COVID-19 Testing in Regulated Child Care Programs
We are reaching out today to share that we are closer to a rollout of the program we are calling ‘Tests for Tots’. This program will distribute antigen test kits, on an ongoing basis, to regulated child care providers statewide, who in turn can provide them to their enrolled families. Families will be able to test their children in the event a positive COVID case is detected at the program. This program will allow kit distribution through providers, without the burden of implementing the actual testing or performing contact tracing. Increased testing will also reduce the impacts of widespread quarantine on children, their families, and program staff, who can also test themselves through this program. We anticipate providers will be able to begin enrolling on Monday, January 10th.
On December 13, 2021, the Child Development Division (CDD) shared that, in collaboration with the Vermont Agency of Education, work had begun to extend the school-based Test to Stay program to Prekindergarten (Pre-K) programs located in school buildings. Building on this work, the CDD, with the Vermont Department of Health and the Agency of Education, has developed a program in parallel with Test to Stay for the remaining regulated child care programs.
Tests for Tots will be for children aged two years old and older, as well as program staff. The antigen test kits that the state has available are limited by this age range of two years old and older in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendation for usage. We acknowledge that there are still children and families (children under the age of two years old) that will not have a testing option and the state will continue to explore what options might be coming available.
Additional information about Tests for Tots will be coming within the next week.