Child Care and COVID-19

Child care is a critical service to Delawareans across our state.

We thank our child care providers for their dedication to Delaware’s children, and their efforts to keep children and staff safe during this time.

On March 30, 2020, Governor John Carney issue a modification to the State of Emergency, which allows child care programs in Delaware to be designated as emergency child care sites in an effort to assist essential personnel during the coronavirus crisis.

Per the order, beginning April 6 and continuing until the State of Emergency is lifted, child care may only be provided by child care centers and child care homes that have been designated as “Emergency Child Care Sites” by the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families (DSCYF).

In order to be an emergency child care site, child care centers and homes must certify that they are only providing child care to children of personnel working for essential businesses, as defined by Governor Carney’s State of Emergency, and cannot work from home.

Please see the below information and guidance to help providers and families as they make decisions.

Child Care Options During Delaware’s State of Emergency

Are you a provider in good standing looking to serve as an emergency child care site for essential personnel? Please fill out this Emergency Child Care Site application by noon on April 3.

Interested child care centers must be designated by the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families DSCYF and comply by certain requirements regarding health and safety.

Read the DSCYF Emergency Care Requirements.

Are you an essential worker in Delaware who cannot work from home and in need of child care? Enter your home or work address to see what emergency child care options are available near you. You can find options within 10 miles of your specific location. You can search for providers by using the magnifying glass at the top left side of the map. This map will be updated on a rolling basis as emergency sites are approved.


Additional Information and Forms Needed for Providers

To be updated.

Information for Families Seeking Emergency Child Care During Delaware’s State of Emergency

During this public health emergency, Delawareans need to stay at home, except for essential work or essential activities, like getting groceries or picking up prescriptions. It’s how we all can protect one another.

The Governor’s recent modification helps to ensure employees of essential businesses, like health care workers, have access to emergency child care services. If you are an essential employee (check the list here), and you cannot work from home, your child can receive care at an Emergency Child Care Site. A list of emergency child care options will be coming soon, and the list will be updated on a rolling basis.

Parents will need to fill out the forms below in order to enroll children in emergency child care.

DSCYF Essential Personnel Form (certifying essential personnel status)

DSCYF Temporary Child Information Card

DSCYF Temporary Enrollment Form

DSCYF Temporary Health History Form

Information on Child Care Guidance in Delaware

Steps Providers Can Take to Prepare for COVID-19

These are recommendations from Delaware Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families with guidance from Delaware Division of Public Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    • Share information with parents and staff about steps to protect themselves and keep others safe. Communicate regularly.
    • Know the symptoms of coronavirus. Symptoms include: fever (over 100 degrees) AND cough or difficulty breathing.
    • Monitor for illness and temperatures. Ask parents to check their child’s temperature before coming to child care. Have staff monitor their temperature before coming to work. If the temperature is more than 100, the child or staff member should stay home.
    • Strictly enforce the provider’s illness policy for both children and staff.
      • Encourage staff and children to stay home when sick.
      • Develop a process to identify and act on sending children and staff home if sick.
      • Separate sick students and adults from others until they can go home.
      • Keep a log of children and adults who are absent.
      • Collect contact information, including phone numbers, to coordinate pick up for children if they are sick.
    • Increase handwashing procedures throughout the day for staff and children. Use soap and water and scrub vigorously for at least 20 seconds.
    • Rigorously implement cleaning for toys and surfaces, including tables, shelves, trash cans, sinks, door knobs and other materials available to staff and children. Regularly launder soft items such as bedding and clothing.
    • Remind staff and children to avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth.
    • Encourage social distancing in all aspects of child care. For example:
      • Curbside drop off and pick up
      • Ask caregivers to not bring in toys and other items from home, unless necessary
      • When planning activities practice social distancing, such as space between children during activities, if possible.
    • Increase the frequency of cleaning, sanitizing and disinfecting child care spaces.
    • Continually review and update plans.
    • If you have questions about how to prevent and address illness in the facility, please contact the Division of Public Health Coronavirus Call Center (number below).

Delawareans with questions about COVID-19 can call the Division of Public Health’s Coronavirus Call Center at 1-866-408-1899, or 711 for individuals who are hearing impaired. Email

Additional information for Child Care Providers

Please go to the Office of Child Care Licensing website for additional information on licensing and requirements for providers. Reach out to your licensing specialist for more information.