Finding Child Care

Parent Checklist: Child Care Safety During COVID-19

Illinois' early childhood advocates, including Illinois Action for Children are here to help you determine what it will look like—and if it will be safe—when your child returns to child care.

With that in mind, we and our advocacy partners have created this checklist that includes some of the most important things to look for when you are considering for child care during the COVID-19 pandemic.

We encourage you to review your child care provider’s re-opening plan to make sure you understand and are comfortable with the health and safety precautions that are in place.

Child Care Re-Opening Guidance Update

The Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) has released standards and guidance for re-opening child care centers and homes. These enhanced health and safety protocols were informed by the experts at the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) and Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and represent the best known practices to keep children, staff, and families safe during the ongoing pandemic. As children come back to child care, you can expect to see many changes. For example, to limit exposure, programs will have smaller group sizes and will be restricting interaction among groups of children and staff.

In the coming days, Illinois Action for Children will be sharing a checklist to help parents know what other health and safety practices to look for in your child care program as it reopens.

Child Care Support for Essential Workers During COVID-19

As you navigate the many challenges of our current situation, rest assured that Illinois Action for Children’s Child Care Consultants are ready to help all essential workers find child care during these unprecedented circumstances. Options include child care centers, family child care homes, and in-home care.

Whether you need child care once a week or every day, after your needs have been identified we will send you a customized listing of referrals to potential programs and help you make an informed decision.

Contact us: 

If you would like a Parent Consultant to contact you directly to assist with your child care search, please click here.

Illinois Network of Child Care Resource & Referral (CCR&R) Helpline
The state-wide CCR&R network has created a helpline to help provide referrals to parents who are essential workers and are in need of child care at this time.

  • A dedicated help line has been created so Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies (CCR&Rs) can help connect essential worker families to emergency child care. Call toll-free 888.228.1146. The helpline will be available from 9 a.m.- 3 p.m., Monday through Friday to answer calls, but callers will be able to leave a message 24 hours a day.    

  • To find emergency child care in your area, visit COVID-19 Emergency Provider Search. 

Other Resources

What to look for in your search for quality child care. Use these checklists when evaluating child care programs.