Kansas guidelines for accessing child care during COVID-19 pandemic

Photo courtesy MGN.

With schools closed down because of the COVID-19 pandemic, KDHE is recommending licensed child care facilities remain open. The state released guidelines over the weekend.

The state says child care facilities can accept new enrollees, in accordance with the terms of their license. But, local public health officials may implement more restrictive guidance and provisions for child care facilities - including closure.

If you’re a child care provider and have questions, you can direct them to your local child care surveyor. The state says surveyors will coordinate efforts and communication with local public health officials to provide guidance on the community level.

“We know this is a stressful time, and especially for families who rely on child care and those whose work circumstances are changing,” Governor Laura Kelly said in a press release. “There are a number of child care resources available to help you meet the needs of your family. We’re all in this together and will help families access the support they need.”

KDHE is also accepting and processing applications for new child care facilities. If you’re interested in becoming a licensed provider, contact the surveyor in your area.

You’ll find a list of those surveyors here: Kansas Child Care Surveyors.

You’ll find answers to frequently asked questions regarding child care operations during the pandemic here: KDHE COVID-19 Resource Center website.

The state also encourages everyone to step up and help develop creative solutions to meet the needs of working families.

If you are in need of child care, you can call Child Care Aware of Kansas at (877) 678-2548.

Families that need flexible options or irregular care might consider having someone come into the home. Relatives, older siblings, and friends or neighbors currently not working due to COVID-19 related business closures might be available to help. Other options for families that need limited care include informal care arranged between friends/neighbors on an irregular basis or someone to provide care in their own home for no more than two children for not more than 20 hours per week. None of these options require a license from KDHE.