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Transitioning back into care: Setting staff expectations

Setting expectations with staff as you return from Covid-19

This article is part of a series on transitioning children, families, and staff back into care after Covid-19 closures.

States are beginning to reopen after major closures due to Covid-19. There is variance in  approach, but one consistent piece is applicable across all states, regions, and communities – regardless of location, many children will be returning to care over the next several months, and it may take some time and some thoughtfulness to help ensure a smooth transition back.

Communication is your most important tool in creating a smooth transition for everyone involved in your program. Much like with parents, plan to be very explicit in your communication with your staff and any new expectations you may have. Consider the changes you are planning to implement in your program and how they may apply to your teachers:

  • Frequent and-washing / sanitizing upon arrival and throughout the day
  • Careful sanitizing of common surfaces and any toys/materials that have gone into a child’s mouth
  • Shoe covers or shoe-free zone
  • Daily illness checks of themselves
  • Excluding for any signs of illness, even mild
  • Enhanced communication with families
  • Warmly welcoming children back to care
  • Working together to ensure the best, safest environments for children, families and teachers possible
  • Share this post about enhanced health and safety practices in child care programs

Pro Tip! Put a brief summary of each of the above expectations into writing, and review with your staff members in person prior to their first day back. You can have them sign that they understand and agree to follow each item as set forth by you.  

Thinking through these pieces will give parents a great deal of assurance that you’re working hard on a smooth reopening process, and the more confident parents feel, the more relaxed their children will also feel. Keep us posted on how things are going, and remember to reach out any time for the support of the Wonderschool Community.

Want to read more from this series? Click here to access additional articles on transitioning children and parents back into care.


Wonderschool is a network of quality in-home early childhood programs. Our mission is to ensure that every child has access to a home away from home that helps them realize their full potential. We work with experienced educators and child care providers to help them start their own child care or preschool out of their homes, whether they live in apartments, condos, or homes that they rent or own.