Denied spot in daycare because of my job

I am an essential healthcare worker for Alameda county.  I am currently on parental leave, I will be resuming work in November. I had applied for a spot in a lovely daycare in Feb and from the ongoing communication it appeared that they would have a spot in November and we would receive paperwork to finalize our spot. Then last month some of the existing families in the daycare were concerned about the additional risk I would bring and were not keen that our family join the daycare. I explained to the owner in brief the risk and all the precautions we would be taking. But a few days later we get notified via email that, they would prefer everyone to have equal risk and so they cannot offer our family the spot. I am  beyond disappointed that this is happening . While I understand that  the owner is doing their best to keep their business afloat but is this legal? Can they discriminate like this? 

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I don't know the legal aspect, but regardless of the legality, you don't want to be somewhere that people aren't comfortable having you/your child participate. It won't end well for anyone. We just switched daycares because of COVID-related issues and I was surprised that of the 6 places I contacted, 5 had, or thought they would soon have, openings. I was impressed with all of them in different ways (especially what they were doing around COVID) and NONE of them asked me anything about my job or what activities our family engaged in outside of daycare. They only told me about what THEY were doing to mitigate risks and what they asked of families (things like temperature checks, staying home when sick, communication, etc.) I would strongly encourage you to just look for something else that feels like a good fit for everyone. There are options out there.

I don't have any advice on the legality of this but I wanted to empathize. I have been profoundly disappointed at how little childcare support there has been for essential workers in Alameda County throughout the pandemic. I am also a healthcare worker and bristle every time I read an ad for a "safe" childcare or distance learning pod of work from home families. They feel very painful and remind me that we are not all in this together. I might reach out to your employer if you work for a larger institution to see if they have any formalized childcare options for staff as this is unfortunately not an uncommon issue right now. Best of luck to you and your family.

Wow, that is insulting in too many ways. What about grocery store workers? Firefighters? EMTs? Doctors? Other hospital workers? Anyone else working with the public? What about any of them or any daycare workers? Are they going to turn all of them down? What about careless people who do end up socializing improperly? Who else are they going to turn away? They're taking a risk keeping their daycare open, so this is not fair. I'm so sorry. As if you don't have enough stress and pressure in your life as a healthcare worker in these times. This is shameful, unforgiveable, and definitely illegal. I don't know if I would want my kid in a place that has that kind of attitude anyway. They should be reported, but you may want to just move on to a much more respectful and sensible daycare. Shame on them!

I might consider contacting the Alameda County Department of Public Health. I know the county's guidance suggests that "Group child care should be prioritized for use by essential service employees and those who would otherwise not be able to work."

IMO, your daycare is at least acting immorally and I suspect the Department of Public Health might have a few choice words for them.

I'm not sure if there's a legal prohibition on what your daycare is doing, but worth a shot to call and ask the Department of Public Health.

I’m so sorry you are dealing with this. I’m also a medical provider and was really worried about exclusion from social pods but never imagined the exclusion would be institutionalized in this way. I know everyone is afraid for their families right now and there may be a particularly vulnerable kid at the daycare. However I feel like the right thing to do would be to quietly withdraw your kid not make a scene about excluding another family. 

Wow, that's awful. I'm so sorry this happened to you. I saw several preschools actually reopened spots for fall specifically to essential and frontline workers and gave them a priority. I hope you found one like that where it's a better fit!