Bennington child care centers among those benefiting from new ‘Tests for Tots’ program

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Vermont Gov. Phil Scott (Credit: WFFF/WVNY)

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BENNINGTON, Vt. (NEWS10) – Vermont Governor Phil Scott announced Friday the launch of the State’s “Tests for Tots” program, which will provide rapid antigen COVID-19 tests to regulated child care centers across Vermont. These child care providers can enroll in the program effective immediately.

Test to Stay has been an important tool in Vermont’s K-12 educational networks, saving thousands of in-person instruction days for area children and disallowing the quick shift to and from remote learning seen in the early days of the pandemic. The new “Tests for Tots” initiative expands this effort to child care providers, allowing them to quickly and efficiently test children when a positive COVID-19 case presents itself.

Governor Phil Scott urged the state’s child care providers to take advantage of this and any future programs, stating “this approach will safely decrease the burden of contact tracing for child care program staff, while limiting the impact of quarantines on children, their families, and staff. With a limited supply of rapid tests at the federal level, Vermont has prioritized our inventory for our kids. As we gain access to greater supply, expanding our efforts to support more families and children is an important priority.”

Licensed providers in the Bennington area, like the Sacred Heart School, which offers educational and developmental services at the Pre-Kindergarten level, will be able to take advantage of the new supply. To participate in the program, child care providers will register for test kits and pick them up at locations throughout the state. The Child Development Division (CDD) will notify providers directly about this opportunity with instructions on how to enroll in the program. Information will also be on the CDD website.

The State will continue to monitor the CDC’s recommendations and explore what other rapid testing options might become available for broader use at child care programs in the near future.

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