Education/Childcare

K-12 schools will be deciding upon measures on a school-by-school basis, rather than district-wide. Please check with your local schools individually to understand the steps they will be taking for continued learning and student meals. 

 

For further information regarding other education-based questions, please visit the Kansas Department of Education and the Kansas Board of Education websites.

 

 

Guidance for Supporting Families in Accessing Healthy and Safe Childcare During the COVID-19 Outbreak

 

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) is recommending continuity of operations for licensed child care facilities at this time (centers, preschools, daycare homes, and school-age programs). Child care facilities may accept new enrollees in accordance with the terms of their license. However, depending on the unique and changing situations of each community, local public health officers may implement more restrictive guidance and provisions for child care facilities, up to and including closure within their authority and jurisdiction.

 

KDHE continues to accept and process applications for new child care facilities. Individuals interested in becoming a licensed provider are encouraged to contact their local licensing surveyor. Visit the KDHE Child Care Licensing website and click on Local County Contacts to find the surveyor in your area. 

 

For FAQs and guidance regarding child care operations during the pandemic, please visit the KDHE COVID-19 Resource Center website.

 

Options for Families in Need of Childcare

 

Child Care Aware of Kansas provides assistance to families searching for licensed child care. They can be reached toll-free at (877) 678-2548.

KDHE has an online information system that serves as a tool to support families in making informed child care choices and can be used to review the compliance history of a current licensed provider. The online tool is an important step to verifying that a facility is licensed and provides compliance history for parents and guardians. 

 

Families that need flexible options or irregular care might consider having someone come into the home. Relatives, older siblings, and friends or neighbors currently not working due to COVID-19 related business closures might be available to help.

 

Other options for families that need limited care include informal care arranged between friends/neighbors on an irregular basis or someone to provide care in their own home for no more than two children for not more than 20 hours a week. None of these options require a license from KDHE.

Kansas WIC Program Now Available Without Physical Presence

WIC Physical presence requirement waived effective Monday, March 23

 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Kansas WIC program will continue to operate. WIC is the nutrition program for low-income pregnant women, infants, and children from birth to age five, funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

 

All current Kansas WIC participants will continue to receive benefits, and new applicants will be assessed, certified and issued benefits. Using telephone, computer and other technology, local clinic staff will be able to assess and certify applicants for eligibility and issue food benefits remotely to those determined eligible.

 

Typically, WIC participants and applicants of the program must be physically present to receive services. The USDA physical presence waiver is effective Monday, March 23 and expires May 31, 2020, or until extended. The waiver applies to areas impacted by WIC clinic closures and stay at home orders as well as to persons who are under quarantine, whether voluntary or involuntary.

 

Clinic operating hours and staff availability will be subject to local and state orders related to the pandemic. Applicants and current participants should contact their local WIC clinic to find out what options are available. Clinic locations are available online at: www.kansaswic.org/families/WIC_county_map.html. Contact your local health department for information on the nearest WIC clinic if you do not have access to the Internet.

 

More information about Kansas WIC

 

The Kansas WIC program provides services to an average of 47,000 program participants each month. The program is administered by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment through contracts with county health departments and three community health centers. There are 120 WIC clinics in Kansas where potentially eligible participants may apply for services. There are 359 stores in Kansas authorized to provide WIC foods to clients.

 

WIC services include providing supplemental food benefits, nutrition education, breastfeeding support, and referrals to health and social services. Currently, each woman and child receive healthy foods, including fresh fruits and vegetables with a retail value of about $37 per month and about $41 per month respectively. Infants who are not breastfed and receive infant formula with a retail value of approximately $152 per month.

 

Food benefits are purchased at approved grocery stores using an e-WIC card. The physical presence waiver allows eWIC cards and program information to be issued to participants through a controlled physical pick up, such as a curbside pick-up process or cards and information may be mailed directly to participants. Local clinics will determine the most appropriate way to issue materials based on staffing and logistical resources.  

 

Information about the Kansas WIC program is located online at www.kansaswic.org.

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