TOO SICK FOR DAYCARE When your child becomes too sick for day care what do you do?  Below is a list of do's and dont's to keep in mind next time you are in this position.




1.  Have an alternative to your regular child care provider:

This alternative may be a daycare especially for sick children (sick child daycare), a relative, or a friend.  Planning alternative care may prevent you from having to miss work and can provide peace of mind for both you and your child.

2.  Inform your regular care provider:

Providers are required by law to take specific steps when they are notified about an illness.  They may need to inform staff or parents so they can watch the other children for symptoms of the illness, take special care to sanitize or clean equipment or toys, inform the health department, etc.

3.  Teach your child habits that will help her stay healthy:

This tip won't help you once your child is sick, but it may help in keeping your child healthy the next time other children are coming down with the flu.  If your child is old enough, teach her proper hand washing techniques, not to play with toys other children have had in their mouths, etc.


1.  Try to cover up your child's illness and send him to his regular care provider:

Don't send your child to daycare full of pain reliever knowing he is sick in hopes you can get through half a day of work before you are contacted to pick him up.  Your child will have a miserable day as well as the staff who are trying to take care of your sick child.  In addition, both the staff and any parents who observe your sick child will be upset that you have knowingly risked exposing everyone to an illness.

2.  Make your child feel as if the illness is his fault:

Your child is already feeling bad because he is sick, don't make him feel as if the illness is his fault.  If you are stressed or worried about your child and who will care for him, keep these feelings to yourself.

 3.  Blame your child's caregiver for his illness:

Unless you believe the caregiver is failing to take reasonable percautions to prevent illness in the facility, you should not blame the caregiver for your child's illness.  Children in daycare will get sick from time to time (often more frequently than children who do not attend daycare).  As long as the staff are washing their hands and following other state mandated sanitation and hygiene policies, they are doing their part to prevent illness.