As many childcare providers across the state have struggled with limited class sizes and increased restrictions, the Beshear administration announced Monday they are making changes to the childcare rules.
In June, Kentucky’s childcare facilities were allowed to reopen after being closed since the start of the pandemic. With the reopening came new guidelines, including dividing all children into groups of 10 with one staff member assigned, and strongly encouraging that staffer and group of 10 to stay together all day. Other guidelines included requiring all adults need to wear masks in the childcare facilities and children over five to wear masks if applicable, centralized drop off and pick up locations, and other additional safety measures.
Many childcare providers have been vocal about their struggle to keep their doors open under the regulations with fewer kids and more staff needed. Some have been forced to shut down for good.
On Monday, Cabinet for Health and Family Services Secretary Eric Friedlander said those facilities will now be able to increase their capacity from 10 to 15 children. He noted the state is at a plateau in terms of positivity rates and said this is an important step, also acknowledging that Kentuckians have learned together the importance of masks, social distancing and other ways to stop the spread of the virus.
Additionally, many parents have started to come together across the state to come up with new childcare solutions, as students are learning from home and the workforce is struggling.
Friedlander said the administration acknowledges that parents are getting together to help their children succeed with NTI learning and the state wants to issue some guidance because it is currently unregulated.
He stated the state will be providing funding and support to get more of these groups registered as ongoing childcare providers by giving $2,500 to help people start up and expediate licensure to become registered.
Beshear noted these steps are important because providers need to have background checks and regulations must be in place to ensure a safe environment for Kentucky’s children.