1. Does the law or Child Care Licensing require that child care employees are vaccinated against COVID-19? (Last Reviewed 11/23/21)
Except for Head Start employees, COVID-19 vaccines are not currently required by law or Licensing.
- At this time, Licensing does not require vaccination against COVID-19, unless the program is a Head Start program. See Office of Head Start guidance. Child care providers will not lose their child care license if they or their employees are unvaccinated.
- For other providers, state and federal law do not require vaccination against COVID-19. People who work or volunteer at child care homes and centers must be vaccinated against influenza, pertussis, and measles. Cal. Health & Safety Code §§ 1596.7995, 1597.622. The COVID-19 vaccine is not on that list of required vaccinations, but it might be added in the future.
Child care providers cannot reveal to parents whether their employees have been vaccinated against COVID-19. That medical information is confidential. For more information, see Question #2 “Do I have a right to find out if my child’s child care provider has been vaccinated against COVID-19?”
2. Do I have a right to find out if my child’s child care provider has been vaccinated against COVID-19? (Last Reviewed: 11/23/21)
No, parents do not have the right to know whether a provider has been vaccinated against COVID-19.
(1) Required Vaccines
Providers are required to be immunized against the flu, pertussis, and measles. Cal. Health & Safety Code §§ 1596.7995, 1597.622. Except for Head Start Employees, currently, there are no laws that require providers or their employees be vaccinated against COVID-19 to operate family childcare homes (“FCCH”) or childcare centers. Also, Licensing does not require that provider get the COVID-19 vaccine.
(2) Medical Privacy for Providers & Their Employees
Federal and California state law protect an individual’s protected health information.
California state law mandates that employers who receive medical information shall establish appropriate procedures to ensure the confidentiality and protection from unauthorized use and disclosure of that information. Cal. Civ. Code § 56.20(a). This means that if an employer gets information from their employees regarding the vaccination, the employer must protect the information and prevent it from being shared without permission.
No employer shall use, disclose, or knowingly permit its employees or agents to use or disclose medical information about its employees. That information can only be revealed if the employee signs an authorization. A provider has the choice to let a parent know if they themselves have been vaccinated, but they must get written permission to reveal their employee’s vaccination status. Cal. Civ. Code § 56.20(a). If the employee gives the employer permission to disclose their vaccination status, the authorization must comply with state law requirements, found here. Cal. Civ. Code § 56.21.
Even if a provider is not vaccinated, they are required to have COVID-19 procedures in place to minimize exposure and infection. Each local county health department may require different preventative measures for their childcare providers. Contact your local health department to keep up to date with your county’s current restrictions.