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


DHS Requirements for Regulated Child Care Facilities (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 COVID-19 and other Infectious Diseases Guidance for Child Care Facilities, updated October 23, 2023 (click here).” (hereinafter “Guidelines”) for reducing exposure to the COVID-19 virus.

The Guidelines were updated in accordance with the Department of Health (DOH) Disease Outbreak Control Division’s Comprehensive Guidance for K-12 Schools (click here) which were last revised on June 30, 2023, and adapted from the , Center for Disease Control (CDC) COVID-19 Guidance for Operating Early Care and Education/Child Care Programs, (click here) last updated on October 4, 2023.  Licensed and registered Child Care providers were sent a letter informing them of the updated Guidelines on October 23, 2023(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, March 2, 2022,April 13, 2022, and August 18, 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, COVID-19 community levels, 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. While COVID-19 pandemic was considered a global public health threat, the widespread availability of COVID-19 vaccines, high levels of vaccination and immunity, increased access to testing and effective treatments have significantly reduce the risk of hospitalization and death.  These developments have enabled schools to maintain in-person learning.  The Guidelines have been updated to recognize that these strategies will also help in preventing the spread of other common infectious diseases such as influenza, norovirus and gastrointestinal illnesses. 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 and other infectious viruses 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.


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

Additional Resources for Child Care Providers

The CDC has posted information regarding cleaning and disinfection, ventilation, and prevention guidance for schools and childcare programs at the following links::



DOH Guidance for schools: