Child Care Emergencies and Disaster Preparedness

​​​​​​The Division of Child Care provides support to providers during all kinds of emergencies. These can be statewide, such as a pandemic or on a local level, such as a flood.


Vaccine Guidance and Information

CDC COVID-19 Guidance for Operating Early Care and Education/Child Care Programs​

Evacuation Plan

Child care programs should prepare for any emergencies and disasters. Per KRS 199.895, an evacuation plan is required for child care centers and family child care homes. Programs must have a written plan for evacuation in the event of fire, natural disaster or other threatening situation that may pose a health or safety hazard to the children in the center or home. These plans include:

  • A designated relocation site and evacuation route.
  • Procedures for notifying parents of the relocation and ensuring family reunification.
  • Procedures to address the needs of individual children including children with special needs. 
  • Instructions relating to staff training or reassignment of staff duties, as appropriate.
  • Coordination with local emergency management officials. 
  • Program to ensure appropriate staff is familiar with the plan's components.

The plan must be updated yearly. A copy of the plan must be available for inspection within the program. A copy of the updated plan must be submitted to local emergency management officials. The evacuation plan must also be provided to each parent or caregiver of children at the time of enrollment in the program and whenever the plan is updated.

Why prepare for an emergency/disaster evacuation plan?

  •  A child care provider/facility should prepare plans that allow for partial or full evacuation in a quick and efficient manner. 
  • Causes for evacuation may include a natural disaster such as a tornado, earthquake, fire or flood and other threats such as an active shooter, structural damage or building contamination.
  • Support from groups such as Save the Children, the National Commission on Children and Disasters and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also suggest the application of the emergency disaster preparedness requirements to all child care provider types (licensed, certified and registered).

When creating the emergency and disaster evacuation plan​ sample forms are available.

For assistance in planning and writing an emergency/disaster evacuation plan, contact your Health and Safety Coach.

Lockdown Drills

Lockdown drills keep children and staff inside the building, secured in a classroom or other safe area away from windows and doors. The center or home is closed to all visitors, staff and parents who may attempt to enter or leave the building. Lockdown drills help promote safety and help staff and children feel more calm and comfortable during an actual emergency situation.

As a child care provider, be sure your plan makes adequate accommodations for children with disabilities of all kinds, infants and toddlers who may not be mobile and children who may be outside or on field trips. Drills help determine which classrooms, groups or children and staff may need additional supports. Plan for quiet activities in lockdown areas and have emergency bags packed with diapers, wipes, snacks, water, quiet toys and medications.

Answer children’s and parent’s questions appropriately. Emphasize to children that we practice drills to be safe. Stay away from framing the drill through the lens of a dangerous person with a gun. There are lots of reasons to lock down; but, most importantly it is to stay safe. Allow parents to voice concerns and learn about the planning and drill process. Again, emphasize the importance of practice to prepare the children and staff appropriately.

Notifying Requirements

For reporting to the Cabinet, please contact the Division of Regulated Child Care at (502) 564-7962.

  • With any incident involving fire, notify the Cabinet within 24 hours.
  • If facility is damaged and requires temporary or permanent closure, the Cabinet and parents of children enrolled in the facility should be notified as soon as practicable.
  • For an illness or injury or communicable disease, report to Cabinet within 24 hours if medical attention is needed.
  • For a major illness or injury report to Cabinet within 24 hours.
  • Report death to Cabinet within one hour.

Contact Information