Illness Policy

This Fall / Winter are expected to be especially hard on children as there is an uptick in respiratory illnesses going around as reported on various news channels.  This uptick has also caused concern with Licensing so they have updated the guidelines I must follow within my childcare. 

To help prevent the spread of children’s diseases; it is expected that everyone follows these exclusion guidelines and keep their child home with any signs of illness.   Colds, flu, RSV and Covid-19 all overlap when it comes to symptoms.  It is not my job to decide whether it is a cold, flu, or something else but IT IS MY JOB to keep the childcare environment healthy per Licensing regulations which read as follows:
Providers must take action to exclude or isolate any child, parent, caregiver, or staff showing symptoms of a contagious disease or illness as required pursuant to Title 22 CCR sections 101216(h)101226.1(a)(1), 101226.2101426.2101526.1101626.1101626.2, and 102417(e).
Isolated children must continue to receive adequate care and supervision and the health of the child must be continually observed while in the facility according to licensing requirements.

Daily Health Checks
Health checks will be done daily with temperature checks done at least two times a day AND any symptoms of illness will be documented and tracked.  It is advisable that if a child has a runny nose for more than 10-14 days that they be assessed by a doctor as most colds resolve themselves within that time frame. 
Illness Exclusions
Children should remain home or will be sent home from the childcare if any of the following symptoms exist:
Energy level – the child must be up to participating in the day’s activities.  If the child is excessively tired, fussy, or lethargic with any of the other symptoms listed, the child will be sent home. 
Temperature – any temperature of 100 degrees or higher within the last 24 hours at home.   Temperatures will be taken either by forehead or under the arm.  Thermometers readings under the arm are typically one degree lower so it is standard practice to add one degree when taken in this manner. 
Gastro-intestinal – Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or abdominal pain.   Diarrhea will be determined in children in diapers when the diaper’s stool contents are watery and / or soaked into the diaper during the day. 
Eyes – any discharge and / or redness of the eyes
Skin – any rashes, spots, or skin eruptions
Hair / Scalp – any lice or nits
Nose and ears – runny nose (particularly green and yellow mucous) or ear discharge especially with other symptoms such as cough, tiredness, lethargy, or fever.   “Wet” sounding coughs will be cause for concern especially if they are persistent and not controlled.  Green and yellow mucous from the nose will be cause for concern if lasts beyond the 10 -14 days of a normal cold and should be evaluated by a doctor.
Breathing – any signs of labored breathing or wheezing. This will include any persistent coughs where the child cannot catch his or her breath or when the cough causes vomiting. 
Exclusion Time Frame
Any child that stays home for illness or that is sent home must remain home and be symptom free for a MINIMUM of 24 hours without the use of medications before returning to childcare and it is HIGHLY recommended, they have a negative Covid-19 test before returning to care.   Sometimes, a day or two at home is all that is needed for a child to feel better and for symptoms to improve. 
Returning to Childcare
Before returning to care, the child should be able to eat normally, keep up with the childcare’s daily activities, not need more care than usual, have their stools be of normal consistency and not be usually fussy or tired. 
Face coverings / Masks
Children showing signs of mild illness (runny nose, coughs etc.) will be asked to use facial coverings (mask) until symptoms are gone if age 2 years or older. 
Please do not medicate your child and cover -up symptoms just so your child can return to childcare sooner than later.  All that does is spread the illness to others. 
Any medications that need to be given your child while at childcare must have doctor’s note, be in their original container and be labeled with the child’s name.  I will also ask you to fill out a permission form so I can administer the medication. 
A child with seasonal allergies must have a doctor’s note on file stating the allergy and what season to expect symptoms. It is recommended that they be treated with Claritin or Zyrtec as directed by your child’s doctor to treat symptoms.   Symptoms of allergies include itchy or watery eyes, clear runny nose, and sneezing. 
Teething will be considered when a child is less than age 2 ½ years and have a clear runny nose, some mild fussiness, tender swollen gums, drooling, wanting to chew on things and a slightly elevated temperature but less than 101. 
Sending a Child Home
When a child is not feeling well, and I need to call you to pick up your child; please know that I do not make this decision lightly.  I know it is an inconvenience, disrupts your workday and probably does not make your employer very happy.  For all that, I am sorry, and I hope you understand that. 

Provider Illness
Keeping your child home when they are not feeling well lessens the chance, I will become ill.   If am I am not well, I will have no choice but to close the childcare for a day or two depending on the illness which then inconveniences everyone!
Covid-19 Specific Protocols
·         Colleen’s Child Care MUST follow the California Department of Public Health’s guidance specifically related to childcare programs.  This guidance can be found at
·         Parents and children in care can follow the updated 5-day quarantine / isolation guidelines. Parents and child will be asked to test on day #5 if following the 5-day guidelines.  These guidelines can be found here   If no test is taken on day #5 then, the family will be expected to follow the 10 day quarantine as mentioned below. 
·         The childcare will need to shut down for a period of 5 – 10 days if anyone in my own family contracts Covid-19.  This length of time can be lengthened depending on how many in my own family get sick or test positive.  It literally can become a domino effect. 
·         Any positive Covid-19 tests within the home, must be communicated to Colleen right away.
·         If a parent is not feeling well, please stay home and keep your child home until you are certain it is not a Covid-related illness. 
·         These Covid-19 guidelines are subject to change as the CDC, California Department of Public Health, and the Licensing release new guidelines.