When should you keep your child at home from Childcare?

With the colder weather, flu season and a pandemic upon us, becoming unwell is common at this time of year. Add in busy mornings when everyone is trying to get ready for the day and out the door, it can be difficult to determine whether your child’s sniffles are worthy of keeping them at home or sending them to care.

We spoke with Nikki Ferrari, Centre Manager at Bluebird Early Education Clyde North, to give us some pointers to make it easier to know when to keep your child at home.

Nikki says the key reasons to keep your child at home are:

  • If they’re unable to engage in the everyday curriculum e.g. they’re unable to go outside in the colder weather as they’re a bit unwell but the service runs an indoor/outdoor curriculum, so it would be hard for educators to keep them inside.
  • 48 hours after any administration of paracetamol, children need to be monitored at home in their own comfortable environment to rest and recover. The exception is if the paracetamol is for ongoing medication and you have a Doctor’s certificate outlining this.
  • 48 hours after any vomiting or diarrhea but always follow the policy and procedure of your individual service when it comes to stomach concerns.

The main reasons early childhood services will contact families to ask to collect children early are:

  • any vomiting or diarrhea
  • temperature over 37.5 degrees
  • green, snotty noses as this indicates an infection
  • ongoing cough (non-asthma related)
  • if the child has received paracetamol in the last 24 hours
  • if the child is withdrawn, not themselves or unable to engage in the everyday curriculum.

If any of the above are applicable to your child in the morning before care, it’s best to keep them at home, rather than having to go back and collect them early.

If you’re ever in doubt about whether your child should stay at home from care, Nikki says that you can always call your Centre Manager and discuss the options. They’ll be able to advise you as to what is required at your centre and if your child does need to stay home, what the time frame should be.

Always contact your family’s medical professionals if you are ever concerned about the well being of your child to get expert advice.

Nikki’s best rule of thumb if you’re ever in doubt about whether your child should stay at home or not is: “if you as a parent feel your child is not well in themselves, you know your child best,

trust your gut and keep them home.”

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