Child Care Aware® of America (CCAoA) understands that this is an uncertain time for child care providers, as they make difficult decisions about what's best for their business and the families and community they serve. This is also an uncertain time for families as they make decisions about child care. The safety and well-being of staff, family members and children is of utmost importance.
We understand that federal officials are finalizing expanded guidelines to allow the phased reopening of child care programs, schools and day camps. News outlets have reported that the draft Interim Guidance for Child Care Programs lays out three phases of (re)opening child care:
- Phase 1: Restrict to children of essential workers in areas needing significant mitigation
- Phase 2: Expand to all children with enhanced social distancing measures
- Phase 3: Remain open for all children with social distancing measures
As we learn more every day about the next steps for our nation and the child care field, Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) agencies can support and encourage providers to:
- Follow the CDC’s supplemental Guidance for Child Care Programs that Remain Open.
- Establish and continue communication with local and state health authorities to determine actions that providers can take to help slow the spread of respiratory infections in their programs and community.
- Protect and support staff, children and their family members who are at higher risk for severe illness. Providers can do this by asking adult caregivers and parents of children who may be at higher risk to consult with a health care professional if they work in or attend a child care program.
- Ensure that any other community groups or organizations that use the child care facilities also follow the recommendations in this CDC document: Guidance for Child Care Programs that Remain Open.
In March, CCAoA published a coronavirus flowchart, based on CDC's guidance for K-12 schools and child care, to guide decisions on whether to close programs. Now that many states and communities are interested in "opening up" business and public spaces, CCAoA has developed a new infographic that CCR&Rs can use to lead conversations with providers who have been closed or who are transitioning back from emergency child care for essential personnel.
CCAoA is committed to providing up-to-date, helpful resources for the child care community. You can find our COVID-19 resource hub here and be on the lookout for future resources, including consumer education information, tools and tip sheets.