COVID-19 Vaccine

As of March 1, 2021, eligible child care and support staff in Connecticut can receive the COVID-19 vaccine. The guidance on this page will help answer questions you might have about how to get ready for the vaccine and how the process works.

Read Governor Lamont’s press release from February 22, 2021, which announced the eligibility of child care providers and staff.

This Local Health Department Vaccine distribution document provides information regarding vaccine access, by community, for those individuals eligible under the priority for child care, youth camp, and school district staff.

What programs and staff are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine?

Starting March 1, 2021, eligible child care providers include currently-operating:

  • Child care centers
  • Group child care homes
  • Family child care homes
  • Youth camps
  • Child care programs operated by a local board of education or municipality
  • Birth to Three providers offering on-site services to child care programs or anticipating on-site services to take place within the next 60 days

Eligible staff include people who work in these settings, such as:

  • Teachers
  • Family child care home providers
  • Birth to Three providers who offer on-site services to child care programs
  • Substitutes and assistants (including student interns)
  • Paraprofessionals
  • Custodial and food service staff
  • Bus drivers
  • Administrative or other staff with direct care responsibility

A few specifics about eligibility:

  • If you’re planning to work in a summer youth camp, you’re not eligible yet. Providers and other staff at youth camps (and other programs that are not open) become eligible starting 60 days before the program opens. So for example, if your camp opens on July 1, you become eligible for the vaccine on May 1.
  • At this stage in the vaccine rollout, family members in family child care homes are not eligible to get the vaccine (unless they are otherwise eligible based on their age or employment in a phase 1a healthcare category).

Unlicensed home-based child care providers such as relatives, au pairs, or nannies are not eligible for the vaccine as child care or education providers (unless they are eligible based on their age).

I’m a provider or staff member who’s eligible — what happens next?

Because local health departments across the state are still finalizing the vaccine administration details, they’re asking providers and educators to be patient for a little longer. 

In early March, OEC will have more details to share on this page. By that time, you can also expect to receive more specific guidance about how and where to get the vaccine directly.

  • Employers will provide information to staff at child care centers and group child care homes
  • Local health departments will provide information to family child care providers and child care center and group child care home employer coordinators

Keep in mind that the process will vary from town to town. Some local health departments will use the state’s Vaccine Administration Management System (VAMS) and some will not. Most providers will be able to go to a vaccine clinic that’s been set up specifically for child care and school staff in their community.

I’m the administrator of a child care program — what do I do next?

Again, local health departments and districts are asking providers to be patient while vaccine distribution plans are finalized. But here’s an overview of what you can do and what will happen next.

1. Get your roster ready

It’s vital to have an up-to-date roster of eligible staff — with each staff member’s name and individual email address — so health departments will be able to send out emails to set up appointments. You can also use OEC’s Background Check Information System (BCIS) to create your roster. Learn how to use BCIS to prepare your roster.

2. Wait for more information

You can expect to hear from your local health department or district soon about vaccine clinics in your area. Make sure to respond to this message promptly. State officials are supporting local health districts with this vaccine rollout. They’re also identifying other options for districts that do not have the ability to set up a clinic capable of accommodating all child care and school staff.

3. Give local health departments time before contacting them with vaccination requests

This Local Health Department Vaccine distribution document provides information regarding vaccine access, by community, for those individuals eligible under the priority for child care, youth camp, and school district staff. On this list you will find the current information identifying how each community is delivering child care and youth camp vaccines so you know what to expect. Local health districts communicate directly with providers using contact information provided by OEC. This list represents information shared by local health departments as of March 5, 2021 at 5pm. This list will be updated as the Office of Early Childhood learns of new plans or updates to existing plans. Please direct questions to your local health department.

If you have not yet heard, you can expect to hear from your local health department or district soon about vaccine clinics in your area. If you do not know what district you are in, a map is available here.

OEC will update this posted information as districts finalize their plans or make changes that we are alerted to.

You can also call 2-1-1 or explore vaccine scheduling options on the state’s COVID-19 Response site.

What about child care programs and youth camps that are not under OEC oversight?

Some license-exempt child care programs — such as programs administered by municipalities or public school systems — are not overseen by OEC. If you have such a program, reach out to your employer to find out how you’ll be able to access the vaccine.

I’m an eligible Birth to Three provider. What do I do next?

Eligible Birth to Three providers are those offering on-site services to child care programs or anticipating on-site services to take place within the next 60 days.

Birth to Three Providers will find vaccine scheduling options on the state’s COVID-19 Response site or by calling 211. 

Where can I get more information about the vaccine?

We’ll update this page with additional guidance as it becomes available. You can also learn more from the DPH COVID-19 Response website.

DPH also has a series of helpful factsheets and videos on the vaccine. Explore DPH’s vaccine resources.

Watch a video of our OEC vaccine webinar from February 24, 2021, which included staff from the Office of the Governor, the Department of Public Health, and the Department of Education.

Last updated March 5, 2021