Department of Social Services, Building a Stronger Louisiana - Kristy H. Nichols, Secretary

September 3, 2009

To: Licensed Child Care Providers

As another flu season begins, the Department of Social Services wishes to thank you and your staff for your cooperation last May during the initial outbreak of H1N1. You acted swiftly and implemented the measures we provided ---and we believe your cooperation helped to prevent the spread of H1N1. You stepped up preventive measures, including increased handwashing, which we know is one of the easiest and most effective ways to keep from getting sick and spreading germs.

We are asking for your assistance again, along with the parents of the children you serve.

First, please communicate to parents that if their child is sick, please keep them home. While we know this temporarily places a burden on parents, it will help to reduce the spread of the flu.

Second, we are asking that you voluntarily report if you see an increased presence of flu-like symptoms in your center. DSS created a website that will ask for basic information about your center and the illness you are seeing. Please visit the site and become familiar with the information requested. If you are experiencing an unusual number of children in your child care center experiencing flu-like symptoms, please fill out and submit the form. Once you've submitted the information, you will be contacted to confirm the information and to provide you with assistance.

And last, please continue to check the DSS web site for the latest information on H1N1 as well as prevention strategies and information that you can share with children and families.

Thank you for your cooperation and for continuing to provide quality care to our youngest and most vunerable citizens.

Sherry S. Guarisco
Executive Director
Division of Child Care & Early Childhood Education

627 N. Fourth St. | Baton Rouge, LA 70802 | PH: (225) 342-0286 | FX: (225) 342-8636 |

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