EEC’s Health and Safety Guidance During COVID-19 Recovery for Child Care Providers

Updated Approach for Promoting Health and Safety

NEW: COVID-19 Isolation and Quarantine Guidance

On May 25, 2022, EEC replaced the COVID-19 Mitigation Protocols and Guidelines for Child Care  with joint COVID-19 Isolation and Quarantine Guidance from EOHHS, DPH and DESE on quarantine, isolation, and mitigation strategies. EEC strongly encourages providers to update their own quarantine and isolation practices for children and families in accordance with this guidance.   

Staff should continue to follow the existing guidance related to quarantine and isolation for staff:  

Symptomatic Staff:

Send the staff member home and inform them to test for COVID-19  (rapid antigen or PCR test). If they test negative, the staff member can stay in the program if symptoms are mild or return to child care once they have been fever-free for 24 hours and symptoms improve. Classroom closure is not recommended and there is no exclusion/quarantine recommended for an exposed cohort. 

Staff Testing Positive (Isolation): Staff should stay home for 5 days. After 5 days: 

  • If they can mask:
    • The staff can go back to the program on day 6 (test recommended, but not required)
  • If they cannot mask:
    • If the staff member can test on day 5 or later:
      • When they test negative and are asymptomatic or symptoms are subsiding, the staff member can go back to care the day after negative test (rapid antigen or PCR)
      • When they test positive, the staff member must continue isolating until they receive a negative test and are asymptomatic or symptoms subside through day 10
    • If staff cannot test:
      • They must stay home for a total of 10 days, returning to care on day 11

Staff Member Was Exposed to Someone with COVID-19:

  • Staff may remain in care if they test each day for 5 consecutive days. If the staff member is positive one of those days, they should follow isolation guidance above. 

  • This protocol can be used both for exposures that occur in the program and out of the program, and from household members.  

Residential programs should continue to follow EOHHS’s congregate care guidance.

All EEC-licensed and approved child care providers can access free rapid antigen tests, training, and implementation support through Neighborhood Villages.

EEC has partnered with Neighborhood Villages and Primary Health to provide the EEC Healthline to support programs with implementing COVID-19 protocols. This helpline is a free resource available to all EEC-affiliated programs in both English and Spanish. It is supported by public health experts with a deep understanding of COVID-19 data and research.

Contact the EEC Covid-19 Healthline: by calling 857-488-4418 or via email at

Note: EEC licensors cannot provide information on COVID-19 cases or symptoms. Consult public health or medical professionals with inquiries about COVID-19 transmission.

Programs are required to adhere to the requirements specified in 606 CMR 7.00.  As part of EEC’s health and safety regulations for licensed child care programs (606 CMR 7.11), programs should incorporate any specific practices needed to support the continued prevention of COVID-19 transmission into their program policies.

Programs should ensure that all policies developed for their sites are designed to meet the specific needs of each program’s circumstances and the population the program serves. Programs should also have in place a system to communicate updates with parents.