Child Care Services FAQs
How Many Children Can Be in a Groups?
Licensed providers shall care for a maximum of 10 children per group, as directed by Community Care Licensing. License-exempt providers may care for a maximum of 12 children per group.
According to the San Diego County Public Health Order on May 10, 2020 child daycare and child care providers shall operate under the following conditions:
- Childcare should be carried out in stable groups ("stable" means that the same children are in the same group each day);
- Children should not change from one group to another.
- If more than one group of children is cared for at one facility, each group should occupy separate areas. Areas must be separated in a way that children and toys may not move across one area to another.
- Groups should not comingle with each other; and
- Childcare providers should remain solely with one group of children, to the extent possible.
Additionally, the following chart has been provided for Licensed Providers to follow based on the age group you will be serving:
Staff: Child Ratio
0-18 months (infant)
18-36 months (toddler)
3 years – kindergarten entry (preschool) & kindergarten entry + (school age)
0 to school age (mixed age groups)
Staff:Child Ratios and Face Covering Requirements
What are the Current Ratios for Children in Child Care Centers?
Child Care Facilities may return to Title 22 regulations on group sizes. However, it is strongly recommended that it is done slowly and cautiously. Adding more children increases the risk of an outbreak, and it is the responsibility of the provider to make sure guidelines are followed.
Can facilities use a ‘floating’ staff in order to allow other staff
Floater(s) staff to break is allowed if you can keep the floater(s) as stable as is feasible, such as only visiting a set number of groups. It is important to limit the number of adults that meet the children throughout the day. Use the public health order, CDE and CDPH guidance to determine what system would work best for your site.
Are childcare provider staff required to wear a face covering?
Yes. All adults are required to wear masks when within 6ft of non-household members in accordance to the Public Health Order and the COVID-19 UPDATED GUIDANCE: Child Care Programs and Providers
Are children required to wear a face covering while in care?
In accordance to the Public Health Order and the COVID-19 UPDATED GUIDANCE: Child Care Programs and Providers children ages 2 years and older should wear face coverings, especially when indoors or when a six-foot physical distance from others cannot be maintained. Further, the COVID-19 Guidance for Child care and Providers indicates that face coverings are strongly encouraged for young children ages two years and second grade, if they can be word properly.
Can a face shield be used in place of a face covering?
Yes, State and Local Guidance now mandate that facial coverings are required. Those who are unable to wear a facial covering because of a medical concern are exempt from wearing cloth coverings, and if possible are encouraged to wear facial shields. Teachers may also wear facial coverings if it is needed for instructional purposes.
What are the recommendations regarding physical distancing during nap time?
In the case of napping, children should be placed six feet or more apart. If your space does not allow for six feet of separation, you can arrange for them to sleep head-to-toe. It is not recommended that children not wear masks while napping.
When doing our screening and a parent indicates that someone in the
household has either shown symptoms or has tested positive in the last
24 hours how long do we wait before the child is able to return?
If the person has tested positive, then they should isolate. If a person thinks that it is likely that they were exposed, then they should quarantine. The length of time for both is 14 days. Make sure that you are also notifying public health officials and contacting your LPA. For specific questions reach out to LPA.
Where can providers apply for financial assistance?
YMCA Childcare Resource Service is administering the funds made available by the State of California to help cover the costs of cleaning and health & safety supplies for eligible childcare providers. Childcare providers have three options:
- Receive funding for allowable expenses at a rate of $65.89 per child.
- Obtain supplies directly from the YMCA at a later date.
- Choose a combination of both funding and future supplies.
- For detailed information and eligibility read the full letter from the California Department of Education.
Community Care Licensing has also shared that there is a waiver of administrator certification program fees, license fees, and home care aide registration fees as a result of coronavirus disease 2019 (covid-19). Please refer to PIN 20-10 CCLD or call Child Care Licensing duty desk at (619) 767-2288 for more information.
Cleaning & Sanitation
What are the recommended guidelines for facility sanitation?
Please follow the following guidance from Cal OSHA and the CDC:
Where can childcare providers find funds for cleaning and sanitation supplies?
Locally, the YMCA CRS will be helping to distribute funds for childcare providers to purchase cleaning products and other supplies. Visit the website for more information or email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have specific questions.
o For detailed information, please review CDE Information on Allocation of Funds
Is it okay for children to share toys?
Toys may be shared within the same group of children but must be kept separate from different groups at all times. Disinfect the shared objects frequently and avoid the use of toys that cannot be cleaned (ex: playdough). Personal toys should be kept at home until further notice. All personal items should be labeled and kept in a separate bag. Please see PIN 20-06-CCP.
