Whether you are a parent returning to work or considering childcare for the first time, the coronavirus pandemic most likely has you questioning your care options. Should your children stay home? Should they go back to childcare for socialization? How will they be kept safe?
While all valid questions, every parent’s situation is unique, as not all families have the option to remain at home. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) supports the following guidance to help you make the right decision on childcare for your family while keeping your child’s safety top of mind.
Consult with your pediatrician or family medicine provider
Your pediatrician or family medicine provider knows your child’s health well and can provide insight on childcare based off your child’s medical history. Whether you connect through virtual care options or an in-person appointment, your provider is available to discuss how COVID-19 may impact your child and family, as well as provide recommendations on how to stay safe. Never hesitate to involve your pediatrician or family medicine provider in discussions that may impact the overall health and wellness of your child.
Connect with your child’s care center
To make sure your child will be safe and to alleviate your anxiety of sending your child to daycare, connect with your child’s care center. It’s important to understand the preventive measures your child’s care center has put in place to help slow the spread of COVID-19. Make a list of questions to ask, including the following:
- Cleaning Protocols
- Are surfaces and high-touch areas being cleaned according to CDC recommendations?
- How are toys being cleaned and made safe, including the removal of disinfectant, before a child plays?
- Screening Practices
- Are temperatures checked for children and staff members daily?
- If a child is over the age of 2, do you require the child to wear a mask or face covering?
- If someone, including the center’s staff, has a fever of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, will they be sent home?
- If a child gets sick during the day, will they be isolated from others?
- What is the return policy for ill children and staff (even if it is not related to COVID-19)?
- Drop-off and Pick-up Guidelines
- Will I be able to enter the center to drop-off and pick-up my child? If yes, what are the center’s guidelines (mask, physical distancing, etc.)?
- What can my child bring to the center (toys, lunch, water, etc.)?
- Staff Member Contact
- Do staff members wear masks or face coverings around the children? Are they worn all day long?
- Are staff members assigned to a certain number of children? Will my child be exposed to multiple staff members?
- Physical Distancing
- How are physical distancing measures of six feet from others enforced?
- How are naps and meals now conducted?
While you may come up with additional questions, the most important takeaway is to have a plan in place to connect with your child’s provider and care center to help you make the right decision for you, your child and family.
As information on COVID-19 evolves, guidance sourced from the CDC and other resources contained in this blog may be subject to change. This material is intended for general information only and should not replace the advice of your physician. Always consult your medical provider for personal care recommendations.