MARC Early Learning Department, partners provide guidance to reopen child care centers

Header for Preparedness and Planning Guide for Child Care Programs (COVID-19)

In partnership with other nonprofits and public agencies, MARC’s Department of Early Learning created Preparedness and Planning for Child Care Programs, a guide to help child care providers assess their ability to reopen as local and state governments lift stay-at-home orders.

This guide assists program directors and staff in navigating the process of reopening child care centers. For child care providers, the decision to operate in the time of COVID-19 is difficult, complex and fraught with tension. Programs must balance the needs of parents, who may need to return to work, with the health concerns of staff, children in their care and vulnerable populations in the community. The guide encourages child care centers to take a phased approach to reopening. Programs should consider reopening only when they have the necessary resources and strategies in place to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. There is no one specific strategy that will work for all child care centers. Instead, several practices need to be in place to account for the unique needs and characteristics of your center.

The guide uses information from state and local health departments, state licensing departments, Caring for Our Children standards, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the American Academy of Pediatrics. This guide is designed to be used in conjunction with and does not supersede applicable federal, state and local regulations and policies for child care programs.