22 Mar What Child Care Providers Need to Know About Getting the COVID-19 Vaccine
Childcare providers, many of whom have never stopped caring for children during the coronavirus pandemic, have been anxiously awaiting their turn for the COVID-19 vaccine. Starting March 1, they can sign up. Childcare workers who work or live in L.A. County, Orange County, and Long Beach are now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. However, with an uncertain supply, it’s hard to say whether it will be days or weeks before they’ll be able to sign up for appointments. Read on to learn more about the vaccine rollout for providers in L.A. County, Orange County, Long Beach, and Pasadena.
LOS ANGELES COUNTY
L.A. County is currently vaccinating Phase 1A and Phase 1B, Tier 1. Phase 1A includes healthcare workers, staff, and residents at nursing/long-term care facilities. Phase 1B includes residents 65 and older, educators and child care providers, emergency services, and food and agriculture workers.
Who will be eligible?
Information is constantly being updated, but as of today, those eligible include a wide range of formal and informal childcare providers, including those that are licensed, license-exempt, and unlicensed. This can include child care center staff, family child care home providers, “family, friend, and neighbor” providers who receive state subsidy payments, staff members of agencies that provide child care resources and referrals, employees of agencies that funnel state funding to subsidized child care providers and staff from public parks and recreation and youth programs that provide child care. The current round of vaccines does not, however, include nannies working in individual family homes.
What should you bring?
Providers will need to bring a picture ID, proof that they live or work in L.A. County, and documentation to prove their status as a licensed or license-exempt child care provider. Because information on documentation is still evolving, a best practice would be to bring multiple forms of documentation just in case. Some examples of documentation include:
- For center-based early childhood educators (licensed): a copy of the State of California license for the center; badge; pay stub; letter from employer
- Family child care homes (licensed): a copy of the State of California license for the center
- Family, friends, and neighbors (FFN) providing subsidized care (license-exempt): a copy of an attendance sheet or invoice.
How to sign up and stay in the loop:
Multiple agencies will be sending out information. To ensure vaccines get to childcare providers who need them, particularly those working in the hardest-hit communities, some vaccination sites will be invitation-only. Some agencies will be sending out invitations to these sites. Childcare providers who are 65 and over are eligible for a special COVID-19 vaccination program. They can sign up for appointments at a closed vaccination point of distribution.
We recommend providers create a profile on the CA ECE Workforce Registry to receive notifications and contact their local resource and referral agency.
To stay in the loop, providers can also join the next LA County ECE COVID-19 Response Team Community Call. They’re typically on Friday mornings and information about those calls is usually posted on their website.
All others can sign up for appointments at: myturn.ca.gov or the LA County vaccination appointment website. You can also sign up to receive email updates with updated information at vaccinatelacounty.com. If you don’t have a computer, you can call 833-540-0473 between 8 AM to 8:30 PM.
Starting March 1, Orange County will be vaccinating Phase 1A and 1B, Tier 1, which includes healthcare workers, staff and residents at nursing/long-term care facilities, residents 65 and older, educators, emergency services, food, and agriculture workers.
How to prepare:
Workers who are currently eligible for vaccines need to show an ID and one piece of documentation including a professional license, employee badge, signed note from an employer on letterhead, or a pay stub with their name on it. It’s unclear yet whether childcare workers will have to show similar documents. See the above recommendations for L.A. County documentation for examples.
The Orange County Health Care Agency vaccination distribution website says the agency will notify childcare employers, who will then notify eligible staff when vaccines are available.
We know not all childcare workers have traditional employers and reached out to the county with questions. We’ll update this post when we hear back.
Long Beach opened vaccine appointments to childcare workers, who are in Phase 1B, Tier 1, during the week of January 25. Here’s who’s eligible, according to the city’s vaccine website: nannies, all staff (including facilities and maintenance staff) at preschools, day camps, afterschool programs, and homeschooling programs. Home-based childcare providers are not eligible yet.
