Shutdowns and Child Care Centers

March 24, 2020

In the last 24 hours, we have seen three shutdown orders, only two of which affect Georgia child care centers. Under Mayor Bottom’s order, Atlanta residents are confined to their homes, but the order specifically exempts child care centers as essential businesses.  The mayor of Savannah’s order exempts child care centers providing services to employees of other exempt businesses and has several restrictions.  

Governor Kemp’s state-wide order directly affects all child care centers in the state. That order prohibits more than 10 people gathering in the same location. Georgia’s Department of Early Care and Learning, the state licensing agency has interpreted that order as allowing child care centers to remain open ONLY IF they have no more than 10 children and staff in each self-contained classroom.  You can read DECAL’s memo about the executive here. In order to comply with the 10 max per classroom requirement, not all child care centers will be able to remain open, or they may not be able to continue to take all children currently enrolled. These closures trigger aspects of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act for employers.

The Governor’s order also requires people with specific risk factors to self-quarantine.  Those factors are people in a long-term care facility, people with chronic lung disease, people undergoing cancer treatment, and those included in the recent Department of Public Health order.  The DPH order covers requires self-quarantine for people with a positive lab test for COVID-19, those with symptoms and known exposure to the virus, and people in close contact with known and suspected COVID-19 sufferers.

To the extent that your employees fit in those risk categories, your business needs to enforce the state-required quarantine.  At the same time, you need to protect the employees’ privacy, as explained in our recent blog post.

If Taylor English can help you with any of these issues, please contact Debbie Ausburn ( or Glianny Fagundo (

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