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Schools & Childcare Providers

New York State has announced all K-12 schools and college facilities statewide will remain closed and continue to provide distance learning, meal delivery and childcare services for the remainder of the school year. Guidance has been issued for higher education institutions to re-open as part of Phase Four of the State's re-opening plan.

At this time, Dutchess County is not ordering the closing of daycares as they are providing a critical service to essential personnel, such as healthcare professionals, emergency responders, grocery store workers, and others. We do ask any individuals who can keep their children home from daycare to do so immediately. This will provide additional space for the care of children of individuals essential to the response to COVID-19 and reduce the burden on our daycares. Further, all residents should plan for alternative forms of care in the event daycares are closed. Many daycares have already made the decision to close their operations.

We urge parents/guardians to take the following precautions:

  • All parents who can remove their children from daycare should do so immediately; an
  • A child who is sick or has been in contact with an individual who is sick (e.g. parent, guardian, sibling, or any other individual known to be sick whom the child was in contact with) MUST be kept home.

Additionally, on March 18, Governor Cuomo issued an Executive Order directing school districts to develop a plan for child care, with an emphasis on serving children of parents in the health care profession or first responders who are critical to the response effort.

For parents and guardians, especially those who are healthcare professionals, emergency responders, grocery store workers, and other critical workers, in need of child care, please reach out to Child Care Council of Dutchess and Putnam, Inc. either by visiting Child Care Council of Dutchess and Putnam, Inc.; calling 845-473-4141; or by emailing at  

Frequently Asked Questions for Child Care Programs from the New York State Office of Children and Family Services (.pdf).



Daycare precautions and recommendations

The Child Care Council surveyed local daycare providers about the aggressive precautions they are taking protect the children and families they serve as well as their staff. 

We urge all providers to:

  • Mandate social distancing by keeping children in small groups (no more than 10 children clustered in an activity) and suspending large group activities;
  • Instruct staff to monitor for symptoms, and stay home if they are sick;
  • Mandate frequent hand washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing one’s nose. Teachers should help young children do the same. If hands are visibly dirty, use soap and water to clean hands;
  • Provide children with soap and water to wash hands and have children routinely wash hands every hour;
  • Advise persons to avoid touching their face (especially eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands);
  • Increase the program’s cleaning and disinfection routine to multiple times per day, while being careful with children in the near vicinity, and emphasizing cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces;
  • Remove and sanitize mouthed toys immediately;
  • Regularly launder soft items such as washable plush toys, bedding, and clothing;
  • Cover coughs or sneezes with a tissue, then throwing the tissue in the trash and cleaning hands with soap and water;
  • Provide adequate supplies for good hygiene, including clean and functional handwashing stations, soap, paper towels, and alcohol‐based hand sanitizer;
  • Restrict outside visitors and volunteers; and
  • Take any other precautions they deem necessary to protect the health and wellbeing of those in their care and their staff

Other information for daycare providers

Dutchess County is working to provide necessary cleaning supplies to daycare providers. The Department of Community and Family Services will keep providers apprised of updates, including State and Federal updates, as they become available. The Department of Community & Family Services is also requesting a waiver from NYS to expand Day Care Benefit payments for absences and program closings due to the current public health crisis. Providers will be informed as soon as the waiver is granted.

Additional information is available on the New York State Office of Children and Family Services' Coronavirus website.