When and How to Reopen Child Care Programs

By Kim Engelman on July 27, 2020

Like no other time in the history of child care, coronavirus (COVID-19) is challenging child care professionals to make difficult decisions about closing their programs temporarily and then determining when and how to reopen. These decisions are critical to protecting the health and safety of all enrolled children and their families as well as program staff and their household members.

Aside from state/local mandates for child care programs, reopening decisions are complicated by numerous factors: Will children be enrolled who have easily compromised immune system health or who have conditions, like asthma, that put them at enhanced risk for poor COVID-19 outcomes if exposed to the virus? Are child care program staff comfortable with potentially being on the front lines of coronavirus as they are in close quarters with children when providing care? Can cleaning, sanitizing and personal protective equipment be sourced and will it be affordable for child care programs for as long as it is needed? How do continuously shifting community transmission rates and many other COVID-19 unknowns factor in to decision making to re-open doors to children and their families?  

Topics: Health & Safety, Coronavirus

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New Proposals in Congress Support Stabilizing Child Care

By Anne Hedgepeth on July 24, 2020

As the COVID-19 health and economic crisis continues, the child care industry is pushed further towards the brink of collapse. Throughout the pandemic, the sector has adhered to public health guidance and ensured frontline personnel have access to care, however as the field moves towards additional reopening, and planning for the fall, additional support is needed to ensure child care programs, both center-based and family child care, outlast the pandemic. 

Topics: Policy & Advocacy, Coronavirus

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Considerations for Child Care During COVID-19 Response & Recovery

By Jennifer Drake on July 23, 2020


The COVID-19 situation and its impact are fluid, changing from day to day. There are many uncertainties regarding child care and child care operations, and child care professionals at both the program and system level must be nimble in their response to the pandemic. They must lean on and build upon the strengths that have served them well and will continue to serve them well during COVID-19 and beyond: relationship-based practices and data-driven decision making.

Topics: Health & Safety, Coronavirus

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Hand Sanitizer Alert: Toxic Ingredient Found in Some Brands

By Kim Engelman on July 15, 2020


Child care providers implement hand hygiene procedures to keep children in care, their families and themselves healthy and well. The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in increased hand hygiene vigilance in child care programs to protect against viral spread. Health experts recommend using hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol when hand washing with soap is not feasible. Hand sanitizer that once was extremely difficult to access early on in the coronavirus crisis, now is increasingly becoming more available. As a result of the pandemic, new hand sanitizer brands and products are being introduced into the consumer market. Unfortunately, some of the emerging hand sanitizer products are not safe to use, prompting alerts by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

Topics: Parenting, Health & Safety, Coronavirus

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Reviewing State Policies: Child Care Ratios and Class Sizes

By Diane Girouard on July 02, 2020

The coronavirus pandemic continues to highlight the vital role child care plays for millions of children and families, especially for those who work on the front lines of the crisis. Unfortunately, COVID-19 is also underscoring the precariousness of high-quality, affordable and accessible child care – the result of years of underinvestment in the system. 

State policies play an important role in exacerbating or mitigating these factors. 

Topics: Coronavirus

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The Critical Work of Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies During COVID-19

By Laurie Rackas on July 01, 2020


Our child care system could not function without Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) agencies. For more than 30 years they have helped families find quality child care and information on where to get help paying for care. They have also offered trainings and supports to providers to open and operate their businesses and to continually improve the quality of their care. In addition, CCR&Rs have gathered data on child care needs and trends  information that is helpful to families, providers and policy makers.  

Topics: Business Operations for CCR&Rs, Coronavirus

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