Office of Children and Family Services relaxes COVID-19 policies for daycares


ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — It’s welcoming news for many parents and those who operate daycares. Late this evening The Office of Children and Family Services relaxed the COVID-19 rules–effective immediately. 

The Office of Children and Family Services oversees daycare centers, so all childcare facilities had to wait for them to decide on how to approach handling and preventing COVID-19 in their facilities.  

This new release came out early this evening and treats daycares like schools when it comes to Covid protocols. Looking at Child Care Centers just like they look at school systems would be the best route for us at this time. 

Effective immediately, anyone at a daycare who’s come in close contact with someone positive for COVID-19 no longer needs to quarantine if they don’t have any symptoms Michelle Ellis, Executive Director of Care-A-Lot believes this takes a big burden off parents. 

“We’ve had a lot of frustrated parents in the last few months when it comes to quarantining,” Ellis said. “Because it could be multiple quarantines they are having to do. That could affect them one week and then two weeks later they’re affected again.” 

Any child or staff who does test positive for COVID still must quarantine for five days or until they receive a negative COVID-19 test. Then wear a mask for another five days upon return. Ellis believes this new policy will bring more kids back to daycare and prevent daycares from losing staff. 

“Them being exposed and being out of work and not always being paid for their time missing work,” Ellis continued. “You definitely see a decrease in staff members.” 

The Office of Children and Family Services added in their announcement any child who comes into daycare and develops symptoms should be sent home and get tested. While at the program they should wear a mask until being picked up. Early childhood specialists say this allows staff and children to focus on education 

“How to interact with each other, how to share, take turns, just those basic self-help skills,” Ellis explained. “A lot of that can be interrupted when you’re trying to do social distancing, or half the class may not be in because they’re out quarantining. Or their teacher might be out.”  

When your child is allowed to return to daycare after a five-day quarantine, they’re not required to mask up anymore if they take two negative COVID tests 48 hours apart. If a child becomes symptomatic at a childcare center but cannot wear a mask they should be separated from others and remain under supervision before leaving the program. 

These same guidelines apply to students in K-12 schools, which were announced by Governor Kathy Hochul earlier today. More information on that can be found over, click here.  

Read the complete guidance

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