State reverses mask requirement for 2 to 5-year-olds at daycare |

State reverses mask requirement for 2 to 5-year-olds at daycare

Updated: May 24, 2021 09:04 PM
Created: May 24, 2021 05:57 PM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — New York State is revising its guidance requiring children aged two to five to wear masks in child care facilities.

The new guidelines upset parents as well as daycare providers, with one telling News10NBC it can be difficult enough to get toddlers to keep their shoes and socks on during the day.

Children that young had not been required to wear masks at childcare centers before.

On Monday, the New York State Office of Children and Family Services and Department of Health issued the following joint statement:

“We thank the providers who have worked so hard since the start of the pandemic to remain open to serve the families of those who could not stay home and we recognize their valiant efforts in serving working families who need quality, reliable and safe child care.

“Both agencies understand how difficult it is to require the youngest children to wear masks, and have jointly agreed to revise guidance allowing child care providers to continue the practices and protocols that have been in place since the start of the pandemic by encouraging, not requiring, children aged 2-5 to wear masks, effective immediately.

“The safety of the children in child care programs is of paramount importance. As more families are returning to work, New York State is investing federal funds in stabilizing the industry and expanding child care programs throughout the state, especially in underserved areas.

“We strongly encourage any remaining child care staff who have not been vaccinated to do so as soon as possible to prevent the spread of COVID.”

The new guidance says "Young children/campers (i.e., those that are not yet in kindergarten) do not need to wear face coverings when they are in child care or day camp program facility or area.

The guidance also said responsible parties should still encourage children and campers two and older who are not fully vaccinated to wear face coverings when they are not eating, drinking, showering, swimming or sleeping.

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