Early childhood programs play an important role in the lives of children and their families. They also support communities’ economic health by employing teachers and other staff and helping parents, guardians, and caregivers work.

During the recovery phase of a health pandemic, your community implements policies and guidelines for the safe reopening of services, including early childhood programs. The recovery phase and the effects of the pandemic may be long­ term. It is also essential to stay updated on local and state regulatory policies related to your program and community.

Checklist for Reopening Your Program

When your program reopens after a health pandemic:

  • Activate your post health pandemic procedures for maintaining a healthy environment
  • Activate your recovery procedures to continue to support the needs of families and staff members who remain affected by the health pandemic
  • Activate your plan for communication with local and state regulatory agencies
  • Follow guidance on symptom screening and self-report of symptoms
  • Activate your family communication plan
  • Activate your staff communication plan
  • Review policies and procedures to include any updates due to new information
  • Monitor and adjust (if needed) policies and procedures to ensure they are effective

During all phases of a health pandemic, designate a point of contact or contacts. Tell families and staff members that this is the person or persons to contact about any health pandemic related concerns.

During recovery, plan for ways to provide the following:

  • Communication to staff members and families about ways to protect against infectious diseases
  • Updates on community efforts, services, and ways to be involved
  • Care for first responders and essential workers
  • Support for adult preventive health and well-child visits
  • Ways to facilitate family and community connectedness
  • Access to free or reduced-cost broadband access
  • Resources for personal protective equipment
  • Resources for food, shelter, and other personal needs
  • Resources for families and staff members with access, functional, or special health needs
  • Mental health services

Other Resources and Planning Tools to Assist you:

Health Tips for Home Visitors to Prevent the Spread of Illness

Schools and Child Care Programs (CDC)