How Childcare and Daycare Providers and Customers Can Protect Themselves From Evolving Health Risks

Childcare programs and daycare centers are essential for ensuring that children receive care while their parents or guardians are at work. Since many people still engage in office-based work, childcare workers and their clients need to prepare to protect their well-being given ongoing health risks.

How to Safely Provide or Use Childcare Services to Minimize Health Risks

Given that children’s immune systems are still developing, they easily catch and can quickly spread illnesses amongst their families and each other—especially when there are many children engaging in a confined space.

Childcare services providers and parents or guardians face many tough questions about how to protect children’s health, including:

  • What steps can minimize the risk of disease transmission in a daycare environment?

  • What health and safety measures will protect us against new virus variants?

  • How do we clean and disinfect high-contact surfaces like check-in desks, door handles, toys, books, and stuffed animals?

With these questions in mind, AIHA has created this “Healthier Workplaces and Schools eBook” to offer practical advice for childcare workers and their clients to reduce the risk of transmitting illnesses like COVID-19. The guidance borrows from the latest advice from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and expert advice from leading health and government organizations.

These guidelines share practical steps to protect people across a range of childcare programs, including home-based childcare programs, private childcare centers, pre-kindergarten programs, Head Start and Early Head Start programs, childcare centers operated by municipalities, and those partnering with healthcare facilities for the children of essential workers.

The guidelines provide information on the following areas for employers, workers, and parents or guardians:

  • Enhanced cleaning and disinfecting practices for buildings and high-touch surfaces, including advice for toys, books, naptime mats or cots, and outdoor playgrounds.

  • Personal hygiene recommendations, including how frequently employees and children should wash their hands.

  • Physical distancing strategies to help limit disease transmission, including recommendations for child drop-off and pickup locations recommendations.

  • Self-monitoring practices and how to know if you or a child should stay home.

Download our “Healthier Workplaces and Schools eBook” today to learn how to engage in childcare programs safely.

Additional Childcare and Daycare Center Health and Safety Resources

For ongoing help and resources to avoid health risks in childcare environments, we recommend you explore the following resources:

Resources by Type


Healthier Workplaces and Schools eBook

The recent pandemic has taught us many important lessons about the spread of infectious diseases like COVID-19, RSV, and measles in indoor environments. As a result, we must take advantage of what we have learned to help ensure our places of work are and continue to be safe places for our workers, customers, and communities. Many of the steps you can take to help keep buildings and the people in them safer and healthier are simple and effective and can be adjusted to meet the current situation or infectious disease risk that exists. In this e-book, we will walk you through the different approaches to help mitigate the risk of spreading airborne infectious diseases depending on your workplace setting.