Is it safe to send my child to child care during COVID-19?

Is it safe to send my child to child care during COVID-19?

​It depends on where you live, your family's needs, and the steps your child care facility takes to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. The American Academy of Pediatrics advises child care centers to work with local and state health departments to help keep children and staff as safe as possible.​

Pediatricians are providing many different ways to stay connected with their patients and making changes to their offices to keep families as safe as possible during in-person appointments. So, don't hesitate to reach out to your pediatrician to talk about the safety of sending your child to child care. Your pediatrician can help you decide, based on your child's medical history, your family circumstances, if immunizations are up to date and by checking that growth and development are on track. All to make sure your child is in good overall health​.

Your pediatrician can also help you gauge COVID-19's impact on your local community, and keep you updated on local and state health department recommendations on safe return to work and school.

You'll also want to be comfortable with your child care facility's plans for reopening and their ability to answer questions such as:

Cleaning and disinfecting procedures. Are they following CDC recommendations for keeping surfaces free of germs? Personal contact policies. Who will have contact with your child? How will they be screened for good health and how often? Will they be required to wear masks? Classroom contact. How will social distancing be enforced? Will there be fewer babies in each classroom? Will there be changes in how caregivers will rotate through the classes? Screening & testing. Will they be screening children and staff as they come into the center each day, and if they start feeling ill during the day? Is there an isolation room set aside for children that get ill while they are there? What is the policy for children and staff returning to the facility if they get sick? Will there be access to COVID testing if someone gets sick, and the ability to do contact tracing?

As states and businesses start to reopen, we are all struggling to find the right balance between getting back out there and keeping our families as safe as possible.​

Unfortunately, there is no one right answer for every family. However, open communication with your pediatrician and child care facility will help you decide what's best for your family.