A-Z Index

Early Care & Education

COVID-19 Toolkit


Early care and education centers are critical components of communities and have tremendous impact on the health, growth, and development of children and the overall well-being of families in Los Angeles County. This COVID-19 Early Care and Education Toolkit is designed as a resource to help you prepare for and respond to COVID-19 for childcare center-based programs and family childcare homes. Guidance documents, templates and answers to frequently asked questions for the education setting as well as selected resources from local, state and national resources. The toolkit should enable you to manage community mitigation at your site and report COVID-19 cases if and when they occur at your site.

Guidance Documents

Guidance for Childcare Providers
  • This Guidance for Early Care and Education Providers offers updated guidance for operation of early care and education (ECE) sites in a way that helps prevent the spread of COVID-19. The guidance balances increased need for childcare as more parents return to work outside the home with the critical need to avoid transmission of the virus to children, their families and early care and education staff.
  • California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has posted Guidance for Child Care Providers and Programs. In addition to the CDPH guidance, licensees and other child care providers should continue to follow COVID-19 requirements and guidance in all applicable California Department of Social Services (CDSS) and Community Care Licensing (CCL) Provider Information Notices (PIN), in addition to guidance or requirements from California Department of Industrial Relations Division of Occupational Safety & Health (Cal/OSHA), and Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LACDPH).
What to Do When You Have A COVID-19 Case at Your Facility (Exposure Management Plan)
  • This Exposure Management Plan (EMP) for Early Care and Education details action steps to take after you have identified a COVID-19 positive case in your facility. Immediate implementation of an exposure management plan after identifying a single case of COVID-19 at the ECE site can accelerate the ability to contain spread of COVID-19 and prevent that single case from becoming an outbreak. This short training video walks you through the key elements of an exposure management plan in your facility.
Guidance for Child Care of School-Aged Children
  • This Protocol for Programs Providing Day Care for School-Aged Children applies to all programs, including Early Care and Education Programs (ECE) programs, and other programs providing day care for school-aged children before, during or after normal school hours. Any site providing child care to school-aged children that is not already licensed to do so, must contact the California Department of Social Services Child Care Regional Office to confirm the site's exemption from licensure requirements or to request a waiver of licensure. Search for your local Child Care Regional Office here. Find additional information in the recent Provider Information Notice about conditions a site must meet to qualify for a waiver from child care licensure requirements. Schools that are currently offering child care services for school-aged children or are planning to start must file a notification with Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.

COVID-19 Resources for Reporting and Management of Infections and Exposure in the Workplace

Case Reporting Requirements for ECE sites
  • Any case of COVID-19 in an early care and education setting must be reported to the local office of community care licensing.
  • Public Health requires the reporting of any confirmed COVID-19 cases who were at a facility within 14 days of illness onset (see reporting instructions below).
Reporting Cases at Your Facility

Early Care and Education providers are required to notify the Department of Public Health of individuals with confirmed COVID-19 at the site. To complete this education sector reporting requirement, the provider should use the reporting method described below to provide information on (1) children, staff, or visitors with confirmed COVID-19 who were on site at any point within the 14 days prior to the illness onset date and (2) persons at the site who were exposed to the infected person during the infectious period. The illness onset date is the first date of COVID-19 symptoms or the COVID-19 test date, whichever is earlier. All case notifications should be submitted within 1 business day of being notified of the case.

  • Online reporting: Secure online reporting is the preferred method for notifying the Department of Public Health of COVID-19 exposures and can be done on a computer or mobile device with access to the secure REDCap web application: http://www.redcap.link/lacdph.educationsector.covidreport.
    • This training video walks you through the process of submitting an online report for COVID-19 cases and contacts at your Institution.
  • Excel line list: If online reporting is not possible, reporting can be done manually by downloading and completing the COVID-19 Case and Contact Line List for the Education Sector and sending it securely to ACDC-Education@ph.lacounty.gov.
    • This training video walks you through the process of filling out the Excel COVID-19 Case and Contact Line List for reporting to DPH. A Spanish version of the training video is located here.
  • Data dictionary
    • This data dictionary describes each of the variables being collected as part of the education sector reporting requirement.
Notifications for Staff, Students, and Families
  • Notification Letter Guides
    • These model letters are designed to assist with communication to parents and staff following identification of a COVID-19 positive case or a person with suspected COVID-19 in your facility. The template letters can be tailored to your facility's needs. Below is a description of the model letters that are relevant for your ECE facility.
      1. Exposure Notification Letter for Educational Sites
        Educational sites providing activities and services for children, students, and staff are required to notify all children, students and staff who had an exposure to a person with COVID-19 during their infectious period while at the facility.
      2. General Exposure Notification Letter for Educational Sites
        Educational sites providing activities and services for children, students, and staff may choose to notify the general community of an exposure that has occurred at the site and make the community aware of precautions to take to prevent spread.
      3. Suspected-Case Exposure Notification Letter for Educational Sites
        Educational sites providing activities and services for children, students, and staff may choose to notify all children, students, and staff who have had an exposure to a person suspected of having COVID-19 at the facility.
  • Exposure Notice
    • This exposure notice is intended to make people identified as a close contact of a person with COVID-19 aware that they have been in close contact with a person who has tested positive for COVID-19.
Isolation and Quarantine
  • Isolation
    • Health Officer Order
      • When someone has been diagnosed with COVID-19, they are required by law to isolate themselves to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The legal authority to require isolation as well as immediate actions to take after a diagnosis are described in the Los Angeles County Health Officer Order for Isolation. Additional languages can also be found here.
    • Isolation Instructions
  • Quarantine
    • Health Officer Order
      • When someone has been in close contact with a person diagnosed with COVID-19 they are required by law to quarantine themselves to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The legal authority to require quarantine as well as immediate actions to take after having close contact with a COVID-19 positive person are described in the Los Angeles County Health Officer Order for Quarantine. Additional languages can also be found here.
    • Quarantine Instructions

