Last Updated on: June 17, 2021
The health and safety of families and caregivers is our top priority. We are always taking precautions to prevent the spread of infectious viruses like the flu, but COVID-19 presents 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 latest updated from 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 the gathering of health information for any type of vaccinations (Flu, Measles, COVID-19). Sharing this information is at the election of the family and the caregiver. We value equity and are careful not to unfairly disadvantage families and 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 guide here.
Does Care ask Backup Care providers their vaccination status?
Caregivers may volunteer vaccination information but Care does not mandate or verify health information for any type of vaccinations (Flu, Measles, COVID-19). Sharing this information is at the election of the family and the caregiver. We value equity and are careful not to unfairly disadvantage families and caregivers who are not comfortable sharing their personal health information publicly.
Can I request a vaccinated caregiver?
You may add a preference when requesting a caregiver and we will attempt to match based on the vaccinated criteria however, we don’t require a vaccination or mandate the sharing of personal health information from either the family or the caregiver.
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) or is experiencing symptoms, we require a 14-day wait period since last possible exposure 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.
In the case of actual infection, per CDC guidelines, we will require you to confirm that you have been both symptom-free for 7 days and fever-free (without any fever-reducing medications) for 3 days.
Can I use Backup Care for my child if they have a fever?
To avoid the spread of contagious disease, we cannot provide Backup Care to any person who has a fever above 100 degrees.
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.
Can I request a previous or consistent caregiver to minimize my family's exposure to new people?
Our Backup Care service at Care.com is designed to provide quality care from our supply 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 are required to take the safety precautions listed below.
What precautions have you taken regarding the health of your caregivers or the protocols within the childcare centers in your Backup Care network?
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;
- The caregiver will reach 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 they booked the care.
- We ask that families do their part in maintaining a safe environment by adhering to the 6-foot social distancing guidelines and wearing masks when possible.
The health and safety of our care providers and the families we care for is our top priority. Therefore, we screen both the caregivers as well as the families requesting Backup Care, as described above. 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.
Our child care center partners enforce a policy in which children and teachers stay home when sick to avoid spreading illness to others.
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.com 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.