Caring for Our Children (CFOC)

Chapter 3: Health Promotion and Protection

3.6 Management of Illness

3.6.2 Caring for Children Who Are Ill Exclusion and Alternative Care for Children Who Are Ill

At the discretion of the person authorized by the child care provider to make such decisions, children who are ill should be excluded from the child care facility for the conditions defined in Standard When children are not permitted to receive care in their usual child care setting and cannot receive care from a parent/guardian or relative, they should be permitted to receive care in one of the following arrangements, if the arrangement meets the applicable standards:

  1. Care in the child’s usual facility in a special area for care of children who are ill;
  2. Care in a separate small family child care home or center that serves only children with illness or temporary disabilities;
  3. Care by a child care provider in the child’s own home.
Young children who are developing trust, autonomy, and initiative require the support of familiar caregivers and environments during times of illness to recover physically and avoid emotional distress (1). Young children enrolled in group care experience a higher incidence of mild illness (such as upper respiratory infections or otitis media) and other temporary disabilities (such as exacerbation of asthma) than those who have less interaction with other children. Sometimes, these illnesses preclude their participation in the usual child care activities. To accommodate situations where parents/guardians cannot provide care for their own children who are ill, several types of alternative care arrangements have been established. The majority of viruses are spread by children who are asymptomatic, therefore, exposure of children to others with active symptoms or who have recently recovered, does not significantly raise the risk of transmission over the baseline (2).
Center, Early Head Start, Head Start, Large Family Child Care Home, Small Family Child Care Home
RELATED STANDARDS Inclusion/Exclusion/Dismissal of Ill Children Space Requirements for Care of Children Who Are Ill Qualifications of Directors of Facilities That Care for Children Who Are Ill Program Requirements for Facilities That Care for Children Who Are Ill Caregiver/Teacher Qualifications for Facilities That Care for Children Who Are Ill Child-Staff Ratios for Facilities That Care for Children Who Are Ill Child Care Health Consultants for Facilities That Care for Children Who Are Ill Licensing of Facilities That Care for Children Who Are Ill Information Required for Children Who Are Ill Inclusion and Exclusion of Children from Facilities That Serve Children Who Are Ill
  1. Crowley, A. 1994. Sick child care: A developmental perspective. J Pediatric Health Care. 8:261-67.
  2. Aronson, S. S., T. R. Shope, eds. 2017. Managing infectious diseases in child care and schools: A quick reference guide, pp. 43-48. 4th Edition. Elk Grove Village, IL: American Academy of Pediatrics.