Governor Pritzker has announced that all K-12 non-residential, public and private schools must close March 17 through March 30. This mandate extends also to any early childhood program for children ages birth through five located in public schools or in private schools.
The purpose of the school closure is to maximize “social distancing.”
While as of writing, Governor Pritzker has not mandated child care facilities to close, centers are allowed to close if they so choose. The Governor has asked facility owners when deciding to close or not to consider whether they serve parents who still need to work outside of their homes, including health care workers, first responders, grocery store clerks, pharmacy workers and more, whose ability to work from home is not an option.
Should a child care facility decide to remain open, they are strongly urged to follow the guidance for child care centers provided by the Centers for Disease Control.
• Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after staff have been in a public place, or after blowing their nose, coughing, or sneezing.
• Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
• If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. All hand surfaces should be covered; hands should be rubbed together until they feel dry.
• Cover mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing or use the inside of the elbow.
• Stay home when sick.
• Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
Child care facilities are encouraged to regularly speak with staff and administrators to encourage these practices to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
If your program does decide to close, the State is requesting you report this by visiting a form here and completing the form for reporting closure.