Child Care Services

Carol McLay, DrPH, BSN, RN, CIC, FAPIC Infection Prevention Consultant

Chapel Hill, NC


Compared with children cared for in their own homes, children who attend child care centers develop infectious diseases more frequently and use antimicrobials more often and for longer durations. Infectious disease can spread quickly among children in the child care setting and may be transmitted to child care personnel , family members, and the community. Adherence to infection prevention and control practices, including hand hygiene, standard precautions, environmental cleaning and disinfection, food safety practices, immunization recommendations, and exclusion of ill children and staff are the most important factors for reducing disease transmission in child care settings. This chapter summarizes the epidemiology of infections observed in child day care, infection prevention and control measures, and regulations relevant to out-of-home child care. It provides resources for infection preventionists, public health personnel, and other healthcare professionals who may be called on to provide consultation to child care centers.