Alert: Beginning July 1, 2018, the Department of Early Learning will become the Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF). After June 30, 2018, this website will no longer be updated. For the latest information on early learning, visit the DCYF website at

Information on Seasonal Flu


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Flu season usually runs from October to March. There are many resources and information for parents, child care providers and people who work in other early childhood settings to plan for flu season. You can help prevent the spread of flu through everyday activities including:

  • Covering your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
  • Washing your hands frequently with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. If soap and water are not available, alcohol-based hand sanitizers are also effective.
  • Keeping surfaces like bedside tables, bathroom counters and surfaces, kitchen counters and toys for children clean by wiping them down with a household disinfectant according to directions on the product label.

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers guidance for child care and other early childhood programs where children are in group settings. The CDC’s recommendations for early childhood programs include:

  • Examining and revising current crisis or pandemic plans and procedures.
  • Developing plans to cover staff absences due to illness.
  • Sharing plans with families, employees and the community.
  • Reviewing and revising sick leave policies to remove barriers to staff staying home while ill or caring for an ill family member.

The Washington State Department of Health has flu resources, including a flu vaccine finder and general flu information.

You can also contact your local public health agency for local flu information and resources.