Are Daycares Open Now?

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit the U.S. — and the world — everything changed in what seemed like a blink of an eye. Many organizations went remote, people stayed home (many having to work remotely), and states locked down, leaving gaps in childcare nationwide.

For essential workers, however, working from home wasn’t an option — and finding daycare or another care arrangement was still a requirement. Some daycare centers stayed open, even through the worst of the pandemic, to allow essential workers to do their jobs.

The pandemic still isn’t over, but the answer to “Are daycares open?” is yes — and they’ve got enhanced health and safety protocols in place to ensure the wellbeing of children, families, and staff. Whether you’re transitioning to life back in the office or you’re going back to work after maternity leave, you need reliable child care. And you might be wondering, “Where are daycare centers open?” and, “Are child care centers open all across the country, or do some still remain closed?” Read on to find out.

Children playing in Early Learning Center

First Things First: Are Daycares Open? How Are They Operating Safely?

Daycare centers are open; some never closed. How is that possible in the middle of a pandemic? 

Child care centers nationwide follow CDC guidelines, as well as state and local regulations to keep children, families, and staff as safe as possible. 

Plus, with COVID-19 vaccines now readily available, many teachers, staff, and parents have chosen to get vaccinated for added safety; some children over the age of 5 have gotten vaccinated, as well. 

What Else Are Daycares Doing to Help Prevent the Spread?

As you look for a daycare that works for your family, you want to make sure you find a center you can trust, with reliable COVID-19 protocols. What are daycares open during COVID doing to help keep everyone healthy and safe? Look for the following policies at the centers you’re considering.

Daily Health Screenings

Before families come into the center each morning, they should be required to fill out a questionnaire or answer questions verbally about a list of symptoms. Those who have symptoms should only be able to return once they’ve been tested, received a negative result, and symptoms have improved.

COVID Testing Policies

What happens if someone at the daycare center — a child, family member, or staff — tests positive for COVID? How long are they required to quarantine? When someone is experiencing symptoms, do they have to get tested?

Disinfecting & Sanitizing 

Are CDC guidelines followed in order to keep surfaces and high-touch toys free of germs? When and how are the meal areas, nap mats, bathrooms, and playgrounds sanitized? Is disinfectant removed properly from toys before babies and toddlers use them? Ask questions about disinfecting and sanitizing — knowing the answers will give you peace of mind.

Virtual Visits

Find out if your potential daycare centers are doing virtual tours — many daycares still aren’t letting visitors inside (in-person), but a video tour will give you an inside look and time to talk with center leadership and “meet” the teachers. Plus, virtual daycare visits are a great option for busy working parents. 


Can children get sick with COVID-19?

Yes, children can get sick with COVID-19.

Are daycares open to children who are sick?

Most daycare centers have a strict policy that excludes children who are experiencing symptoms consistent with COVID-19 symptoms (fever above 100.4, cough, difficulty breathing, loss of taste or smell, etc.). 

Typically, anyone experiencing symptoms needs to be tested (and receive a negative result) before they can return to the center — this goes for children, staff, and even family members. 

mother holding child

Get Started Today

Find a center near you to get started with Bright Horizons

Or call us to start the conversation 877-624-4532

Bright Horizons is a United States–based child-care provider and is the largest provider of employer-sponsored child care. Employees looking to become a child care teacher are offered the opportunity to earn an early education degree for free as part of their corporate benefits. Search by zip to find a child care center near you. Bright Horizons Global Headquarters are in Newton, Massachusetts, USA.