Caring for Our Children (CFOC)

Chapter 1: Staffing

1.7 Staff Health

1.7.0 Daily Staff Health Check

COVID-19 modification as of January 10, 2022.

After reading the CFOC standard, see COVID-19 modification below (Also consult applicable state licensure and public health requirements).

On a daily basis, the administrator of the facility or caregiver/teacher should observe staff members, substitutes, and volunteers for obvious signs of ill health. When ill, staff members, substitutes and volunteers may be directed to go home. Staff members, substitutes, and volunteers should be responsible for reporting immediately to their supervisor any injuries or illnesses they experience at the facility or elsewhere, especially those that might affect their health or the health and safety of the children. It is the responsibility of the administration, not the staff member who is ill or injured, to arrange for a substitute caregiver/teacher.

COVID-19 modification as of January 10, 2022: 

Early childhood programs should implement daily screening procedures for staff. Programs may require staff to self-screen with temperature checks at home or be screened when they present to the program. Staff who are experiencing any of the symptoms/exposures/testing listed below should not enter the program.

  • COVID-19 symptoms:
    • Fever (100.4o F/38o C or higher); feeling feverish (chills, sweating)
    • New cough
    • Fatigue
    • New loss of taste or smell
    • Sore throat
    • Headache
    • Runny or stuffy nose
    • Muscle pain or body aches
    • Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
  • Have had close contact (within 6 feet for at least 15 minutes or more over a 24 hour period of time) with someone who is COVID-19 positive
  • Are waiting for results of a COVID-19 test
  • Have been recently diagnosed with COVID-19 and not yet cleared to return to work

Staff screening and daily health checks are not a replacement for other protective measures, such as the use of a well-fitted mask, consistent small cohorts, and physical distancing.

Programs should offer COVID-19 screening testing at least once a week.COVID-19 Screening Testing identifies people with COVID-19, including those with or without symptoms who are likely to be contagious, so steps can be taken to prevent further spread of illness. In ECE programs, screening testing can help identify and isolate cases, quarantine those who may have been exposed to COVID-19 and are not fully vaccinated, and identify clusters to reduce the risk of exposure in ECE programs. Decisions regarding screening testing may be made at the state or local level.

Facilities are encouraged to develop policies that encourage sick employees to stay home without fear of negative consequences. Programs should develop tools and a procedure for documenting staff screenings.

Programs that conduct screenings should do so safely, respectfully, and confidentially, as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and other applicable federal and state laws.

There is overlap between COVID-19 symptoms and other common infectious illnesses. Therefore, follow the program illness exclusion guidelines and refer to:

Additional Resources:



Sometimes adults report to work when feeling ill or become ill during the day but believe it is their responsibility to stay. The administrator’s or caregiver’s/teacher’s observation of illness followed by sending the staff member home may prevent the spread of illness. Arranging for a substitute caregiver/teacher ensures that the children receive competent care (1,2).
Administrators and caregivers/teachers need guidelines to ensure proper application of this standard. For a demonstration of how to implement this standard, see the video series, Caring for Our Children, available from National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) (1).
Center, Early Head Start, Head Start, Large Family Child Care Home, Small Family Child Care Home
  1. Baldwin D., S. Gaines, J. L. Wold, A. Williams. 2007. The health of female child care providers: Implications for quality of care. J Comm Health Nurs 24:1-7.
  2. Murph, J. R., S. D. Palmer, D. Glassy, eds. 2005. Health in child care: A manual for health professionals. 4th ed. Elk Grove Village, IL: American Academy of Pediatrics.

COVID-19 modification as of January 10, 2022.