Guidance: Child Care

CA Safe Reopening

COVID-19 Response Recommendations for Child Care Setting


Disease Prevention Guidance

Employer Requirements

Disease Reporting


Updated 12/28/2022


Disease Prevention Guidance

The latest CDPH Guidance for Child Care Providers and Programs is available via the link.  This guidance reviews a variety of strategies to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 including planning, vaccination, testing, face coverings, essential equipment and supplies, distancing, ventilation, cleaning & disinfection, hand hygiene, isolation, and outbreak response.

Additional CDC Guidance for Operating Child Care Programs during COVID-19 also available and should be reviewed.  

Face Covering

In childcare settings, CDPH Guidance for the Use of Face Covering to strongly recommend masks for eligible individuals regardless of vaccination status, while indoors, with the following exemptions:

The following individuals are exempt from wearing masks, at all times:

  • Persons younger than two years old. Very young children must not wear a mask because of the risk of suffocation.
  • Children should not wear face masks while sleeping.
  • Persons with a medical condition, mental health condition, or disability that prevents wearing a mask. This includes persons with a medical condition for whom wearing a mask could obstruct breathing or who are unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove a mask without assistance.
  • Providers must ensure the use of face masks does not cause children to overheat in hot weather.
  • Persons who are hearing impaired, or communicating with a person who is hearing impaired, where the ability to see the mouth is essential for communication.
  • Persons for whom wearing a mask would create a risk to the person related to their work, as determined by local, state, or federal regulators or workplace safety guidelines.

Employers must follow Cal/OSHA COVID-19 Prevention Non-Emergency Regulations with regards to face coverings.


Administrators should review CDPH Interim Guidance for Ventilation, Filtration, and Air Quality in Indoor Environments and COVID-19 and Improving Indoor Air Quality in Schools on strategies for improving ventilation and air quality. 


Staying Home When Sick 

Staff, parents, and children should follow the strategy of “stay home when you are sick” see CDC’s Staying Home when You Are Sick for additional guidance.



For both vaccinated and unvaccinated persons, follow the CDPH Isolation Guidance for those diagnosed with COVID-19 and Orange County Health Officer Orders as it relates to isolation. 



OCHCA strongly recommends that all of those who are eligible receive a primary series and an updated (bivalent) vaccine.  Recommendations for COVID-19 vaccines now begin for those 6 months of age and older.  To know if you are eligible for COVID-19 vaccines see CDC’s Stay Up to Date with COVID-19 Vaccines Including Boosters. To find information on how to access COVID-19 vaccines check out our Find a COVID-19 Vaccine page.


Employer Requirements

On December 15, 2022, the Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board voted to adopt nonemergency COVID-19 Prevention regulations. These regulations will take effect once they are approved by the Office of Administrative Law (OAL) in the month of January 2023 and will remain in effect for two years after the effective date, except for the recordkeeping subsections, which will remain in effect for three years.  Details on Cal/OSHA COVID-19 Prevention Non-Emergency Regulations are linked.


Disease Reporting

Child care centers are required to report epidemic outbreaks to CCL through their local Regional Office (PDF) pursuant to Title 22 CCR section 101212(d).

Family child care homes are required to report a communicable disease outbreak, when determined by the local health authority, to CCL through their local Regional Office (PDF) pursuant to Title 22 CCR section 102416.2(c)(3).

With Cal/OSHA COVID-19 Prevention Non-Emergency Regulations, there is no longer requirement for reporting to Orange County Healthcare Agency (OCHCA) of staff outbreaks of disease. 

Please review Cal/OSHA COVID-19 Prevention Non-Emergency Regulations for the circumstances when reporting to Cal/OSHA may be required.

Child Care Providers are required to report outbreaks or unusual occurrences of communicable disease per California Department of Public Health. Code Regs. tit. 17 § 2508, as well as requirements to report individual cases of reportable disease.  Please see Information for Schools and Child Care Providers on OCHCA reporting.