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You Can Now Get Free Child Care During Your COVID Vaccine Appointment

Children wearing face masks at a child care center.

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Key Takeaways

  • The Biden administration has partnered with childcare organizations across the country to provide free care while parents get the COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Some facilities will also provide free care if parents need to recover from side effects the following day.
  • These partnerships are part of the National Month of Action, an initiative designed to get more Americans vaccinated by July 4.

Finding time to do just about anything alone is tricky when you’re a parent. Getting vaccinated against COVID-19 is no exception. Now, the Biden administration is trying to make it a little easier by partnering with four different services to offer free child care to parents when they go to their vaccine appointment.

These partnerships are part of the National Month of Action, an initiative designed to get more Americans vaccinated by July 4. The administration hopes to have 70% or more of American adults receive at least one shot of the COVID-19 vaccine by that deadline. Currently, 63.5% of adults in the U.S. have received at least one shot of the vaccine.

"Throughout the month, national organizations, local government leaders, community-based and faith-based partners, businesses, employers, social media influencers, celebrities, athletes, colleges, young people, and thousands of volunteers across the nation will work together to get their communities vaccinated," a press release by the administration says.

How the Service Works

The administration partnered with four of the country’s largest childcare providers to offer services. Each company has a slightly different approach:

  • Bright Horizons. Offers free child care to member employees when parents get a first dose, second dose, or need a day to recover from side effects of the vaccine. Contact your human resources department or Bright Horizons in advance to see if your workplace is a participating partner.
  • KinderCare. Offers a free day of child care on either a weekday or Saturday for children aged six weeks to 12 years. KinderCare will also offer a free day of care for parents to get the second dose of the vaccine.
  • Learning Care Group. This group offers availability Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Just call a day in advance of your scheduled vaccination or when you think you may need a day to recuperate from the side effects of the vaccine.
  • YMCA. Free, drop-in child care is available during vaccine appointments. Call your local YMCA in advance to find out if it is participating in the initiative.

The number of participating childcare facilities near you may also be growing. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued new guidance encouraging states to use childcare funding from the American Rescue Plan to provide financial incentives to neighborhood- and home-based childcare providers to help out.

What This Means For You

You can find all available incentives for COVID-19 vaccination here. If you're not yet vaccinated, or want to help someone else get their shot, you can find available COVID-19 vaccine appointments near you on Vaccines.gov.

Will Free Childcare Help?

“A service like this removes obstacles to getting vaccines, and it makes it easier to get vaccinated,” infectious disease expert Amesh A. Adalja, MD, senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, tells Verywell.

While many people were eager to get vaccinated when the COVID-19 vaccine first became available, others were hesitant or simply couldn’t find the time to get their shot. Adalja says offering childcare can help, particularly for people who may not have prioritized vaccination. “As we are increasingly hitting a wall with vaccination rates, it’s important to make it as convenient and hassle-free as possible,” he says.

Richard Watkins, MD, an infectious disease physician and professor of internal medicine at the Northeast Ohio Medical University, agrees. “Anything that can make it more convenient for people to get vaccinated should be strongly encouraged,” he tells Verywell.

While experts applaud this childcare incentive, it isn’t perfect. Transportation to and from a vaccination site can also be a “major issue for many working parents,” Watkins says, although the administration is also offering free rides to and from vaccination appointments through Lyft and Uber. Each program has a cap, though: Lyft cover rides to and from appointments up to $15 and Uber is offering rides up to $25. Those who live farther away from a vaccination site will still need to pay the remaining fee.

The program also may be tricky for parents who work non-traditional hours, like night shifts, Watkins adds.

Other Initiatives in the National Month of Action

Free child care isn’t the only perk the government is offering to try to get more people vaccinated. For the month of June, you can enjoy the following:

  • Extended pharmacy hours. Thousands of pharmacies nationwide will stay open late every Friday in June, and offer services throughout the night to make sure Americans can get their shot. Participating pharmacy chains include Albertsons, CVS, Rite-Aid, and Walgreens.
  • Discounts and rewards. Select companies are offering incentives for vaccinations, including sweepstakes, gift cards, and even free beer on July 4. You can find a list of participating businesses here.

The information in this article is current as of the date listed, which means newer information may be available when you read this. For the most recent updates on COVID-19, visit our coronavirus news page.

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2 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. COVID data tracker. Updated June 6, 2021.

  2. The White House. Fact sheet: President Biden to announce National Month of Action to mobilize an all-of-America sprint to get more people vaccinated by July 4th. Published June 2, 2021.