How to prepare:
Check first to see if your employer is offering vaccinations. If not, sign up on the VaxLB website. Childcare workers need to provide some proof of employment such as a paystub or letter from their employer.
Pasadena is currently vaccinating Phase 1A and Phase 1B, Tier 1 which includes healthcare workers, staff and residents at nursing/long-term care facilities, residents 65 and older, Child care workers, educators, emergency services, and food and agriculture workers.
The city is following state guidance about eligibility, so both formal and informal childcare workers will be eligible. Childcare providers will need to show proof of current, eligible employees in the City of Pasadena, such as a letter from an employer, work badge/ID, paystub, etc. Childcare providers that live in Pasadena but work elsewhere will also be asked to provide proof of City of Pasadena residency as well. See the above recommendations for L.A. County documentation for examples of childcare providers. The city is working with its Office of the Young Child and the local resource and referral agency Options For Learning to understand how to reach the various sectors of the childcare workforce.
How to prepare:
See the above recommendations for L.A. County providers. Pasadena will likely partner with local pharmacies, and Huntington Hospital, and create vaccination sites to distribute shots when they’re available to childcare workers.
If you are an in-home childcare provider looking for information on how you can get the vaccine
While many of the above cities specifically mention that the current round of vaccines does not include nannies working in individual family homes. The below method was attempted by a client and both of her nannies were able to get a vaccine. They went to myturn.ca.gov and selected “education and childcare” and they booked their appointments. They were not asked for proof of employment. The website didn’t list any restrictions on nannies. The client wrote a letter for them that they work in childcare for his family. We highly recommend the employer write a letter of employment in case they are asked for it.
If you are looking for information on how to get the vaccine in any other county
To find out what the process is in your county, do an internet search for the Office of Public Health in your county. Be aware that as the vaccination doses are available, the categories may be changed. For example, you may be eligible in the 1B category now, but if there is a shortage, you may be changed to 1C. The best way to find out is to search in your own county through the Department of Public Health. Check often as we have seen this information change almost weekly.
If you are an INA member, you may print your INA certificate as proof of your membership in a professional childcare organization. That has proven helpful in many instances. To do that:
- Go to nanny.org and click “log in” at the top right side of the screen.
- Enter your login information (email email@example.com for help with this.)
- Once in, go to “My Account” and then “Membership”.
- You will see a green “Print” button. Click this to either print it to a printer or save it as PDF.
If you are looking for science-based information on the vaccine itself
Here are some recommended web pages with trusted sources of information on the vaccine.We want to stress that RCG is not advocating whether you should get the vaccine or not. This is not our job. Each person must choose for themselves. We are trying to share science-based facts so you have trusted sources at your fingertips. You can feel free to send these links or any of this information to parents, other nannies, family members, and the like.
- FDA COVID19 vaccine information
- CDC COVID19 vaccine information
- Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Vaccine Education Center
- Scripps Research ‘Science, Simplified’
- Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Institute for Vaccine Safety
If you have employment questions on the vaccine and employers
It is our understanding that nannies can be required by employers to get the COVID-19 vaccine as a term of employment. This is a complex issue and may require some thought on the part of employers. There is more information below:
- Can You Require Your Nanny to Get a COVID-19 Vaccination: GTM
- Can Employers Mandate COVID-19 Vaccine for Employees: USA Today Article
Again, RCG, as an organization, is not advocating for the vaccine. That is a personal decision that you will make for yourself and your family. However, we have had a large number of requests for information. Please be sure if you have any specific questions to consult your personal physician. Also, it is important to note that much of the information on how to get the vaccine changes rapidly and may change even more now that we have a new administration in the U.S.
We understand this is a difficult and confusing time. RCG wishes to be a support to the industry during this time. We hope you have found this information beneficial and if there are other questions you have, let us know and we will do our best to answer them. We’ll update this story as new information comes in. If you’ve got tips or questions, please tell us using the box at the bottom of this story.