Next-phase Pandemic Guidance for Preschool and School Age Child Care

As of June 2, 2021, many COVID-19-related health orders from the Ohio Department of Health have ended. As a result, the Ohio Department of Education is withdrawing two rules from the approval process of the Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review. These rules have been in place to provide guidance to Ohio Department of Education licensed programs in alignment with Director of Health orders and child care rules from the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services:
  • Rule 3301-37-03.1 (Transitional Pandemic Requirements for a Licensed Child Day Care Program) provided COVID-19 mitigation requirements for preschool classrooms.
  • Rule 3301-32-06.1 (Transitional Pandemic Requirements for a Licensed School Child Program) provided COVID-19 mitigation requirements and a temporary license option for School Age Child Care programs.
Licensing specialists will no longer be enforcing the transitional pandemic rules. However, programs are required to continue to follow all pre-pandemic rules, which include 3301-37 for Preschools and 3301-32 for School Age Child Care. While programs are no longer mandated to follow the transitional pandemic requirements, it is important to note that a significant number of Ohioans, including children under the age of 12, remain unvaccinated. As such, programs should remain vigilant in their efforts to slow the spread of the virus by following all guidance issued from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): Schools and Child Care Guidance, updated April 27, 2021.

COVID-19 Practices for June 2, 2021 forward
  • Handwashing: Programs should continue to follow COVID-19 CDC handwashing guidance for both employees and children.
  • Symptom assessment, quarantine, isolation, discharge: Programs should follow CDC guidelines for COVID-19 symptom assessment, quarantine and isolation for both employees and children.
  • Reporting: Pre-pandemic rule requires programs to report in the Ohio Child Licensing and Quality System (OCLQS) when a serious incident occurs. Positive COVID-19 cases for an employee or child are considered a serious incident and must continue to be reported in OCLQS. Additionally, COVID-19 should be reported to the local health department. The Communicable Disease Chart (JFS 08087) is being updated to require reporting for COVID-19.
  • Masks: While masks are no longer required, beginning June 2, 2021, it is STRONGLY ENCOURAGED that providers adhere to CDC guidance, which states that unvaccinated populations should still mask and socially distance.
  • Temporary Pandemic School Age Child Care Centers: These programs may continue to operate through June 30, 2021, but applications for temporary pandemic School Age Child Care centers will no longer be considered. If the program operating under this license wants to operate after this date, a School Age Child Care application should be submitted in the OCLQS to secure a permanent license.
For questions about this guidance or any requirement for operating a Preschool or School Age Child Care program licensed by the Ohio Department of Education, please contact a Licensing Specialist in the Office of Early Learning and School Readiness.

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