Daycare provides essential services for parents. However, when a child is sick, the daycare may not be the best place for the child. In fact, most daycare centers monitor the health of children with various policies. These policies determine when a child should not be allowed in the group setting. Parents need to know the details of these policies in order to know when their child needs to stay home for the day.
Why Is a Daycare Sick Policy Required?
For parents, a daycare sick policy can seem like a burden. If you cannot send your child to daycare, then you have to have alternative arrangements. However, these policies are very important. If all children were allowed to come regardless of illness, then sickness would spread uncontrollably. Young children share germs at excessive rates, which means that illness can spiral out of control. The children bring these illnesses home and spread them to their families. This becomes even more problematic when infants with an immature immune system are in the same setting. A policy that dictates when a child cannot come to daycare minimizes the spread of germs and protects vulnerable populations.
What Are Common Illness Policies?
The policy for illness will vary from daycare to daycare. However, there are many similarities based on common sense and medical fact. In most cases, children must be symptom-free for at least 24 hours before returning to daycare. The most common illnesses that must keep a child home are below.
- Persistent cough
Other common childhood illnesses may have more variation. For example, head lice used to necessitate an absence for the child until there were no lice or nits on the head. However, some modern policies have lightened those restrictions. Illnesses like pink eye may require treatment before the child can return.
Should Parents Care About the Illness Policy?
At first, parents may simply think these policies are inconvenient or too strict. Such policies can cause understandable frustration, but they are very important for the wellness of your child. Not all children are able to fight off disease in the same way, which means that some children might respond to a common illness more severely. Plus, although keeping your child home is inconvenient, the policy will protect your child from other potential illnesses down the line.
What Are the Sick Policy Requirements in My State?
Policies for illness vary between facilities, but each state can provide an additional layer of control. In order to retain its license, a daycare must comply with regulations from the state. Some of these regulations relate to health and safety. However, the specificity of these requirements varies drastically. You should check with your state’s licensing department to see if your daycare is compliant.
The policy for illness can have an impact on you, your child and the daycare overall. Talk to the daycare provider in advance to understand the expectations.