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Early Care & Education

COVID-19 Toolkit

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Welcome

Early care and education programs are necessary and important to communities.  They have a tremendous impact on the health, growth, and development of children and support the overall well-being of families in Los Angeles County. This COVID-19 Early Care and Education (ECE) Toolkit is designed as a resource to help center-based child care programs and family child care homes prepare for and respond to COVID-19. It contains important guidance from the Los Angeles County (LAC) Department of Public Health (DPH), templates for creating useful documents, answers to frequently asked questions in ECE settings, as well as links to selected resources from local, state, and national sources. This toolkit should help you implement strategies to prevent COVID-19 outbreaks and report COVID-19 cases if and when they occur at your child care site.

General Guidance for Childcare Providers

Reporting, Management of COVID-19 Infections and Exposures, and Notifications in ECE

Exposure Management Plan (EMP): What to Do When You Have a COVID-19 Case at Your Facility

ECE sites should have an EMP in place prior to identifying a COVID-19 positive case. Designate a person to be familiar with COVID-19 safety protocols.

Quarantine and Isolation Flowcharts for Children and Staff

Flowcharts for ECE sites that provide guidance on actions for those in isolation and those identified as close contacts. (English | Spanish)

Decision Pathways for Symptoms and Exposures
Decision Pathways for Symptoms and Exposures in ECE Centers and TK-12 Schools (updated 8/15/22):
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Requirements for Reporting Clusters at Your Facility

ECE providers are required to notify the LAC Department of Public Health (DPH) of all clusters of 3 or more cases of COVID-19 in a classroom, office, or other pre-defined or identifiable group (i.e., cohort) who were on campus at any point within the 14 days prior to illness onset date. Cases include employees, children/students, and visitors with confirmed COVID-19. The illness onset date is the date COVID-19 symptoms started, or the COVID-19 test date, whichever is earlier. All cluster notifications should be submitted to DPH within 1 business day of the school/program being notified of the third, or last, case in the cluster through the reporting method outlined below.

  • Online reporting: Clusters of 3 or more ECE-associated COVID-19 cases should be reported online through the secure web application, Shared Portal for Outbreak Tracking (SPOT). This can be done on a computer or mobile device.
    • If reporting multiple cases, you may choose to use the “Bulk Upload Template” (an Excel file) located within the SPOT portal to submit your report.
  • Training resources: for how to report COVID-19 clusters through SPOT:
    • This data dictionary (updated 5/1/22 - English | Español) describes each of the items of information (variables) that are collected as part of cluster reporting through SPOT.
    • Training videos and resources can be found at the SPOT School Help and Training Materials.
    • This FAQ (updated 4/26/22 - English | Español) provides answers to commonly asked questions as well as additional links to training materials and resources.

A cluster of 3 or more cases of COVID-19 (child or staff) in an ECE setting must also be reported to the local Community Care Licensing Division Child Care Offices.

Notifications for Staff, Students, and Families

Parents and staff must be notified of a confirmed COVID-19 case at your ECE site. This communication can be in the form of a letter. Sample notification letters are provided below with a description of their use and can be tailored to your facility's needs.

Exposure Notification Letter Templates English | Español

  • Isolation Notification Letter for ECE Sites: Notification letter for staff or parents of children who need to isolate due to a positive COVID-19 viral test result.
  • Exposure Notification Letter for ECE 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 or potential exposure to a person with COVID-19 during their infectious period while at the facility.
  • General Exposure Notification Letter for ECE 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.
    • Additional signage (Exposure Notice) may be posted to inform the community of potential exposure at the ECE site to COVID-19.

Workplace Guidance

Information for ECE Providers and Employers
  • Cal/OSHA COVID-19 Prevention Emergency Temporary Standards (ETS)
    • ECE providers may have questions or concerns about protecting employees from 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. For more information, visit www.dir.ca.gov/dosh/coronavirus/.
  • LAC DPH Workplace Response and Best Practices for Businesses and Employers
  • Worker's Rights and Benefits Related to COVID-19

COVID-19 Prevention

Information on Ventilation, Vaccination, Screening, and More
Cleaning and Disinfection
  • Cleaning and Disinfection Matrix:
    • It is important to ensure that cleaning practices in your facility are good enough to prevent the spread of COVID-19. This cleaning and disinfection matrix 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.
    • Please refer to the Guidance for ECE for additional information on cleaning and disinfection standards for child care settings.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Resources
  • Local Resource and Referral Agencies (R&Rs)
COVID-19 Testing Guidance
  • Cal/OSHA ETS COVID-19 Prevention Testing Requirements

Frequently Asked Questions

LA County DPH COVID-19 Information
  • COVID-19 FAQs
    • These frequently asked questions provide general background information about COVID-19 including how to identify symptoms, get tested and prevent the spread of the virus.
  • COVID-19 Information

Additional Resources

LA County Department of Mental Health - Resources for Managing stress
  • 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 iPrevail Access
    • LA County residents have free access to iPrevail.com, an online mental health resource to help with life's everyday stressors. After a short assessment, you are connected to customized support to meet your needs. Options include:
      • on-demand chat with trained Peer Coaches,
      • self-paced lessons on a variety of topics to improve wellbeing, and
      • community support groups
    • iPrevail is offered in English and Spanish and is available 24/7 from any smart device.

  • 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.
State Department of Developmental Services (DDS) COVID-19 Information
CDC Guidance
  • Schools and Childcare Guidance Website
    • The CDC website for Schools and Child Care Programs provides information to plan, prepare, and respond to COVID-19. This webpage has education and childcare related guidance for parents, administrators, teachers and staff.

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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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