When it comes to keeping children from getting sick while in their care, daycares have a duty to children and parents. During a global pandemic, this is more important than ever. Childcare facilities must follow updated state requirements to keep our children, and our communities, safe.
New Requirements for Texas Daycare Centers
In late June, the Texas Health and Human Services Department issued new emergency rules for childcare providers. These rules apply to school-age programs, before and after-school programs, child-care centers, licensed child-care centers, and registered child-care homes. To go with the emergency rules, the Texas Health and Human Services Department created a checklist of minimum protocols these facilities are to follow.
What are the new requirements for child-care facilities in Texas?
According to the emergency rules issued by the Texas Health and Human Services Department, qualifying daycares are to screen anyone entering their facilities according to the U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidance, including checking the temperature of adults and children when they arrive each day. Staff should deny entry to anyone who has a temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit, has signs of respiratory infection, has been potentially exposed to COVID-19 in the previous 14 days, or who has traveled internationally.
The emergency rules also require daycare centers to:
- Follow CDC requirements for child care programs.
- Ensure caregivers complete the Special Considerations for Infection Control during COVID-19 training through Texas A&M AgriLife Extension.
- Prohibit visitors unless they have a legal reason to be there.
- Pre-plan pickups and drop-offs and move them to the outside of the building, as well as limiting contact between parents and caregivers.
- Have stricter standards in place when changing diapers and when clothes get contaminated, including having the caregiver and child wash their hands before and after changings.
- Adjust the HVAC system to allow for the flow of fresh air.
- Limit the use of cloth toys.
- Post handwashing posters.
- Limit the use of food preparation sinks.
- Prohibit family style serving of snacks and meals and ensure that children have their own snacks and meals.
- Practice social distancing whenever possible, limiting the mix of groups of children. Staggered times on the playground and placing nap mats and cribs at least six feet apart are recommended.
- If someone at the center tests positive for COVID-19, rooms should not be sanitized for 24 hours to all for all respiratory droplets to settle.
What happens if your daycare does not follow the requirements?
While daycares are not responsible for every illness or infection, they could be liable if they did not follow regulations or practice reasonable standards of care to prevent the spread of disease. Understaffing is a big problem at many daycares, and lack of adequate staff can lead to negligence when it comes to hygiene and following all the requirements laid out by the state.
What do you do if you suspect you child's daycare is not following the requirements and your child is ill?
If your child becomes ill and you believe that the daycare has been negligent, you should immediately report your concerns to the daycare and the state of Texas through the abuse and neglect hotline of the Texas Health and Human Services Department and the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services. Next, you should give us a call to discuss your options in making sure your family gets the help necessary.
The experienced daycare injury lawyer team at the Button Law Firm can help you pursue a claim against the daycare for their negligence in the injuries caused to your child. Connect with us online or call us to discuss your potential claim.