As more and more Virginia residents return to work, many child care facilities will be back in business, too.

Parents and children around the state will slowly be returning to life as it was before months of staying home. Here's what you can expect from your child care provider under the Phase Two guidelines of reopening.

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Outdoor activities are highly encouraged by the Virginia Department of Social Services, as long as social distancing occurs and shared equipment is sanitized regularly. This includes trips to pools, both indoors and outdoors.

Major changes in day-to-day operations include:

  • Limited class sizes of 12 per group for children aged 4 and under, including a staff member.
  • For children aged 5 to 13, a group limit of 22, including a staff member.
  • Bus capacity will be reduced to allow for at least 6 feet between each rider.
  • Hand-washing and the use of hand sanitizer will be suggested throughout the day.
  • Social distancing rules apply, including a minimum of 6 feet between children in the same room.
  • When social distancing cannot take place, children over the age of 2 are highly encouraged to wear cloth face coverings or disposable face masks.

The key to sending your children back to child care facilities is being prepared. Have a selection of cloth face coverings and hand sanitizer ready and be sure to have a talk with them about the reason for all of the precautions. Reiterate the proper way to put on and remove a mask, using the CDC guidelines as an effective online resource. Going back to daycare in a group setting doesn't have to be a scary thing!

For more information about the regulations distributed to all Virginia child care providers, read the full letter from the Virginia Department of Social Services here. You can also see a summary of the full executive order about the phased opening of educational facilities here.

These Phase Two child care guideliness will remain in place until Virginia enters Phase Three of reopening, after which new directives will be distributed.

What do you think of these Phase Two child care regulations—are they a bit much, or just right? Let us know in the comments!