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Early Care & Education

COVID-19 Toolkit

Page updated 10-19-21 Ver página en Español
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.

Guidance Documents

Guidance for Childcare Providers

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

Exposure Management Plan (EMP): What to Do When You Have a COVID-19 Case at Your Facility
  • The Los Angeles County Exposure Management Plan (EMP) for Early Care and Education details the required action steps to take after you have identified one or more COVID-19 positive cases in your facility. Immediate implementation of an exposure management plan after identifying a single case of COVID-19 can help speed up the ability to contain spread of COVID-19 and prevent that single case from becoming an outbreak. This short DPH exposure management training video walks you through the key elements of an exposure management plan in your facility.

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

Requirements for Reporting Cases and Contacts at Your Facility

Any case of COVID-19 (child or staff) in an ECE setting must be reported to the local Community Care Licensing Division Child Care Offices.

ECE providers are also required to notify the LAC Department of Public Health (DPH) of individuals (staff or children) with confirmed COVID-19 at the site.

To complete this reporting requirement, the provider must use one of the reporting methods 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 their 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 to DPH within 1 business day of the site being notified of the case. ECE providers can report cases to DPH using one of the following methods:

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.

  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.
    • Additional signage (Exposure Notice) may be posted to inform the community of potential exposure at the ECE site to COVID-19.
Isolation, Quarantine, and Other Instructions for Close Contacts

Additional 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 Best Practices for Businesses and Employers
  • Worker's Rights and Benefits Related to COVID-19
Covid-19 Prevention
  • Encourage COVID-19 Vaccination
    • COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective and are the best way to prevent outbreaks in the workplace and in the community.
    • Information on COVID-19 vaccines, safety, and how to get vaccinated is available at VaccinateLAcounty.com (English) and VacunateLosAngeles.com (Spanish).
  • Screen for Symptoms of COVID-19
    • Symptom screening of employees, staff, and volunteers should be part of your ECE center's strategy to limit the spread of COVID-19 at the worksite. This entry screening document provides entry screening options for checking staff and volunteers before they enter the worksite. Additional languages can also be found on the LA County DPH COVID-19 Guidance page.
    • 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 close contact with an infected person. 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.
    • Screen children and employees for symptoms of COVID-19. LA County DPH provides a screening decision pathway for ECE providers on their guidance page. This document lists 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.
  • Follow Current State and Local Masking Guidance
  • Reduce Risk of COVID-19
  • Traveling During the COVID-19 Pandemic
    • Review the LA County DPH Travel Advisory for up-to-date information during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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 standard for child care settings.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Resources
  • Safely Making California
    • Purchase non-medical grade PPE supplies safely through the Safely Making California program at www.safelymakingca.org.
    • The State of California Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) partnered with the California Manufacturers & Technology Association (CMTA), and Autodesk to support the community and provide important and necessary access to PPE supplies (face covers, sanitizers, and other supplies) for all business sectors in California.
  • Local Resource and Referral Agencies (R&Rs)
Covid-19 Testing Guidance
  • LA County Test Sites
    • Information on COVID-19 Testing
      • For current information on COVID-19 testing, visit ph.lacounty.gov/covidtests. This DPH website 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.
      • LA County testing site offer free COVID-19 testing to persons who live in LA County, regardless of immigration status. Drive through or walk-up testing sites are available, and appointments are not always needed. Visit lacounty.gov/testing or call 2-1-1 to learn more.
    • COVID-19 County Testing Plan
  • Cal/OSHA ETS COVID-19 Prevention Testing Requirements
    • Cal/OSHA ETS requires employers to offer testing at no cost to employees. This requirement applies to:
      • 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), or
      • All employees in a major outbreak (20 or more employee cases).
    • For more information, see the State's 2021 COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave FAQs and poster.

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.
  • Family Child Care Provider FAQs
    • LAC DPH has created this list of frequently asked questions specifically for Family Child Care Providers to help guide them in making important Exposure Management Decisions (EMP).
  • COVID-19 Information

Additional Resources

  • For guidance for parents and guardians, visit the Resources for Parents & Guardians webpage: English | Español
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 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.
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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