COVID-19 Resources & Information for Child Care Providers – Early Learning Coalition of Indian River, Martin & Okeechobee Counties Skip to main content
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COVID-19 Resources & Information for Child Care Providers

COVID-19 | For Providers

DCF Guidance For Providers- 03/25/20

  • Prohibit any person except the following from accessing an operation: operation staff; persons with legal authority to enter, including law enforcement officers, Child Care Licensing staff, and Department of Children and Families protective services staff; professionals providing services to children; children enrolled at the operation; and parents or legal guardians who have children enrolled and present at the operation.
  • Ensure that each child is provided individual meals and snacks.
  • Do not serve family style meals.
  • Require pickup and drop-off in the lobby/entry way of the operation, unless it’s determined that there is a legitimate need for the parent to enter an operation. For example, meet the parent at the pickup area and escort the child to the parent.
  • Before allowing entry into the operation, screen all individuals listed above and deny entry to any person who meets any of the following criteria through verbal survey:
    • Do you have a fever of 100.4 or higher?
    • Have you had any respiratory infection, or have had a cough, shortness of breath, and low-grade fever?
    • In the previous 14 days, have you had any contact with someone with a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19; is under investigation for COVID-19; or is ill with a respiratory illness?
    • In the previous 14 days, have you traveled on a cruise or internationally to countries with widespread, sustained community transmission?

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Even though schools are closed, are child care facilities (home and center based) required to close?

Not at this time but parents should contact their provider to make sure they are operating. Providers should monitor updates from the Florida Department of Health regarding recommendations for operations.

Q: I don’t have enough staff to remain open for child care. What should I do?

The Office of Child Care is working on options to address this issue. If you need to request a variance or waiver of specific standards in order to continue operations, please submit the request to through your local licensing office.

We are processing these daily. If you are considering closing, please contact your licensing specialist to discuss a plan to stay open. We want to help you.

If you are a teacher and your center has closed and you would like to help other centers that provide emergency child care in any capacity, please email your transcript, proof of background screening, and an email address to You will be added to a list that providers will have access in order to contact you directly.

Q: Are there rule exceptions available?

The Office of Child Care is processing rule exceptions for individual child care homes and facilities as emergency variances or waivers which are addressed above. We are also looking at potential blanket variances or waivers which will be announced as they are approved.

Q: Am I able to accept more children beyond my licensed capacity?

Providers should submit requests for variance or waiver of specific standards as addressed above and the Office of Child Care will work with them to try to keep facilities operating as recommended by the Department of Health.

Q: What should I do if I think a child, their family, my staff, or I have been exposed to this virus?

We recommend you visit the Department of Health or Centers for Disease Control websites on COVID-19.

Q: Do I have to provide parents a refund if I close my child care?

Consult the agreement or contract you have with parents. The Office of Child Care does not regulate this area.

Q: What if I want to open a child care program on-site for my employees?

If you are interested in opening a temporary or emergency child care program at this time, please contact the Office of Child Care at 850-488-4900 or via email at

In any situation where child care is provided for free, then licensure is not required.

If temporary or emergency care is provided for a fee, then most likely licensure is required, unless the program meets one of the existing exemptions from licensure in the Florida Statutes or Florida Administrative Code. This will be determined on a case-by-case basis.


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