DHS Has New Licensing Requirements For Re-Opening Child Care Programs, Summer Camps
FREDERIKSTED — Department of Human Services (DHS) has released its statutory, licensing requirements, rules, and regulations regarding the re-opening of child care programs and summer camps.
“It is critical, especially as we continue to evaluate the safety of group activities and settings during this COVID-19 pandemic, that anyone or any entity planning to re-open or operate any kind of child care program or summer camp be aware of and in compliance with the USVI statutes, licensing requirements and regulations for operating,” DHS Commissioner
Kimberley Causey-Gomez said.
According to V.I. Code Title 34 Section 383, “No person may operate a child day care facility for three or more unrelated children unless he or she holds a valid license issued by the Department of Human Services.”
Individuals and entities operating out of compliance will be subject to statutory fines and immediate closure.
In March 2020, in accordance with CDC guidelines and to help stop the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of Human Services Office of Child Care and Regulatory Services informed all licensed child care facilities that they were required to reduce the number of children
they were providing care for.
Additionally, centers were informed that no more than ten people
could be in the facility at any time.
Most childcare facilities opted to totally close operations during
April and May 2020.
In anticipation of meeting the needs of families as people are going back to work, the DHS Office of Child Care and Regulatory Services held meetings for all childcare facilities to share the reopening guidelines considering COVID-19.
All child care operators are required to submit their re-opening plans to the Office of Child Care and Regulatory Services prior to re-opening on a
A mandatory Summer Camp Guideline Meeting will held via teleconference on Tuesday, June 30, 2020, at 10:00 a.m. for the St. Thomas District and 3:00 p.m. for the St. Croix District.
The purpose is to discuss the detailed summer camp guidelines and requirements.
It is critical for providers and intended providers to call in, the department said.