DHS Resources and Guidance for Child Care Facilities (COVID-19 Mandates/Guidelines)

DHS Requirements for Regulated Child Care Facilities Amid COVID-19 Mandates/Guidelines

In accordance with Governor Ige’s Supplementary Emergency Proclamations authorizing child care facilities to remain open or reopen and pursuant to Hawaii Administrative Rules (HAR) §§17-891.1-6, 17-892.1-6, 17-895-6, and 17-896-6, DHS requires that all licensed and registered child care facilities and homes establish and follow written policies in line with the published Guidelines for Child Care Facilities to Reopen or Continue Care, updated April 13, 2022, (click here)” (hereinafter “Guidelines”) for reducing exposure to the COVID-19 virus.

The Guidelines were updated in accordance with the Department of Health (DOH) COVID-19 Guidance for Schools, which were last revised on July 31, 2021 and adapted from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) Guidance for COVID-19 Prevention in K-12 Schools.  Licensed and registered Child Care providers were sent a letter informing them of the updated Guidelines and mask mandate on April 20, 2022 (click here).

The Guidelines were created in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in efforts to help minimize the risk of exposure and mitigate the spread of the virus in child care settings. DHS initially implemented the Guidelines on May 26, 2020, and provided updates on June 9, 2020, October 11, 2021, and March 2, 2022, respectively, in efforts to keep current with the evolving guidance provided by CDC and DOH in response to new COVID-19 variants affecting infection rates, ongoing research, and subsequent recommendations.

The Guidelines were developed based on information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Hawaii Department of Health. These Guidelines are public health measures to minimize risk to children, staff, and families when resuming or continuing child care operations. COVID-19 pandemic is a global public health threat. Therefore, every child care facility and home that continues to operate or reopens shall establish and follow written operational policies that address the Guidelines.  Minimizing the risk of exposure to the COVID-19 virus to children in care is dependent on every facility and home consistently applying these public health practices. DHS will advise child care facilities and homes when any measures in the Guidelines are modified.

If your child care facility or home has not reopened yet, please contact your child care licensing office to ensure you are meeting the requirements for reopening and receive guidance if needed.

List of Licensed and Registered Child Care Statewide
Statewide Child Care Providers – PATCH Directory – click here

Additional Resources for Child Care Providers
CDC Foundation’s webinar “Adapting, Evolving, and Thriving: Tools to Evolve Your COVID-19 Child Care Strategy” – note: the information starts 2:00 minutes into the posted video 

Frequently Asked Questions about Child Care FAQs_COVID-19 (rev 5-1-2020)


The CDC has posted information regarding cleaning and disinfection and checklists for schools and childcare programs at the following websites:


For families with young kids or providers caring for or educating young kids:
Updates and resources from the Executive Office on Early Learning Amid COVID-19.

Helpful resources from the Executive Office on Early Learning.

DOH Guidance for schools:

DOH Guidance and Printable Resources