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COVID-19 Information for Childcares

At this time childcare centers that are not operated by P-12 schools are not required to close unless they have a positive case of COVID-19 in a student or staff member.

It will be important to work closely with the health department as you begin considering closing childcares. The Health Department is not currently recommending childcares proactively close unless they have a confirmed case of COVID-19 in a staff or student. The following guidance should be considered a requirement for all childcares in Colorado, and childcares in partnership with the Health Department can choose to close at an earlier time in order to prevent further COVID-19 transmission.

On April 14, 2020, Gov. Jared Polis issued an executive order providing emergency childcare for families of essential workers. The order remains in effect for 30 days unless extended further by executive order.

A "parent" should be interpreted as the caregiver of the child. It could be a nanny, sibling, grandparent, or whoever primarily takes care of the child. Also, if the parent/caregiver of the child has symptoms of COVID-19, this is enough to require closure if a test has not been completed.

Guidance for childcares under Safer At Home can be found on the "Reopening Guidelines" page under the "Childcare" tab.

CDPHE: Face Covering Guidance for Childcare Operations

CDPHE: Approval of Childcare Operations During COVID-19

CDC: Guidance for Childcare Programs that Remain Open

Reduce the Spread of Respiratory Illnesses
  • Continue to educate students, staff, and families on the importance of hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette. Communicate community norms/expectations that everyone will follow hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces such as doorknobs, tables, drinking fountains, and handrails. Regular cleaning products can be used.
  • Avoid family-style serving if possible. We recommend adults prepare each child's plate using gloves.
  • If napping mats are used, children should be kept 6 feet apart if possible and mats should be cleaned after each use.
Monitor for Illness

Designate a staff member with decision-making authority that families and staff can notify of suspected illnesses.

Teachers, caregivers, and families should report any suspected infection to the designated staff member (health staff, school nurse, or childcare director).

Childcare staff:

  • Any staff notified of a suspected illness should inform the designated staff member as soon as possible.
    Please note: COVID-19 is a reportable condition. If you are notified a student has COVID-19, contact us as soon as possible. This is allowed under FERPA.
Establish Procedures for Students and Staff who are Sick
  • Establish procedures to ensure students and staff who become sick or arrive sick are sent home as soon as possible.
  • Exclude children, students, or staff who have fever and respiratory symptoms from childcare until at least 24 hours after they no longer have fever or signs of a fever (chills, feeling very warm, flushed appearance, or sweating) without the use of a medication that reduces fever.
    • Ill children, students, and staff should be separated from others until they can be picked up or go home.
  • Remember childcares are not expected to screen students and staff for COVID-19. The majority of respiratory illnesses are not COVID-19. If a community or childcare has cases of COVID-19, the health department will help identify those individuals and follow up on next steps.
Plan for Absenteeism
  • Review the usual absenteeism patterns at your childcare among both students and staff.
  • If possible, school/child care personnel monitoring attendance should ask the following information:
    • Name of student or child
    • Symptoms of the child – especially for fever plus cough and/or shortness of breath
    • Have they been seen by a medical provider
  • Review attendance and sick leave policies. Require students and staff to stay home when sick. Use flexibility, when possible, to allow staff to stay home to care for sick family members.
  • Identify critical job functions and positions, and plan for alternative coverage by cross-training staff.
  • Determine what level of absenteeism will disrupt the continuity of teaching and learning.
Cleaning Guidance

Increase deep cleaning to at least 2 times per week and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces like doorknobs, tables, drinking fountains, and handrails.

CDPHE: Environmental Cleaning Guidance for COVID-19

Additional COVID-19-Fighting Products

Closure Guidance Around Positive Cases of COVID-19
  • Any childcare in Colorado with a single confirmed case of COVID-19 in a staff member or student will close for a minimum of 72 hours for cleaning and social distancing.
  • Any childcare that is closed will partner with the Health Department to conduct contact tracing and further COVID-19 testing.
  • Any childcare with a second confirmed case of COVID-19 in a staff or student within a 30-day period requires a second minimum 72-hour closure for cleaning, testing, and public health investigation.
  • Any childcare with 3 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in staff or students within a 30-day period requires a closure for a minimum of 14 days.
  • If 3 childcares in a district have confirmed cases of COVID-19 within a 30-day period, all childcares within the district are required to close for a minimum of 14 days for cleaning, testing, and public health investigation.
  • Other factors to consider when making decisions to close one or more childcares, include:
    • Families with students in multiple buildings
    • Shared facilities
    • Shared transportation
    • Central kitchens
    • Shared staff