Child care providers, including family child care (FCC) providers, are viewed as trusted sources of information for the parents and families they serve, and their vaccine behavior has been shown to be associated with parent beliefs and behaviors. This study sought to describe the COVID-19 vaccine behaviors and attitudes among FCC providers in Delaware. An online survey was distributed to all licensed FCC providers (N = 541) in September 2021. Survey items were drawn from validated instruments and assessed vaccination status, attitudes, and confidence in their ability to discuss COVID-19 vaccines with families. In total, 168 responses were recorded (31% response rate); 69.8% of respondents were fully vaccinated against COVID-19. The majority indicated that they would require (11.4%) or recommend (42.1%) the vaccine for children in their care, once approved by the FDA. Providers reported high levels of confidence in their ability to discuss both the benefits and risks of COVID-19 vaccines. FCC providers should be considered key messengers for the families they serve and may be helpful liaisons with state and local vaccination efforts. Input from FCC providers could be used to develop vaccine messaging and materials that are clear, consistent, and culturally responsive to the families of the children in their care.
Keywords: COVID-19; child care; vaccination.