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COVID-19 Family Resources

COVID-19 Child Care

Stanford on-site child care center operations have been significantly curtailed due to County shelter-in-place guidance. As of July 22, we have five centers operating.

Learn more about the WorkLife Office's on-site child care operations.

Campus child care centers are following very stringent, important guidelines that limit staffing patterns, the ways in which teacher’s breaks can be covered, and how children and teachers must remain in their same groups throughout the day. They also continue to deploy hygiene best practices and preventive measures. Additionally, we are closely monitoring practices shared by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC)County Public Health Department, and the Department of Social Services Community Care Licensing. The day-to-day practices we are implementing include: 

  • Keeping teachers with the same group and in the same classroom throughout the day
  • Conducting daily temperature checks at drop-off on all children and staff entering the building
  • Placing six-foot markers at the parent sign-in and as a reminder to respect the social distancing guidelines 
  • Requiring teachers to use masks
  • Placing nap mats and cribs six feet apart while children rest
  • Requiring that drop-off and pick-up be done outside of the center
  • Conducting daily cleaning and disinfecting at the end of each day


Yes. If you experience a change in child care costs, you can reduce your election to your dependent care flexible spending account (FSA). Note that if you receive a Child Care Subsidy Grant award in your FSA, you will continue to receive the per-pay-period award amount. To reduce your election, log into My Benefits and select “Change Your Benefits.” From there, select “Change in dependent care cost or provider.” Your FSA election is the only benefit election you’ll be able to change due to this circumstance.  

Yes, we ask that all parents help support our efforts by:

  • Complying with the handwashing guidance when you enter and leave a classroom.

  • Keeping your children home if they have symptoms of illness and especially if they have a fever.

  • Following the self-isolation guidelines as recommended by the CDC.

  • Providing accurate and complete information during the daily inspection for illness.

  • Communicating your travel plans to ensure compliance with Stanford’s self-isolation requirements. Visit the Stanford Health Alerts website for important updates about infectious diseases, travel warnings and other public health issues.

  • Remaining vigilant to your own health and the health of your child(ren). Please review the CDC’s Healthy Habits to Prevent Flu to avoid the spread of flu at work and school. 

  • Planning and preparing for alternative care in the case of center closures (e.g. family support, alternating schedules with partners, neighborhood cooperation).

If you already used up your 10 days of Back-Up Care (BUCA), you may still access Bright Horizons Additional Family Supports, but pay for the services out of pocket.

Bright Horizons Additional Family Supports gives you free membership access to Sittercity's extensive database of babysitters, nannies and elder companions where you can find a caregiver and negotiate rates directly. 

Schools, child care center operations, and families who are in need of care continue to be significantly impacted by the pandemic. To help families navigate this challenging time, the WorkLife Office offers Family Resources, including additional child care options to consider during COVID-19. In addition, the university offers interim caregiving pay for those who need to provide child and elder care.

Based on the county’s latest shelter-in-place guidance, effective July 13, child care, summer camps, summer school, and all other educational or recreational programs for all children may operate and must abide with keeping children in stable groups over time and comply with restrictive staffing patterns. The WLO continues to assess  our current capacity and align with the university’s staged restart.

Learn more about the WorkLife Office's on-site child care operations.

While some families are anxious to get back to child care, we recognize others are nervous to return to group care. To help families navigate this challenging time, the WorkLife Office offers Family Resources, including additional child care options to consider during COVID-19.


The extension of shelter in place has significantly impacted child care center operations and families who are in need of care. To help families navigate this challenging time, the WorkLife Office offers Family Resources, including additional child care options to consider during COVID-19. You may also want to consider forming "family social bubbles" to get additional support with work schedules.

We also recognize the challenges of supporting the remote-learning activities of children as school districts are announcing distance learning. We encourage you to coordinate with your supervisor to ensure you have the opportunity to attend all school orientation meetings. Understanding your school’s remote-learning expectations, including how to access available technology support and mental health resources, as well as how best to communicate with teachers, may help with planning a more seamless transition into the start of the school year.

From September 1 through December 21, the university will also offer caregiving pay. For eligibility and details, visit the Cardinal at Work website.

Our facilities are complying with university policies relative to self-isolation following travel for all families enrolled and we are enforcing this to potential tours of enrolling families, etc. 

Individuals who have traveled outside of Northern California are restricted from returning to Stanford campuses for 14-days — unless they receive testing at, or after, day 5 post-return and receive a negative result.

Yes, the Order allows nannies and childcare providers caring for a child in the child’s own home to continue working.