Caring for Our Children Basics

Inclusion/Exclusion/Dismissal of Children

The program should notify parents/guardians when children develop new signs or symptoms of illness. Parent/guardian notification should be immediate for emergency or urgent issues. Staff should notify parents/guardians of children who have symptoms that require exclusion, and parents/guardians should remove children from the early care and education setting as soon as possible. For children whose symptoms do not require exclusion, verbal or written notification to the parent/guardian at the end of the day is acceptable. Most conditions that require exclusion do not require a primary health care provider visit before re-entering care.

When a child becomes ill but does not require immediate medical help, a determination should be made regarding whether the child should be sent home. The caregiver/teacher should determine if the illness:

  1. Prevents the child from participating comfortably in activities;
  2. Results in a need for care that is greater than the staff can provide without compromising the health and safety of other children;
  3. Poses a risk of spread of harmful diseases to others;
  4. Causes a fever and behavior change or other signs and symptoms (e.g., sore throat, rash, vomiting, and diarrhea). An unexplained temperature above 100 °F (37.8 °C) (armpit) in a child younger than 6 months should be medically evaluated. Any infant younger than 2 months of age with fever should get immediate medical attention

If any of the above criteria are met, the child should be removed from direct contact with other children and monitored and supervised by a staff member known to the child until dismissed to the care of a parent/guardian, primary health care provider, or other person designated by the parent. The local or state health department will be able to provide specific guidelines for exclusion.

Last Updated: February 8, 2019