Additional Guidance

  • Workplace Guidance
    • ECE administrators may have questions/concerns regarding employee protections related to COVID-19 at their site(s). The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standards better known as Cal/OSHA ETS, offers COVID-19 guidance to employers here.
  • COVID-19 Vaccine
    •  VaccinateLAcounty.com (English) and VacunateLosAngeles.com provide information on the COVID-19 vaccine, including how to get the vaccine in Los Angeles County, vaccine safety, authorized vaccines, data, and information for providers.
  • Employee and Child Screening
    • This screening guidance from Los Angeles County Public Health describes actions to take after an employee or child is determined to have symptoms or exposures during the screening process or develops symptoms while at your facility.
  • Symptom Screening Tools
    • Symptom screening of employees and anyone else who helps to staff your site should be a part of an organization's strategy to limit the spread of COVID-19 at the worksite. This entry screening document provides guidance and a sample screening template for screening staff before they enter the worksite. Additional languages can also be found here.
    •  Note that current Cal/OSHA ETS requires employers to exclude employees from the workplace who have COVID-19 symptoms or exposures and/or are not fully vaccinated and have had a close contact. Cal/OSHA does not prescribe any particular method of employee screening but implementing some method as recommended will assist in compliance with the current ETS.
  • Guidance for Masks
  • Physical Distancing
    • Please refer to the Guidance for ECE document for updates on physical distancing requirements and recommendations in ECE settings.
  • Reduce Risk of COVID-19
  • Traveling During the COVID-19 Pandemic
    •  This Los Angeles County Department of Public Health travel guidance provides up to date travel information during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Workers Rights and Benefits Related to COVID-19
    • This pamphlet provides important information for employees about workplace rights and government benefits for employees affected by the pandemic.
  • Air Quality and Outside Activity
    •  This guidance from the EPA lists recommendations for outdoors activities at each air quality index rating. Current air quality information can be found here.
Guidance to Assist Parents
  • Caring for Children with COVID-19
    • This guidance is for people caring for children who have symptoms consistent with COVID-19. Your child may or may not have been tested for the virus and if they were tested, you may or may not yet have the results. Even so, given the number of people who are infected, a child with symptoms like those of COVID-19 should be cared for just like a confirmed case.
  •  Routine Childhood Immunizations
  • Maintaining Immunization Schedules During the COVID-19 Pandemic
    • This resource, in the form of frequently asked questions, provides information about how to ensure children receive their routine immunizations during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • COVID-19 Information for Individuals and Households
    • This resource provides guidance for individuals and families to follow to prevent exposure to COVID-19. It includes tips for families with children as well as resources for food and other necessities available to all during the pandemic. Additional languages can also be found here.
  • Access to Healthcare Services
    •  Families who need health benefits can learn about comprehensive free and low-cost health coverage on this DPSS website. Families who need help finding a doctor can call the 24/7 helpline at 2-1-1 or visit 211LA.org.
  • Finding a Child Care Provider
    • This resource assists parents in identifying quality childcare and other existing supportive services on the County though a network of childcare providers across Los Angeles County. The Child Care Alliance of Los Angeles (CCALA), works with ten member agencies that serve communities at the local level.
  • LA County COVID-19 Supportive Services.
    • LA County is committed to supporting our most vulnerable communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Resources at covid19.lacounty.gov/ include programs for rental relief, food assistance, access to healthcare and other services.
  • LA City COVID-19 Services for LA City Residents
    • Corona-virus.la/resources provides the latest information and resources available to Los Angeles City residents during the COVID-19 pandemic. Resources for supportive programs for residents, families, workers, renters, immigrants, businesses and other services are listed here.
  • Information for Immigrants
    • The Los Angeles County Office of Immigrant Affairs provides answers to common questions regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. Moreover, some immigrants are afraid that getting tested or treated will affect their immigration status. This site will provide guidance on testing and treatment, regardless of your immigration status.
Cleaning and Disinfection
  • Cleaning and Disinfection Matrix:
    • It's important to ensure that cleaning practices in your facility are enough to prevent the spread of COVID-19. This guidance provides recommendations on the cleaning and disinfection of rooms or areas. These guidelines are for non-healthcare facilities such as daycare centers, schools, institutions, offices, businesses, and community centers that do not house persons overnight.
Testing Guidance
  • LA County Test Sites
    • COVID-19 Testing Guidance
      • http://ph.lacounty.gov/covidtests provides information on the basics of COVID-19 testing, the different types of diagnostic viral tests and antibody tests, when testing is recommended, and what the results mean. It is important to note that this information will change and evolve so be sure to check this website for updates.
    • COVID-19 County Testing Plan
      • The purpose of this document is to explain the County's strategy for testing to detect current COVID-19 infection. Note, it does not discuss the use of serology (antibody) tests as these blood tests should not be used alone to diagnose current infection.
      • Find out where you can access appointments for free testing in LA County.
  • Cal/OSHA COVID-19 Prevention Emergency Temporary Standards
    • Cal/OSHA EST requires employers to offer testing at no cost to employees during paid time for:
      • Symptomatic unvaccinated employees, regardless of whether there is a known exposure
      • Unvaccinated employees after an exposure
      • Vaccinated employees after an exposure if they develop symptoms
      • Unvaccinated employees in an outbreak (3 or more employee cases)
      • All employees in a major outbreak (20 or more employee cases)
    • For more information, see the 2021 COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave FAQs and poster.

