1/26/21 Update for Massachusetts FCCs: The EEC is now offering free PPE to all licensed child care providers. To learn more, visit their site here.
Finding enough personal protective equipment (PPE) and cleaning supplies to run a daycare in the aftermath of COVID-19 is a challenge. You could try your local Stop & Shop, Costco, or Shaws, but stock isn’t guaranteed. Plus, going from store-to-store isn’t the safest option right now. And Amazon? They’ve been sold out of what you need for months.
But enough bad news, we’ve got you covered. We’re going to tell you the best places to get the PPE and supplies you need. We’ll also do a state-by-state breakdown for Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut so you’re aware of any programs in place that give you free PPE or a great discount.
We’ll keep this list updated as more supplies and resources become available. Have you done your own research and have some good finds? We’d love to know about them! Add your info and tips here, and we’ll include them on this list.
Everyone’s best bet
WB Mason: Looking for a place that has items in stock and is online? WB Mason is a Massachusetts staple for businesses in Brockton, MA. They’re quick, relatively affordable, and can ship to any New England state. But be aware, rush shipping is going to be expensive, so get your orders placed ASAP. Right now, their standard shipping time is 7-10 days.
What About Clear Masks?
Observing facial movements is so important to the development of young children. That’s why a lot of Providers are wary of wearing a mask. One good middle ground are cloth masks with clear panels inserted on the front so kids can see your friendly warm smile.
Clear face shields can possibly be used as an alternative to fabric masks. Not only are these easily available, but we know of several local companies that are donating them to good causes. In MA, the EEC hasn’t clarified whether clear plastic face shields can be used as an alternative. We hope to hear more by next week.
Support & Supplies by State
While the solutions above are for everyone, different states might have specific resources and support that Providers can take advantage of. In this section, we’ll break down each state and point you in the right direction to helpful resources, programs, and supplies.
A quick reminder before we dive in: if we’re missing any resources that your state is providing to home daycare Providers – please let us know!
As for PPE and supplies, right now the EEC is saying that they are working on a bridge solution to secure gloves, masks, and hand sanitizer. Will they follow through in time for you to open? We wouldn’t bet on it, so take the steps now to get the supplies you need so you can reopen on your timeline.
Here is a comprehensive list from the City of Boston of suppliers across Massachusetts that are providing PPE and resources to small businesses:
For those Providers who are located in the City of Boston, you are now eligible to apply for the Boston Reopen Fund. This can help you purchase necessary supplies. Shout-out to the FCC Providers who spoke up and advocated for FCCs to be considered as an eligible business!
Rhode Island is not only giving a list of suppliers for Providers to work with, but is actually stepping up and giving out free PPE to small business owners across the state. RI’s Governor is collaborating with chambers of commerce and associations across the state to distribute 500,000 masks and disinfectants to small businesses. Go here to find out how to apply and the closest distribution center near you.
Looking to shop local for the rest of the items you need? Here is a list of Rhode Island Suppliers who are providing PPE and cleaning supplies.
Connecticut gets what we’ve known all along—home daycares are vital for our communities to thrive.
The new CTCARES for Family Child Care Program is designed to help licensed family child care home providers during the COVID-19 emergency. Not only is this program designed to offer financial support to Providers to maintain their businesses, but the program offers incredible resources like webinars from the Connecticut Nurses’ Association, child care health guidance, and mental health consultation for both Providers AND Parents. This is how it should be done!
Providers in Connecticut can also find a list of local suppliers for their PPE and cleaning needs here.
As daycares start to reopen, the last thing Providers should have to worry about is how and where they’re going to get the supplies they need to keep them and the children in their program safe. That’s why we compiled this list — to make things just a little bit easier during this challenging time so Providers can focus on reopening their homes to the families in their neighborhood.
Keep checking back here for updates! We’ll be adding to this list as we hear more. And don’t forget to send us your tips!