Outdoor Play Space
If our childcare facility has more than one group of children, can they
play outside together?
Only one group of children should be outside at a time. Shared outdoor areas must be thoroughly disinfected between each group use. Please see PIN 20-06-CCP.
Are youth sports allowed to operate?
At this time youth/team sports are not permitted. Sport focused day camps however, may operate under the COVID-19 INDUSTRY GUIDANCE: Day Camps and the County of San Diego Day Camp Safety Protocol. Sports focused day camp protocols include a maximum of 12 campers per cohort, no competition, no contact, no spectators and no referees.
What do we do if a child, staff or facility contact has a positive
Remember to report the incidents to the County, CCL and affected families.
Report the case to the County
- If a child, staff or facility contact has tested positive for COVID-19 please contact the Epidemiology Unit by phone at (619) 692-8499. For urgent matters on evenings, weekends or holidays, dial (858) 565-5255 and ask for the Epidemiology Unit duty officer.
- Childcare providers are required to report to the local health office the presence or suspected present of any communicable diseases (click here for more information)
Report the case to Community Care Licensing (CCL)
- If a child, staff or facility contact has tested positive for COVID-19 please contact your local CCL regional office within 24 hours.
- Submit an Unusual Incident Report (LIC 624 or LIC624B) within 7 days of the report to your assigned Licensing Program Analyst or Regional Office, please include the contact with Epidemiology or Public Health Official with recommendations in your report.
Follow CDC recommendations (
for more information):
- Close off areas used by the person who is sick.
- Open outside doors and windows to increase air circulation in the areas.
- Wait up to 24 hours or as long as possible before you clean or disinfect to allow respiratory droplets to settle before cleaning and disinfecting.
- Clean and disinfect all areas used by the person who is sick, such as offices, bathrooms, and common areas.
more than 7 days have passed since the person who is sick
visited or used the facility, additional cleaning and
disinfection is not necessary.
- Continue routine cleaning and disinfection.
- Report the case to the County
Child Care Reopening
What is the process for reopening our childcare center?
The CDC offers this interim guidance to assist establishments as they open. CDC will update this guidance as it learns more about COVID-19 and best practices to prevent its spread. Please click here for more information.
For the best practices please reference the San Diego Office of Education’s tool kits below. Get Started, Plan and Operate.
How long should we stay closed if county (local) public health
recommends closing our facility?
Any decision about re-opening a child care facility that was ordered to close due to COVID-19 should be made in coordination with your local county public health department.
Essential Businesses and Employees
What is considered an essential business?
The State Public Health officers have provided a list of Essential Critical infrastructure workers for guidance on what is considered an essential business. Please also see the California Coronavirus (COVID-19) Response Essential Workforce List.
*Please note that the state has allowed other businesses to open as part of the economic recovery. Child care services may also be provided to these workers, and other eligible families.
Are we allowed to serve more families in addition to the Essential Workers?
Community Care Licensing has provided this and many other FAQs on PIN 20-11-CCP.
*Please note that the state has allowed other businesses to open as part of the economic recovery. Childcare services may also be provided to these workers, and other eligible families.
Hand Sanitizer Storage
Where should we store hand sanitizer?
A: From Title 22
§ 101238(g). Buildings and Grounds: Disinfectants, cleaning solutions, poisons, and other items that could pose a danger if readily available to children shall be stored where inaccessible to children
§ 102417(g)(4). Operation of a Family Child Care Home: Poisons, detergents, cleaning compounds, medicines, firearms and other items which could pose a danger if readily available to children, shall be stored where they are inaccessible to children.
From CDC—When and How to Wash Your Hands
Closely supervise young children when using hand sanitizer to prevent them from swallowing hand sanitizer because it can cause alcohol poisoning.
Why? Ethyl alcohol (ethanol)-based hand sanitizers are safe when used as directed, but they can cause alcohol poisoning if swallowed. Children may be particularly likely to swallow hand sanitizers that are scented, brightly colored, or attractively packaged. Hand sanitizers should be stored out of the reach of children and should only be used with adult supervision. Be aware that children might purposefully swallow hand sanitizers due to the high alcohol content. For more information please refer to the California Poison Control Organization.
Stay Up to Date
How do we stay up to date on COVID-19?
For further information, please see the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) webpage. You can find guidance provided by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO). CDSS and Community Care Licensing encourage you to visit these sites regularly as information and guidance may change frequently.
Additionally, there are resources for schools and child care programs on the CDC webpage. The Department will also communicate new and updated information related to child care facilities to providers through Provider Information Notices (PINs). Please sign up to be notified of new PINs here and visit the Department’s website for the latest PINs.