Frequently Asked Questions

LA County
  • COVID-19 FAQs
    • These frequently asked questions provide background information about COVID-19 including how to identify symptoms, get tested and prevent the spread of the virus.
  • Family Child Care Provider (FCC) FAQ’s
    • LACDPH has created this list of frequently asked questions to help guide Family Child Care Providers on important Exposure Management Decisions.
  • Coping with Stress
    • The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic may be stressful for children, staff and the school community. Fear and anxiety about a new disease and what could happen can be overwhelming and cause strong emotions in adults and children. Coping with stress in a healthy way will make you, the people you care about, and your community stronger.

Additional Resources

LA County Department of Education
  • Head Start Program
    • This link provides resources and information to assist parents during the Coronavirus pandemic.
LA County Department of Mental Health
  • Emotional Wellbeing During a Pandemic
    • The Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health (LACDMH) supports the wellbeing of every member of our communities. The COVID-19 information home provides mental health resources for LA County residents. LACDMH's 24/7 Help Line at (800) 854-7771 is available to provide mental health support, resources and referrals.
  • Free Headspace Subscription
    • LACDMH has partnered with Headspace to offer a collection of mindfulness and meditation resources - for free - to all LA County residents. The free Headspace Plus subscription includes access to hundreds of science-backed guided meditations in English and Spanish, as well as movement and sleep exercises to help manage stress, fear and anxiety related to COVID-19.
  • Free Mental Health Resources
    • LACDMH is also a part of PsychHub's COVID-19 Mental Health Resource Hub, which is dedicated to providing free resources to help people address their mental health needs during the COVID-19 pandemic.
California Department of Education
  • Early Learning and Care COVID-19 Resources
    • This link provides resources and information for family child care homes, and center based early education and care providers.
State Department of Developmental Services COVID-19 Information
  • This page provides links to general information about COVID-19 and resources for families accessing intellectual and developmental disability services through the regional centers and service providers.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Resources
  • Safely Making California
    • During the COVID-19 pandemic it is critical that all facilities have access to PPE supplies (face covers, sanitizers, and other supplies). To support the community, the State of California Office of Emergency Management (Cal OES) partnered with the California Manufacturers & Technology Association (CMTA), and Autodesk to help fill a critical gap for all sectors during the COVID-19 pandemic. Non-medical grade PPE supplies can be purchased through the “Safely Making California” program.
CDC Guidance
  • Schools and Childcare Guidance Website
    • This link provides access to the CDC landing page for Schools and Child Care Programs. From here, you can navigate to all available education and childcare related guidance that CDC offers.

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Public Health has made reasonable efforts to provide accurate translation. However, no computerized translation is perfect and is not intended to replace traditional translation methods. If questions arise concerning the accuracy of the information, please refer to the English edition of the website, which is the official version.

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