Stay up-to-date on the latest parent and child care provider recommendations regarding COVID-19. View Announcements

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COVID-19 Announcements

The South Carolina Department of Social Services (DSS) has created this page to help Child Care Providers and Parents stay up-to-date on the latest recommendations regarding the Coronavirus.  Please review the information below and take steps to help yourselves, your staff, and the children in your care stay healthy.

Best Practices for Staying Healthy

We understand that you may have concerns about how the virus may impact our schools and childcare centers.  Here are some additional suggestions/recommendations to consider:

  1. Make sure children, staff, and visitors are washing hands as directed by SC DHEC.
  2. Clean and disinfect all surfaces within the facility regularly.
  3. Practice social distancing when possible.
  4. Consider changing your sign in procedures for parents and other visitors (e.g., move handoffs closer to the front door to minimize parents coming into the classroom space and avoid possible exposure to children and caregivers).
  5. Limit visitors to the facility.
  6. The careful handling of your food service to children is important.  Please limit communal sharing of food, and donations where possible.

As with other emergency situations, DSS staff will be contacting all child care facilities to determine plans for closure and/or relocation.

General questions about COVID-19 can be directed to the DHEC Care Line at 1-855-472-3432 on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.  For the most up to date information about the Coronavirus, visit DHEC’s website at

Information for Parents

During this uncertain time, the Early Care and Education staff is working at hard to track the facility closures as they are reported.  To see the most up to date list click here

Resources for Parents

Open Child Care Facilities
Coronavirus Disease-2019 (COVID-19) and Children 

Information for Child Care Providers

Caring for Children During COVID-19

Watch the following Caring for Children During COVID-19 videos which present critical guidance related to keeping children and staff safe in early childhood settings from the national Office of Child Care.

Caring for Children in Group Care During COVID-19 


Caring for Children in Group Settings During COVID-19: A Follow-Up 

If you have questions about Caring for Children During COVID-19 please contact us at

The American Academy of Pediatrics provides additional Guidance Related to Child Care during COVID-19


The Governor has declared a State of Emergency for the COVID-19 emergency, and emergency plans for child care licensing are in effect. 

If your facility has plans to close, please contact Child Care Licensing by phone,1-888-825-7174, or by email,  Please have the name of your facility, your permit number, the number of enrolled children, and the dates of your closure ready when you call.

If you are a licensed child care center and would like to expand your capacity to serve foster children, children of DSS staff and First Responders or displaced children, please contact Child Care Licensing by phone,1-888-825-7174, or by email, as soon as possible.

Certificate for Temporary Operation of a School-age Child Care Facility during the COVID-19 outbreak. 

Effective August 1, 2020, applications will be available at for organizations interested in providing school time care, e-learning care, virtual learning care, and/or extended school time care due to schools not providing in-classroom instruction. The Department of Social Services (DSS) must grant approval for temporary child care operations.  Organizations that qualify may be issued a “Certificate of Temporary Operation” in lieu of full licensure. 

Certificates will only be granted to organizations that operate or wish to operate in school districts that are not providing five days of in-classroom instruction as an option available to all children.  Certificates of Temporary Operation will be subject to the following conditions:

  • Available for organizations serving school-aged children only (five years of age and older).  All other age groups must be licensed unless otherwise exempted under state law.  If you plan to care for children under 5, you must sign up for Orientation to apply for a License to Operate a Child Care facility.
  • Limited to organizations with a commercial space to care for children.  No jump houses or trampoline parks will be allowed.  No residences will be allowed.

Other specific information will be provided when the application is available. 

License-exempt providers enrolled in ABC Quality will be granted a Certificate of Temporary Operation once an application is received.

A Certificate of Temporary Operation will be granted for a maximum of 90 days and may be extended up to four times at the discretion of the Department. 

For group child care homes and family child care homes, you must apply for a license or registration. 

CDC Guidelines

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has posted a Supplemental Guide for Child Care. Written in collaboration with the Offices of Child Care and Head Start for a variety of child care settings, this resource provides guidance specific to child care on issues such as:

  • Social distancing;
  • Child pick up and drop off procedures;
  • Cleaning and disinfecting of toys and bedding;
  • Safely caring for infants and toddlers; and
  • Food preparation and meal service

In addition, the Guidance document provides numerous links to resources that provide even greater detail, including information regarding children’s risks concerning the coronavirus (COVID-19). The Supplemental Guide for Child Care can be found here.

Resources for Child Care Providers
CACFP COVID-19 Updates
CACFP Waivers
CDC Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19
CDC Guidance for Open Child Care Programs
COVID-19 Quick Facts
Frequently Asked Questions and Answers: Coronavirus Disease-2019 (COVID-19) and Children
Facility Poster: Stop the Spread of Germs
Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) and You (pdf)
SC Voucher Policy Updates