L.I.F.E.™ Support for COVID-19
The Carolina Global Breastfeeding Institute, Lactation and Infant Feeding in Emergencies (L.I.F.E.™) Initiative is a hub for research, technical assistance, health communications, policy, advocacy, and training for infant and young child feeding in emergencies at the Gillings School.
Information on Breastfeeding, Community, Mental Health, and Child Care may be found by clicking through the tabs below.
“Ready Set Baby Live” Virtual Prenatal Education (offered during the pandemic)
Resources to Support ECE Professionals
Early Care and Education (ECE) professionals provide an important link between families, communities, and public health. Several national standards like The Caring for Our Children: National Health and Safety Performance Standards; Guidelines for Early Care and Education Programs (CFOC) and national organizations like The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provide guidance on healthy child care, including safety and hygiene for infant feeding.
- CGBI supports child care settings to implement recommended infant and young child feeding practices. Parents, including child care staff, who wish to nurse their child or provide expressed human milk for feedings in child care settings are encouraged to continue to do so during the COVID-19 outbreak.
- 10 Steps to Breastfeeding Friendly Child Care: COVID-19 Considerations Step by Step | Summary PDF
Standard hygienic feeding practices should be implemented per state child care health regulations.
- North Carolina: 15A NCAC 18A .2803 & .2804
Strengthening COVID-19 Response
- Considerations for Infants and Toddlers in Emergency Child Care for Essential Workers have been developed by Zero to Three and include guidance for policymakers and advocates as they design systems to deliver care.
- Considerations for Developmental Needs of Infants and Toddlers in Child Care Programs During the COVID-19 Pandemic
- “maintaining relationships with families and young children requires that policies be designed to continue to promote breastfeeding.”
- “exceptions be made to policies to enable breastfeeding parents to enter facilities to breastfeed.”
Infection prevention and control in child care settings are critical to community COVID-19 response. Below are links to resources that are recommended to assist ECE professionals in strengthening their response to COVID-19:
U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
The following information serves as provisional guidance. Coordinate with local health officials to determine appropriate action steps for child care programs remaining open or re-opening. This guidance does not supersede state and local laws and policies for child care programs:
CDC page last reviewed: April 10, 2020
CDC page last reviewed: July 23, 2020
CDC page last updated: July 23, 2020
Guidance for Child Care Settings- North Carolina
- Facilities should encourage parents and caregivers to keep children at home with them if they are able. This will reduce the chance of spread.
- Signs with screening criteria should be posted at the entrance to the facility. English | Spanish
- Only staff needed to maintain ratio compliance should be inside classrooms. Facilities should restrict teachers to one classroom with one group of children and should not use “floater” teachers. This is in order to reduce the number of people coming in and out of classrooms.
Please Note: Breastfeeding mothers’ access to the building/ classroom is an allowable exception to recommendations attempting to reduce the number of people coming in and out. This includes the program’s breastfeeding employees. (June 4, 2020)
DCDEE- FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS FOR PROVIDERS (updated May 8th, 2020)
Guidance for Child Care Settings- South Carolina
COVID-19 Announcements-SC Division of Early Care and Education has created a page to help providers and parents stay up-to-date on the latest recommendations regarding the Coronavirus.
COVID-19 Resource Updates– SC Child Care Resource & Referral (CCR&R) has created a page with more information about resources for families and child care providers as it comes available.
Child Care Aware of America (CCAoA)
Coordination with Local Health Officials
Determine a course of action for closures or appropriate operation:
- Specific child care questions, please call the CCR&R line 1-888-600-1685.
- NC DHHS Division of Child Development and Early Education COVID-19 information.
- General questions related to COVID-19, please dial 2-1-1 or 888-892-1162. Sign up for updates by texting COVIDNC to 898211.
- Child Care Administrators planning to close, expand your capacity, or with the ability to set up a temporary child care site contact Child Care Licensing by phone, 1-888-825-7174, or by email, email@example.com
- General questions related to COVID-19, please call the DHEC Care Line 1-855-472-3432. Staff are answering calls 8:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m. every day.
Guidance When COVID-19 Infection is Neither Suspected nor Confirmed
When there are no persons with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 infection among children, staff, or their family members, child care providers are encouraged to follow recommendations on best practices to reduce the spread of infectious diseases in child care settings.
Caring for Our Children (CFOC)
Parents who are nursing or pumping milk for their infant or toddler at home are encouraged to continue nursing and to practice hygienic feeding practices when preparing to send expressed human milk or formula to a child care setting:
- How to keep your breast pump kit clean
- How to clean, sanitize, and store infant feeding items
- Safe storage and handling of powdered infant formula guidelines
For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org. This page updated July 5, 2023.