Choosing the Right Childcare Provider in a Pandemic
Finding quality child care was already difficult enough pre-covid, so how do you choose the right program that maintains a safe, healthy environment and carefully supervises the children in a pandemic?
Licensed, high quality childcare programs will provide a curriculum and meaningful classroom activities that challenge children to explore their interests, acquire knowledge, and build new skills.
It probably comes as no surprise that one of the most important factors in keeping everyone safe in a pandemic is how well the center cleans, disinfects, screens children and staff for symptoms, and handles illness.
Research suggests that child care centers do not fuel the spread of COVID-19 in communities when they take proper safety steps.
Here are three safeguards you should look for when researching a child care program:
1. Is the center checking kids and staff for symptoms, cleaning/disinfecting rigorously, and restricting kids and staff to the same small groups each day?
2. What happens if someone gets sick during the day or tests positive? What is the policy for children and staff returning to the facility after they get better?
3. Who’s allowed in the building? The more people allowed in and out of the facility increases the chances of exposure and outbreak within the program.
It’s probably impossible for young kids to wear a mask all day, but the daycare staff should wear masks in addition to the regular screening of both kids and teachers. If a student or teacher tests positive, the director should be able to pinpoint and quickly isolate any child or worker who has symptoms and notify families of exposure.
To find a list of DHR licensed facilities in your area, visit https://apps.dhr.alabama.gov/daycare/daycare_search