Should a child be made to wear a mask when working through behavior, such as crying or having a tantrum? Should this child be removed from the classroom?
It is understandable that provider focus is on meeting the health and safety guidelines, but they should continue to use common sense to address individual situations. The language of the guidelines regarding masks leaves room to practice some discretion about use. DCFS guidelines state that a child should be given the mask and encouraged to wear it but if the child refuses or is uncomfortable, they may remove it. Children also should not wear masks during meals, nap, and outdoor play. For more guidance on dealing with strong behaviors in the classroom, please reach out to Maureen at firstname.lastname@example.org or Andrea at email@example.com.
What are the current plans for CPR renewal and classes?
Licensees and employees holding first aid and CPR certification that has expired or will expire during COVID-19 response closures may utilize online certification extension programs through State of Illinois approved training sources to renew their certifications. While we do not have clarification on what “online certification extension programs” are accepted, we will continue to monitor any new information released by DCFS and pass that information onto you as quickly as we can.
As we are able to begin providing in-person training, we will begin working with CPR trainers to build as much capacity as possible, starting first with roster where trainings where cancelled. Providers must have a current or pending CCAP case in order to apply for reimbursement if using alternative CPR sites. Also, assistants are only available for reimbursement if you are a licensed group home.
For help with training questions, please reach out to Jen S. at firstname.lastname@example.org or Ann at email@example.com.
How can staff and parents deal with big emotions regarding changes?
Dealing with big emotions regarding change can be difficult. It is important to acknowledge the feelings of those around you and validate the way they are feeling. Be with them as they are experiencing their feelings. Remember that it is okay to not be okay. Allow yourself and those around to you experience the emotions as they come and simply be present.
For more help from our wellness team, please reach out to Maureen at firstname.lastname@example.org or Andrea at email@example.com.
What are ways we can communicate policy changes without offending others?
When communicating policy changes, we encourage you to first process and accept that care is going to look a little different for awhile, and recognize that policies are in place to keep safety and health practices up and risk down. We encourage providers to shift perspective away from not being offensive, but rather to communicate to staff and families that there are new policies/changes to policies in order to keep everyone safe as we learn more about what best practice looks like in a pandemic.
There are many gentle ways to communicate that we have new protective measure that we are taking, and we will learn them together. Additionally, it’s important that providers give everyone-staff, children, families, and yourselves-some time and space to learn and make mistakes. One of the most important pieces to consider in communicating change is not just the initial approach, but the way in which you support and respond to the implementation of these new policies going forward.
Policies created will be unique to each provider. If you are struggling with creating effective policies, please reach out to Barb at firstname.lastname@example.org or Stephanie at email@example.com and they will be happy to help you.
What can we expect for upcoming food program visits?
Virtual visits will continue as long as necessary until further guidance has been received from ISBE. If you have food program questions, please contact Sue at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What should we do if children become sick?
You should continue to follow DCFS guidelines and reach out to your DCFS representative with specialized questions.
Where can we get clarifications to the new DCFS guidelines?
Please continue to reach out to your licensing rep for guidance and clarification. Also, please use the quick reference links from the GOECD that can be found here or at our COVID-19 resources area of the 4-C website.