Should I Send My Toddler to Daycare During COVID?

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on reddit
Share on email
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on reddit
Share on email

This article may contain affiliate links, which help pay our operating costs. Thank you for your support!

Daycare During COVID-19: Young girl shows paint on hands

Putting your toddler in daycare during COVID-19 is a complex decision with multiple factors to consider. The risks of childcare in these crazy times are undeniable, and I am lucky enough to be able to watch my daughter and work from home. Not every parent has that option, though. I’ve done a lot of research to help anyone who is considering childcare during the pandemic make the decision that is best for their child and family.

There are a lot of risks involved with daycares during COVID-19. Here are some of the most outstanding factors to take into consideration when deciding if you should put your toddler in daycare.

Risk Factors of Daycare During COVID-19

  • The high concentration of kids together in daycare has the potential to be a COVID hotspot since we all know how well toddlers do at social distancing.
  • Your toddler may struggle with wearing a mask for extended periods of time; if we’re being completely honest here, your toddler will probably refuse to wear a mask and/or try and trade masks with other kids.
  • Your toddler could become exposed to COVID through daycare and become ill. Although the mortality rate is low for children, they aren’t immune and are much more likely to spread the virus. Their infection could lead to the death of others.
  • Putting your toddler in daycare during COVID-19 increases the risk of the rest of the family becoming exposed to the virus.
  • A sick toddler puts daycare workers at risk, as well as other children and their families.
  • If an outbreak occurs at your child’s daycare, there’s a good chance it will shut down. That would put you back where you started, or in an even worse situation with a sick child.
Should I Send My Toddler to Daycare During COVID-19? An emptry daycare

In light of this, most experts recommend not putting your child at risk. However, many parents have jobs they need to go back to and need someone to watch their toddler. There are alternatives to daycare that put everyone at less risk for spreading the virus. Here are some options to consider.

Alternatives for Daycare During COVID

  • Ask a trusted friend or family member to watch your toddler. Depending on the closeness of your relationship with them, you’ll still have to take precautions, but the risks are significantly lower with the decreased amount of people. 
  • Hire a nanny. This is a tad bit riskier than using someone close to the family, but it is still a safer option than daycare.

If You Have to Put Your Child in Daycare During COVID-19, Here are Some Precautions You Can Take

  • Don’t send your toddler to daycare if they’re even the slightest bit sick. Children are often asymptomatic or display mild symptoms for COVID, but they’re still just as capable of passing the virus to others. It’s a good idea to get into the habit of checking their temperature every morning.
  • Teach your toddler to cover coughs and sneezes by sneezing/coughing into their elbow, NOT their hands.
  • Children under the age of two should not wear masks, because it’s a suffocation risk for them.
  • Buy cute masks your kids will like, but teach them not to trade masks with other kids. You can write your kid’s name on the mask so it won’t get mixed up with others.
  • Teach your little one how to wash their hands properly. “20-30 seconds, with soap and water, scrubbing your palms, back of hands, in between fingers, and under fingernails.” You can help them remember how long to wash their hands by having them sing happy birthday or this cute 20-second handwashing song while they wash. Make sure to encourage them to wash their hands frequently. 

What to Consider When Choosing Daycare During COVID-19

As I mentioned above, daycare may be the only choice for some parents; not everyone can afford a nanny, and not everyone has trusted friends and family to babysit. If daycare is your only option, here are some precautions and considerations to take into account to make daycare as low-risk as possible for anyone involved.

Medical History of Your Toddler and Family

Consult with your doctor to find out if your toddler or anyone they come in close contact with is high-risk for COVID-19. If you have a close family member that is high-risk, it is safest to keep them separated from them. 

Sanitizing Procedures

You should ask your potential daycare provider what their sanitizing procedures are. You want a daycare that has a regular cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting routine. They should be cleaning objects that are regularly touched, such as doorknobs, light switches, playground structures, toys, etc. with products that are EPA-approved against COVID-19.

Social Distancing Strategies

Find out what kind of social distancing policies your potential daycare has. Ideally, your toddler should be in the same group of kids with the same caretakers every day to minimize exposure to new people. Also, ask if the cribs/cots will be six feet apart at nap time.

Should I Send My Toddler to Daycare During COVID-19? Group of kids eating lunch

How Effectively Your Local Government is Dealing With Coronavirus

The policies that your local government has in place should play a factor in your decision. Some areas nipped COVID in the bud as best as they could, while others allowed it to run rampant and are now facing the consequences. Check with your local health department to see how cases are looking where you live.


To sum it up, daycare is a risky alternative during COVID-19. Social distancing asks toddlers to act like they never have in the history of toddlerdom. However, some parents have no options other than daycare, because someone needs to pay the bills. The ways that I discussed can make daycare safer for everyone if it’s a must for you and your family.

If you need ideas on how to entertain your toddler at home during quarantine, check out my ideas for social distancing activities for toddlers.

Share This Article
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on reddit
Share on email
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on reddit
Share on email
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
You Might Like
Catherine and Elena sitting in a park

Catherine Claesson

I'm a mom with a beautiful baby girl and a blog dedicated to sharing the best, most accurate momming tips, based on personal experience and lots of research.

Follow me on Pinterest:
Hire me to write for you:
Check out my other articles:

Questions or comments? Post them here.x