Things to Consider Before Returning to Child Care

Virginia is currently in Phase III of reopening. As the summer is quickly coming to an end, families are planning for the fall. Many parents have returned to work, physically or remotely, but must continue to focus on the health and safety of their children, as well as consider their development and socialization.

COVID-19 infections are continuing to spread. The decision to send your child back to care is entirely dependent on what’s best for your unqiue family situation. As you weigh your options and begin making the decision about returning your children to care, we’ve laid out a few things to consider.

Think about your family’s needs. Consider if you need full-time or part-time care. Is your work schedule flexible enough to allow you to cut back on hours in child care? Are you able to coordinate schedules with your spouse or loved ones?

Think about your family’s risk tolerance. What is the risk of serious illness to a member of our household if someone in your household were to be exposed to COVID-19? Are there children or family members with high-risk medical conditions such as diabetes, lung disease or heart problems? Do any older family members live with you? As we continue to take precautionary measures to limit the spread of the virus, both at home and in child care facilities, we also have to be mindful of the educational and social aspects of our child’s development. These are some factors to consider as you make your decision.

Questions to ask your child care provider:

Many parents are reliant on full-time work to provide for their family. In these cases, sending your child to child care or caregiver is necessary. To make you feel more comfortable, we encourage you to ask your provider questions about their reopening plan.

· How is the provider/center maintaining cleanliness and sanitation?

· How many children will be assigned to each provider?

· How are they maintaining social distancing?

· Will adults/parents be kept out of the facility as much as possible to limit exposure?

· Is there a plan in place for if a child or staff member tests positive for COVID-19?

This is a challenging and uncertain time for all. Regardless of your decision to resume child care services or not, we’re here to help in every way possible as we undergo this journey together. For a list of operating child care programs near you, give us a call at 1-866-KIDS TLC or visit our child care self-search at

Additional Resources:

Should I send my child back to childcare?

How can daycares prevent the spread of COVID-19?

Phase III Guidelines for Child Care Providers

Learn More about Contact Tracing