LOUISVILLE, Ky. — While Kentucky leaders have been touting the Commonwealth's progress on vaccinating educators, vaccination tier 1B here only applies to people who work in K-12 schools. It's something Bradley Stevenson, the executive director of the Child Care Council of Kentucky, had hoped would change.
What You Need To Know
- Vaccination tier 1B in Kentucky only applies to people who work in K-12 schools
- Child care workers in Kentucky fall under the much larger tier 1C category
- The CDC recommends that all educators, including daycare workers, be included in tier 1B
- A recent report from EdSurge found Kentucky is among just a small handful of states not vaccinating child care workers with K-12 educators
“Child care teachers are educators too. We have been encouraging anyone who will listen to us to prioritize these educators with the K-12 educators in this round of vaccine prioritization,” Stevenson said.
When shutdowns began in March 2020, some child care providers continued to care for the children of healthcare workers. By June, nearly all child care centers in the state were back open. Stevenson said most of those child care providers faced extra challenges this year by caring for students who would have normally been in a K-12 classroom, but were doing NTI instead because of the pandemic.
While K-12 teachers, whether they have been teaching in-person or not, are in tier 1B, child care workers in Kentucky fall under the much larger tier 1C category.
“I think the feeling today is disappointment and some anger, to be honest with you, because these teachers have been considered essential and again have been in classrooms from the very beginning, and now that it is time for the vaccination to be prioritized, they aren’t getting the same prioritization as other educators," Stevenson said.
The CDC recommends that all educators, including daycare workers, be included in tier 1B. Despite that recommendation, Kentucky has K-12 teachers in 1B and child care workers in 1C. A recent report from EdSurge found Kentucky is among just a small handful of states to do so.
Since tier 1C includes so many Kentuckians, Stevenson is urging Gov. Andy Beshear to at least prioritize child care workers within that tier. During one of his latest coronavirus briefings, Beshear said he has not decided whether or not he will do that for any particular group in 1C.
“Child care workers are essential and wonderful, and I want them to feel supported. We need to get through 1B, and we will see about 1C. This is the challenge of supply,” Beshear said.
Kentucky is still in phase 1B, trying to get all K-12 educators and adults over 70 years old vaccinated. It is unclear when vaccinations will start for phase 1C, but based on the current supply, state leaders estimate that may not start until April.