In-Home Childcare COVID-19 Best Practices

Updated: Apr 7, 2020

Brought to you by UrbanSitter

In-home childcare is currently allowed for essential workers. Additionally, many cities and counties classify in-home childcare as an “essential business,” and therefore allowable for all families in those jurisdictions during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Best Practices for In-Home Childcare

As you coordinate in-home childcare during COVID-19, keep in mind these best practices:

  • Verify that in-home childcare is allowed in your area.

  • Ask COVID-19 related screening questions when hiring a caregiver such as: 1. Are you following CDC guidelines on social distancing? 2. To minimize the potential for exposure to COVID-19, would you be willing to work with just our family? If so, what minimum hours would you require? 3. Would you be willing to have your temperature taken upon arrival at our home? 4. To the best of your knowledge, have you been exposed to the COVID-19 virus? 5. Are you currently, or have you recently, experienced symptoms that could be related to COVID-19? 6. How many families do you currently work for? 7. How will you be getting to/from the job?

  • Set clear expectations with your caregiver. When hiring, be sure to describe your unique in-home childcare situation, your needs and any rules. For instance, “I will be at home, but I’ll be upstairs. I will make sure my child knows I’m working during that time. It’s okay to take them to the park, but they may not go on the playground and need to stay 6 feet away from other people.”

  • Follow CDC guidelines for keeping homes safe. Families and childcare providers should mutually agree to follow safe hygiene practices.

  • Create an arrival routine for your care provider that includes things such as removing their shoes and coat by the door, washing hands upon arrival, and having a conversation with you about any changes to their health status.

  • Check-in regularly. Set up a time each week for you and your caregiver to discuss how things are going. It is a stressful time for everyone and situations change constantly, so make an extra effort to check-in with each other and modify your childcare plans as necessary.

  • If a child, a family member or caregiver is sick or has a fever, disclose the information with symptoms and relevant doctor information, to the other party so that families and caregivers can make informed decisions about whether to cancel a job. Specific to the COVID-19, the CDC recommends that people should self-quarantine for 14 days if you have been in contact in the last 14-days with someone diagnosed with COVID-19.

Alternative Creative Solutions

Additionally, consider these creative solutions to in-home childcare during COVID-19:

  • Families that have a spare room may offer to have the childcare provider “shelter in place” with them.

  • Caregivers may ask for a minimum number of hours per week to work exclusively with one family or to limit the number of families they work with.

  • Caregivers may ask for rides to and from the family’s home to avoid public transportation.

  • Families may offer to do the caregiver’s grocery shopping with their own to help limit the caregiver’s exposure.

  • Families with older children may request “remote sitting” with a caregiver using online video conferencing (while the parent still remains at home), to keep kids entertained and assist with homeschooling while the parent works.

Additional Reading