Health & Safety Guidance
Visit the Massachusetts Department of Public Health's guidance for children and staff in certain settings: COVID-19 Isolation and Exposure Guidance for Children and Staff in Child Care, K-12, Out-of-School Time (OST) and Recreational Camp/Program Settings
COVID-19 Testing for Child Care Settings
Programs may now begin registering for the March shipment of rapid antigen tests through this new form. Requests must be submitted by Friday, March 3 to receive a March shipment. Shipments will begin the first full week of March. If a program needs an emergency shipment of tests after this shipment, they should similarly submit a request using this same form. For support with ordering tests, please call 781-305-4389.
Para pedir pruebas en español, haga click aquí.
As the federal COVID-19 public health emergency winds down this spring, the March distribution will be the final quarterly distribution of free rapid antigen tests to program. This final distribution will provide tests for four months - March, April, May and June. EEC will continue to fulfill emergency test requests until June 30, 2023.
When using tests, please know that the FDA has extended the expiration dates on the rapid antigen tests several times. Most recently, on January 11, 2023 the FDA extended the expiration date of iHealth COVID-19 at-home tests by an additional 3 months. iHealth COVID-19 at-home tests may be used for up to 15 months from the date of manufacture. Find the new expiration date at https://ihealthlabs.com/pages/news.
As a reminder, EEC, in coordination with the Department of Public Health (DPH), continues to urge providers to leverage our COVID-19 Isolation and Exposure Guidance for Children and Staff in Child Care, K-12, Out-of-School Time (OST) and Recreational Camp/Program Settings to understand how to handle any cases of COVID-19 in their programs. In alignment with this guidance, EEC and DPH continue to recommend that rapid antigen tests are preferred to PCR tests in most situations to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Residential programs should continue to follow EOHHS’s congregate care guidance.
The EEC COVID-19 Healthline continues to be available, in English and Spanish, to EEC-affiliated programs to support COVID-19 related inquiries and support the implementation of testing guidance. Programs can continue to contact the Healthline via telephone at 857-488-4418 or via this online form.
The EEC COVID-19 Healthline will continue to be available until June 30, 2023.
COVID-19 Vaccinations for Children
People ages 6 months+ who live, work, or study in Massachusetts should get a COVID-19 vaccine. People ages 5+ should get a booster.
Find a location at Vaxfinder.Mass.gov
Children Ages 6 months-4 Years Old
Children ages 6 months through 5 years old who live in Massachusetts are able to get the COVID-19 vaccine. The vaccine is safe and effective. You don't need an ID or insurance to get the vaccine.
- DPH-EEC Letter to Child Care Providers (PDF) – On June 21, 2022, DPH and EEC provided EEC-licensed child care providers with a letter regarding the approval of COVID vaccines for children 6 months+-4 years old.
- DPH-EEC Letter to Families (PDF) – DPH and EEC provided programs with a template letter to share with families with children in child care regarding the approval of COVID vaccines for children 6 months+- 4 years old.etter to share with families with children in child care regarding the approval of COVID vaccines for children 6 months+.
- DPH-MAAP-EEC Pre-Holiday Letter to Families (PDF) – In December 2022, DPH, the Massachusetts Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, and EEC provided programs with a template letter to share with parents as a reminder about the safety and efficacy of both COVID vaccines and flu vaccines.
For more resources about the COVID-19 vaccine, including for children aged 6 months - 4 years old, visit www.mass.gov/CovidVaccineyoungkids.
Children Ages 5-11
Children ages 5 to 11 who live or go to school in Massachusetts are now eligible to get the Pfizer vaccine. The vaccine is safe, free and effective. You don't need identification or insurance to get it.
Contact the EEC Covid-19 Healthline with questions related to testing: by calling 857-488-4418 or by clicking here.
- COVID Closure Reporting
- Massachusetts Department of Elementary & Secondary Education
- Office of the Child Advocate: Covid-19 Resources for Early Childhood Educators
- Massachusetts Attorney General: Child care and Other Resources for Families