Daycare Guidance

News Update

Updated March 26, 2020 5:00 PM

Guía de guardería

At this time, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment has not mandated daycare to close. 

This guidance is intended primarily for child care facilities licensed by KDHE (day care homes, group day care homes, centers, preschools, school age programs and drop in programs for school age children and youth). The purpose of the guidance is to educate licensees regarding preventing the spread of COVID-19 among children in care and staff and to provide direction to child care facilities, parents of children in care, and community partners to react quickly should a case be identified. 

Sedgwick County’s Stay at Home Order and Childcare Facilities

Childcare facilities in Sedgwick County are still permitted through this order though the following mandatory conditions apply:

Additional guidelines for essential services include the following when possible:

What is Social Distancing?

Maintaining at least 6 feet of social distancing from other individuals, washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds as frequently as possible or using hand sanitizer, covering coughs and sneezes (into the sleeve or elbow, not hands), regularly cleaning high-touch surfaces, and not shaking hands. 

Planning and Preparedness Recommendations for Licensed Child Care Facilities

Child Care licensees should take the following steps to help stop or slow the spread of respiratory diseases, including COVID-19:

Determine if, when, and for how long child care facilities may need to be closed.

FAQ’s for Daycares

When might I need to close?

The Sedgwick County Health Department, may direct you to close in response to an increase in the spread of COVID-19. For additional information, refer to the Interim Guidance for Child Care Facilities Licensed by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment on the KDHE COVID-19 Resource Center.

If I am temporarily closing my licensed facility, do I need to notify anyone?

Yes, please provide this update to your local licensing surveyor. Be sure to notify your local licensing surveyor when you reopen. 

If I am temporarily closing and my license is expiring, do I need to submit my renewal application?

Yes. A renewal application is still required to be submitted on time. KDHE will continue to process renewal applications and issue licenses.

Our facility is located in a school that is closed. Can we continue to operate?

If a facility is located in a school building that is currently closed, you will need approval from the school district and the Sedgwick County Health Department in order to continue operating at that location. Programs are only authorized to operate at the location printed on the license. 

Can a facility licensed to operate in a school building be granted an exception to operate in a new, temporary location?

There are no waivers or exceptions to processes or regulations in place related to COVID-19 response. This includes issuing temporary licenses for an existing facility to operate in an alternate location. 

Do I need to have new employees complete the fingerprint background checks before coming to work? What if there is not a location to get the fingerprinting completed?

At this time there is no exception to the background requirements. We await guidance from Federal partners. It is important that you watch for additional guidance pertaining to background checks on the KDHE child care licensing website.

May I continue to enroll new children as long as I don’t exceed my license capacity?

New enrollment is permitted. However, it is critical that health screening happens prior to entry and ongoing for all new and existing children. See more information about risk and recommendations for quarantine and isolation on the KDHE COVID19 Resource Center.

Can I get an exception to exceed my license capacity?

KDHE will not be granting exceptions to exceed license capacity or eliminate other health and safety requirements related to COVID-19 response. 

Can school age children currently enrolled in my home-based child care facility attending before and after school and on breaks stay in care for full days until the crisis has ended?

Yes. K.A.R. 28-4-114(j)(2)(A) allows two additional children 5 to 11 years of age to be present during emergency school closures. 

What if a parent is looking for child care and I do not have any spots?

Refer parents to the Child Care Aware website or toll free number 877.678.2548 for assistance searching for child care in their area. KDHE has an online information system that serves as a tool to support families in making informed child care choices and can be used to review compliance history of a current or potential child care provider. The online tool is an important step to verifying that a facility is licensed and provides compliance history for parents and guardians. 

  1. How do I contact my local child care licensing surveyor?

For more information about local licensing contacts, visit the KDHE Child Care Licensing website and click on Local County Contacts.

I am not currently licensed. Can I get an emergency or temporary license? 

There are no waivers or exceptions to processes or regulations in place related to COVID-19 response. This includes issuing a temporary license. For more information about applying to become licensed, contact your local licensing surveyor to start the process. See link above to access the local county contacts.  Note: a license is not required for 1) children receiving care in their own home; or 2) children cared for by relatives. Additionally, anyone (friend, neighbor, teacher not working) can care for up to 2 children less than 20 hours a week.

Online Resources:

Sedgwick County Health Department

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Kansas Department of Health and Environment