CDC Child Care Guidelines and Resources

April 6, 2020
Key Messages for Child Care

Child care providers and facilities have distinct needs from school and other business settings.  Child care facilities and providers can take important steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19.  Child care providers play an especially important role while schools remain closed but critical infrastructure employees are still reporting to work.

CDC provides guidance to child care facilities to prevent and control the spread of COVID-19 in their facilities.  Questions about federal funding and compliance for child care programs should be directed to HHS’s Administration for Children and Families, Office of Child Care.  Questions about licensing or regulation should be directed to state or local licensing and regulatory authorities.  
The US Department of Agriculture has other guidance for child care facilities related to meal programs through its Food and Nutrition Service.  CDC’s Supplemental Guidance for Child Care Programs that Remain Open is intended to provide guidance for a range of child care programs, including family child care programs, also known as home-based child care.  

CDC’s guidance does not supersede state and local authority. State and local governments have ultimate authority over what businesses, including child care facilities, are essential and will remain open under stay at home or shelter in place orders.
State and local health have expertise about appropriate public health measures for the level of transmission occurring in the community. Child care centers should coordinate with state and local officials to determine when to close or re-open.  



For Child Care Programs That Remain Open
Supplemental Guidance

These additional considerations are intended to provide guidance for a range of child care programs, including:

  • Family child care programs, also known as home-based child care
  • Pre-K (Pre-Kindergarten) programs at private and public schools
  • Head Start and Early Head Start programs
  • Private child care centers
  • Temporary child care centers operated by municipalities for the children of essential service providers, such as first responders, healthcare workers, transit workers, and/or other industries where a parent cannot stay home
  • Child care centers that partner with healthcare facilities to support healthcare workers who need child care

This information is intended for child care programs that remain open, and should be used in conjunction with CDC’s guidance for administrators of child care programs and K-12 schools. This guidance does not supersede state and local laws and policies for child care programs.


Click here for more on supplemental guidance from the CDC.