Covid Childcare California

Guidance for care for California families

About Covid Childcare Collaborative

California’s parents are on the front line in sustaining societal operations through coronavirus, whether serving in essential businesses and healthcare systems, working remotely from home, or managing a household of homebound children.  Families urgently require adapted childcare solutions for these challenging times where rigorous protective distancing, including school and daycare closures, are necessary to flatten the curve.


The Covid Childcare Collaborative was formed in solidarity between leading California childcare providers, high-impact nonprofits, and our state and city local governments to provide up-to-date, consolidated guidance for families and providers on childcare safety and access during coronavirus.


Care Options

If you are a parent working out of the home in essential services, multiple childcare resources remain available.  All options are working to balance the logistics of care with best practices for protective distancing.  Be open with your care providers in discussing those measures and the needs of your family and those of your providers.  Our resource center contains information on best practices for navigating in-home care, center-based care, cooperative family-to-family care and other types of care during the COVID-19 crisis.

Childcare Options

More Care Options


Services that provide safe rides for kids to transport them from one location to another in age-appropriate car seats without a parent. This service may be useful for separated parents and essential workers. Drivers are licensed, background checked and managed by the ride care service.


These are programs which are either in-home or center-based and focus on care, education and therapy for children with special needs.  The programs may be focused on an individual child or a small group of children.


States, counties, and nonprofits are offering varying levels of sponsored care referrals to government and other qualifying essential workers. These may include dedicated childcare centers or childcare stipends.


These are care providers who are paid to care for children in the family’s home while the family is either working in an essential job outside of the home or working from home. Babysitters and nannies have varying levels of credentials, certifications and background checks. Rates are usually quoted as hourly rates and vary based on the care provider’s experience and location.


Families may volunteer to provide free childcare services for another family, traditionally in exchange for the other family reciprocating. Multiple families may organize into a closed cooperative to share care together (a “babysitting co-op”). Caregivers in families have varying types of experience but are generally parents themselves.


Some individuals are volunteering to provide free childcare services to essential workers, usually in the family’s home. Volunteer babysitters have varying levels of credentials, certifications, background checks and licensing. Volunteer babysitters may work for one family at a time or several families.


Daycare centers usually specialize in the care of babies through preschool-aged children. Daycare centers range in price, structure and size and usually operate on a set schedule. Daycares may run in a dedicated daycare facility or out of a home.  Daycares are required to be licensed.

Help for Parents

If you are a parent at home, your work caring for yourself and your family (for many, also while working remotely) is also critical.  Here are some ideas to support you and your family.

Digital Care Breaks

Use online and video services to ask another adult to entertain your child for brief periods of time.  Note that you must still monitor your child for safety during these breaks. There are also many great educational tools and resources available for families and children.

Digital Playdates

Help children stay socially connected through video playdates with other children. Services are available to coordinate these events.

Mental Health Resources

Whether it’s an online family guided meditation or one-on-one online counseling, there are many resources available to help families through this stressful time.


A Message to All Parents

For all parents, we know your job doesn’t stop at childcare.  We will continue to assemble additional resources on this site to support you through all the other challenges of parenting during this time.

Thank you to the partners bringing this together.  We are committed to providing a cohesive point of reference for California parents.  In solidarity, we will navigate these times with cooperation and mercy.