With millions of COVID-19 cases nationwide, child care providers have had to maneuver and innovate in extraordinary ways to address health and safety concerns while still experiencing reduced income or program closures. Imagine the day child care professionals can gather with staff to care for children and support families without the concern of contracting COVID-19. That day is coming, but only if we act now to stop the spread of COVID-19 so we may keep ourselves, our families, our communities and our country safe.
The CDC recommends that child care providers and other essential workers be among the first groups to receive access to the coronavirus vaccine. Many states had already prioritized child care providers to receive the vaccine. However, in early March, The White House issued a directive to states that they prioritize educators, including child care providers and K-12 teachers. You can also visit vaccinefinder.org to find out where the vaccine is available in your community.
As vaccines become more readily available, Child Care Aware® of America (CCAoA) encourages families, child care providers and CCR&R staff to make informed decisions on the matter of vaccination. The COVID-19 vaccine greatly reduces the risk of:
- Contracting COVID-19
- Spreading COVID-19
- Severe complications from COVID-19 (especially for people at higher risk such as older adults, pregnant people and people with underlying health conditions)
- Reinfection of COVID-19
What Can I Expect After Vaccination?
Common side-effects from COVID-19 vaccinations should only last a few days. Common side-effects include:
- At the site of injection:
- Throughout the rest of your body:
- Fatigue throughout your body
- Headaches throughout your body
- Chills throughout your body
- Fever throughout your body
- Nausea throughout your body
Consult with your health care provider if these side-effects persist longer than a few days.
Some child care providers or family members may be hesitant or mistrusting of the safety of the vaccine due to documented systemic racism and discrimination in health care. Unfortunately, these same factors place non-White individuals at higher risk for COVID-19 infection and at higher risk for severe illness. The vaccines were tested on large groups of diverse individuals and were determined safe and effective before being administered to millions.
While vaccinations are a great way to stop the spread of coronavirus, we encourage child care providers to continue other mitigation efforts such as remaining 6 feet apart, wearing fitted masks and avoiding large groups.
How Can CCR&Rs Support Vaccinations In the Child Care Field?
Child care resource and referral agencies (CCR&Rs) should encourage child care programs to educate their employees and families on the importance of making an informed decision about the COVID-19 vaccine. CCAoA developed a COVID-19 Vaccine Fact Sheet for use when consulting child care providers and families. This resource is also available in Spanish.
CCR&Rs can encourage child care providers to share their experiences with COVID-19, how it has impacted their work, and why they may have decided to get vaccinated. Providers can share these stories on social media using the hashtag #SleeveUp4ChildCare or submit a video to CCAoA.
For more information on COVID-19 information, please see CCAoA’s recording of the COVID-19 Vaccine Information Webinar and other resources on our Coronavirus Hub.