Last Updated on: August 8, 2022
The health and safety of families and caregivers is our top priority. While it is always important to take precautions to prevent the spread of infectious viruses like the flu, COVID-19 has presented unique challenges. We’ve assembled the following frequently asked questions to help you best protect yourself and your loved ones. For the latest on COVID-19, check the CDC website.
Frequently Asked Questions on Caregiver Vaccinations
Are Care.com Providers required to share their vaccination status?
Care does not mandate or verify whether caregivers have received any type of vaccinations (Flu, Measles, COVID-19). Providers may choose to add the COVID-19 vaccination badge to their profile to indicate to families that they have been vaccinated. Sharing this information is at the election of the caregiver. We value equity and are careful not to unfairly disadvantage caregivers who are not comfortable sharing their personal health information publicly. Instead, we provide the tools to communicate prior to hiring and strongly suggest that both families and caregivers inquire about the status of vaccination if that is a determining factor for hiring.
We have compiled a helpful interview guide for the hiring process and armed our caregivers with pointers on how to respond to parents’ requests. You can find the parent guide here.
Does Care ask Backup Care providers their COVID-19 vaccination status?
Care requests Backup Care providers to share their COVID-19 vaccination status; however, Care is only able to verify the information of the caregivers we employ. Care does not verify health information for the caregivers of our agency partners. Sharing this information with the agency is at the election of the caregiver. Caregivers may share their vaccination status with a family upon request, but are not required to share personal health information. Regardless of vaccination status, caregivers are still required to adhere to CDC health and safety best practices when providing care described here.
Can I request a vaccinated caregiver?
You may add a preference for a vaccinated provider when requesting a caregiver and we will attempt to match based on the vaccinated criteria. In the event that Care is unable to match a vaccinated caregiver for your request, you will be contacted to discuss alternative care options available based on your benefit.
Is Care requiring caregivers to get vaccinated?
At this time, caregivers are not required to be vaccinated to provide BUC services.
If someone in your family has been diagnosed with coronavirus, is showing symptoms, and/or is in quarantine for coronavirus, can Care.com provide Backup Care?
If anyone in your household may have been exposed to COVID-19 (coronavirus), has tested positive or is experiencing symptoms consistent with COVID-19, we require a 10-day wait period since last possible exposure, onset of symptoms or positive test, whichever occurred last, before requesting Child or Adult Backup Care. When you request Backup Care, you will need to confirm that no member of your household has the virus or is within this precautionary wait period. And, we need to be notified if there are any health changes in your household between the time you request care and the day the care is taking place.
Can I use Backup Care for my child if they have a fever?
To avoid the spread of contagious diseases, we cannot provide Backup Care to any person who has a fever of 100 degrees or above, regardless of their vaccination status, exposure history, or the presence or absence of other symptoms.
What health precautions is my family required to take when using the Backup Care service?
Any adults who will be at home on the day of care are required to wear a mask when in the presence of the caregiver and maintain a 6-foot social distance when possible. We also encourage families to adhere to the CDC-recommended best practices described here.
Can I request a previous or consistent caregiver to minimize my family’s exposure to new people?
Our Backup Care service is designed to provide quality care from our pool of carefully vetted and experienced Backup Caregivers when families need it the most. While previous caregivers are taken into consideration when arranging Backup Child Care, this service is not meant to be a consistent, long-term solution for child care. And, while creating quarantine “pods” or “bubbles” is one of the safety practices recommended by many experts, there’s simply no way for a Backup Caregiver to quarantine with your family. However, every one of our caregivers is required to adhere to the CDC-recommended best practices described here.
What precautions have you taken regarding the health of your caregivers?
As it relates to COVID-19, we are requiring our care providers to adhere to the CDC-recommended best practices described here. This includes:
- Taking their temperature before they leave to go to any job to confirm they are fever-free (100 degrees or above) and letting Care.com know if they are not feeling well;
- Using preventive hygiene and washing their hands thoroughly with soap and warm water, for at least 20 seconds, when they arrive at a job and throughout the day;
- Wearing a face covering for the duration of a Backup Care job;
- Reaching out to the family in advance of when the care takes place to let the family know that they will be arriving wearing a face covering –and throughout the duration of care –and ensure that there has been no change in the household’s health status since care was booked; and
- Maintaining a safe environment by adhering to the 6-foot social distancing guidelines.
We ask that families do their part in maintaining a safe environment by also adhering to the 6-foot social distancing guidelines and wearing face coverings when in the presence of the caregiver. We also encourage families to adhere to the CDC-recommended best practices described here.
As always, we encourage our care providers to get annual flu shots and to inform us if they are ill or have symptoms that would prevent them from being able to safely provide care.
What are the protocols within the childcare centers in your Backup Care network?
Our childcare center partners follow polices and regulations that are required by their local and state licensing departments. These typically overlap and align with CDC guidelines. Centers follow strict guidelines to ensure children, families, teachers, and staff avoid spreading illness to others. Childcare center partners enforce a policy in which children and teachers stay home when sick to avoid spreading illness to others, as well as routinely clean, sanitize, and disinfect frequently touched surfaces, toys, classrooms, floors, and other spaces. Examples of other precautions taken:
- Limiting number of people in centers by dropping off and picking up children at or near the school entrance and assigning the same person to drop off and pick up the child each day;
- Temperature checks and visual screenings such as looking for signs of rapid or difficulty breathing, extreme fussiness, or fatigue upon arrival;
- Frequent hand washing for teachers, staff, and children;
- Meals served in classrooms, plated by teachers or staff to avoid sharing of utensils;
- Limiting number of children in play and shared spaces by staggering and avoiding combined classroom activities;
- Ensuring nap mats or cribs have enough space, 6-feet apart when possible; and
- Immediate notification to Care.com if the center becomes aware of an enrolled child, teacher, or staff member that has a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 that impacts a Backup Care family.
What should I tell my kids about Coronavirus?
Experts recommend that parents ease children’s concerns about the coronavirus by having candid conversations while also trying to maintain a sense of calm. Here are some tips:
- If your child has heard about the virus, talk to them at an age-appropriate level about the coronavirus and the risks so they get accurate information from you.
- Emphasize good hygiene – remind them to wash their hands often, avoid touching their face and sneeze into their elbows.
- Tell them that doctors, scientists, and other professionals are “working very hard” to address the issue and keep us safe.
The Care team has assembled a library of COVID-19 resources for families and caregivers, including articles about fun ways to keep kids social (at a distance), how other parents are navigating child care, and questions to ask child care providers during the pandemic.
Our Equal Parts podcast also has episodes with expert interviews covering parenting during the pandemic, homeschooling lessons for parents, and more.