highest quality learning for all children from birth through eight years old so that all children thrive and reach their full potentials.   NAEYC’s list of quality standards (sometimes called indicators) is comprehensive, research-based, field-tested, and consistently updated as early childhood research evolves.

NAEYC’s quality indicators for high quality programs:

  • Positive relationships

  • Well-planned written curriculum

  • Appropriate and effective teaching approaches

  • Ongoing child assessment approaches

  • Healthy children and staff

  • Teaching staff with specialized knowledge & skills

  • Strong family partnerships

  • Community relationships

  • Safe and healthy environments

  • Effective management and operations

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oklahoma State Department of Health COVID-19 Guidance for Child Care

(Dec 2020 -Revised)

Public Health Considerations for child care settings during the COVID-19 pandemic

 

The purpose of this tool is to assist directors and administrators in making decisions related to child care programs during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is important to check with state and local health officials and other partners to determine the most appropriate actions while adjusting to meet the unique needs and circumstances of the local community.

Preparation and Planning

Prevent the Spread of COVID-19

Require sick children and staff to stay home

  • Communicate to parents the importance of keeping children home when they are It’s also important to communicate to parents the importance of keeping children home when they have a known exposure.

  • Establish procedures to ensure children and staff who come to the child care center sick or become sick while at your facility are sent home as soon as possible.

  • Develop and implement procedures to check for signs and symptoms of children and employees daily upon arrival, as

  • Plan to have an isolation room or area (such as a cot in a corner of the classroom) that can be used to isolate a sick child while waiting for them to be picked up.

  • Sick staff members and children should not return to the childcare facility until they have met the criteria to discontinue home isolation

If COVID-19 is confirmed in a child or staff member

  • Be ready to consult with the local health authorities if there are cases in the facility or an increase in cases in the local area. Local health authorities will take the primary role of case and contact investigations in collaboration with your childcare licensing agency. (See https://coronavirus.health.ok.gov/). Local case investigators will be able to provide isolation and quarantine guidance and dates of return for any impacted staff or attendees.

  • The childcare center should notify any staff/attendees who were in close contact (defined below) with the case during the 2 days before their symptom onset or test date (whichever is earlier) through to the date they are notified of your test result (infectious period). Close contacts include but are not limited to: staff/attendees in the same classroom of the case, and staff/attendees within 6 ft of the case for 15 minutes or more during the infectious period of the case.

  • Notify your local child care licensing specialist about your positive child/staff member. If a facility has trouble reaching the local specialist, contact Child Care Services within the Department of Human Services state offices for assistance: 405-521-3561 or toll free: 1-844-834-8314.

Return to the childcare setting

  • Employees and attendees who test positive for the virus or have a member of their household test positive may be required to be isolated or quarantined and prohibited from returning to the child care program until meeting the CDC requirements for being around

    • Individuals who believe or know they had COVID-19, and have had symptoms, may not be around others until ALL of the following conditions have been met:

      • 24 hours with no fever,

      • Symptoms have improved

      • At least 10 days since symptom onset.

    • Individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19, but have had no symptoms, may not be around others until after 10 days have passed since the sampling date of the first positive test.

    • Individuals who have had close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 are recommended to not be around others through 14 days after their last date of Two alternative quarantine options to the recommended full quarantine have recently been approved for individuals:

      • 10 – Day Quarantine Without Testing: If the exposed individual remains symptom free, their quarantine may end after day 10 from their last date of exposure. They should continue to closely monitor for symptoms, practice social distancing, and ensure a face covering is worn around others through 14 days after their last date of exposure.

      • 7 – Day Quarantine With a Negative Test Result: If the exposed individual tests negative from a sample that was collected on or after day 5 and they remain symptom free, the quarantine may end after day 7 from their last date of exposure. They should continue to closely monitor for symptoms, practice social distancing, and ensure a face covering is worn around others through 14 days after their last date of exposure.

    • If the individual chooses to follow the alternative quarantine options, it’s expected that they practice social distancing and wear a mask while around others through 14 days after their last date of exposure. If an exposed individual is unable to comply with these preventative measures while in the facility, it’s expected they do not return to the childcare setting until after 14 days from their last date of exposure if required by the facility.

    • If the exposed close contact is more than 10 days beyond COVID-19 vaccine completion (appropriate number of total required doses depending on the vaccine brand), they will NOT be required to quarantine after an exposure to COVID-19.

The links below include a NAEYC survey on the effects the Pandemic has on childcare providers, details about applying for small business loans, changes to the WIC application process, Tips for SECA, and more.

 

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RESOURCES

ADVOCACY

The Oklahoma Association for the Education of Young Children’s State Legislative priorities include:

  1. Support adequate funding to provide Oklahoma’s young children with a safe and high-quality early childhood education that includes a developmentally appropriate curriculum tied to State Standards and authentic assessment measures.

    • In order to assure Oklahoma’s families of high-quality early care and education programs, funding cannot be continually diminished.

  2. Support Early Childhood Professionals with a career ladder, leading to a degreed lead teacher in each classroom with adequate compensation.

    • A system needs to be in place that will attract and retain high-quality educators at the critical stage of early brain development to enable future school success.

  3. Support local initiatives that promote high quality in early childhood programs benefiting Oklahoma's children.

    • Local quality initiatives build a stronger partnership to better meet the needs of and make decisions for Oklahoma’s families and providers.

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