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FAQ: Returning My Child to Child Care

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Families have been faced with important decisions about child care during the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to allowing caregivers to participate in the workforce, child care is valuable for children’s social and emotional development. Therefore, caregivers considering child care arrangements for their children should understand the strategies that will be used to reduce risk of exposure to COVID-19.  

This Frequently Asked Questions document—compiled by experts in pediatric primary care, infectious diseases, early childhood and child care at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia—is intended to provide parents and caregivers with information and guidance for returning their children to child care that reflects the latest evidence on safety protocols for home and center-based care. This team has been tracking scientific, medical and policy developments of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) guidance for safe child care operations. We caution that data from this pandemic are still new, so the considerations we feature in this document are guided by our best current understanding of transmission risk, sometimes based on what we know about COVID-19 and sometimes based on experience with other respiratory viruses like influenza. 


Matone M, Williams S, Dechert T, Gerdes M