COVID-19

State Child Care Actions

State and Child Care AgencyChild Care Closure Status (Note: Individual providers and local authorities may make closure decisions that are not reflected here.) Emergency Child Care ProvisionsCARES Act CCDBG Funding and UseCOVID-19 Group Size Limitations and Resource Links  
Alabama

Alabama Department of Human Resources
OPTION TO REMAIN OPEN WITH GROUP SIZES LIMITED TO 11


Closure History:

On March 19, 2020, State Health Officer Scott Harris issued a Public Health Order closing child care through April 5, 2020. The Order made exceptions for programs that "provide services exclusively to employees with: State and Local Governments, First Responders (including EMS and Fire Services), Law Enforcement, Hospitals, Nursing Home/Long Term Care Facilities (including Assisted Living and Specialty Care Assisted Living Facilities), End Stage Renal Disease Treatment Centers, Pharmacies and grocery stores."

On March 27, 2020, Harris issued a supplemental order which provides the flexibility for centers serving 11 or fewer children in any given classroom to remain in operation. Per the order, the following are closed:

"Facilities providing child day care, including any child day care facility described in Alabama Code 38-7-2, at which 12 or more children are in a room or other enclosed or separated space at the same time. Centers are encouraged to use enhanced sanitation and social distancing practices, consistent with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Alabama Department of Public Health. This order does not change the Minimum Standards for Day Care promulgated by the Alabama Department of Human Services, except that 12 or more children shall not be allowed in a room or other enclosed or separated space at the same time."
TIMELINE:

>> Licensing
On March 16, the state issued a Public Health Order closing child care centers. The closure exempted child care providers exclusively serving essential employees and healthcare workers (including employer-operated centers, licensed providers contracted to only serve essential workers, and daytime activities offered by local boards of education). Child care providers permitted to continue operating were required to follow group-size limitations (11 or fewer children in any one room).

The state issued an amended Public Health Order on March 27, which allowed for the operation of child care centers serving 11 or fewer children per classroom, without restricting this service to essential/emergency staff.


>> Subsidy Payment
On March 16, Alabama Department of Human Resources (DHR) announced that it would continue paying subsidies (based on attendance) to providers that remained open. DHR temporarily suspended the absentee policy and paid providers for children who were absent for more than 5 days, no doctor's note required. Closed providers continued receiving payment for emergency closure days (until April 6).

Effective May 4, DHR suspended the payment policy for absences and stated that providers would not be paid for any absences. For providers to receive payment for children in attendance, children must be swiped in and out each day.

Effective August 10, the absentee policy will be reinstated and parents must back swipe absences as well as previous check-ins and check-outs. Providers may resume using closure days effective August 1. In order to receive payment for a child, the parent must have swiped the child present within 14 days prior to the closure.


CURRENT:

>> Subsidy Program
DHR announced that the temporary policies supporting child care providers participating in the subsidy program will end, effective August 1. (Announced July 1.)

- Sustainability payments will end August 1. The last sustainability payment will be issued in the August 24 direct deposit for care week July 26 through August 1.

- Effective August 10, the absentee policy will be reinstated and parents must back swipe absences as well as previous check ins and check outs.

- Providers may resume using closure days effective August 1. In order to receive payment for a child, the parent must have swiped the child present within 14 days prior to the closure.

Please email any questions to Gwendolyn Haywood at gwendolyn.haywood@dhr.alabama.gov.

>> Guidance
Alabama Department of Public Health (DPH) released health and safety guidelines for child care providers.

The guidelines address cleaning, social distancing, stable groups, staggered pick-up/drop-off, daily health screenings, and reporting potential exposure.

DPH recommends that these "minimum standards" should be implemented, "In addition to the sanitation requirements established by the state licensing board and the Alabama Department of Public Health, which should be strictly followed." Stable URL. (Announced May 21.)
$64,957,270

>> Subsidized Child Care (for healthcare workers)
On May 1, 2020, the Alabama Department of Human Resources (DHR) announced that it will be providing child care assistance to the healthcare community. Eligible parents include healthcare workers and caregivers with children through age 12. This assistance is not based on parents’ income and is funded by additional CCDBG funds.

Parents must select a licensed child care provider, either center-based or family-based. Providers not currently participating in the Child Care Subsidy Program must register for the program to receive payment for any children of healthcare workers.

This temporary assistance opportunity will expire either upon determination by DHR or upon final expiration of the Governor’s March 13, 2020 proclamation of a public health emergency. Participants will be given 20-day notice upon expiration of this child care subsidy. (NOTE: On July 2, Gov. Kay Ivey extended the public health emergency until September 9, 2020.)


>> Sustainability Payment (for providers)
Alabama used CCDBG Cares Act funds to provide a weekly "sustainability payment" to support providers participating in the subsidy program. The weekly payment is based on 50% of all subsidized children enrolled at the child care center. Eligible providers included both open providers operating below capacity and temporarily closed providers. Sustainability payments went into effect on April 6 and will continue through July 31. (Announced April 3.)

Sustainability payments will end on August 1. The last sustainability payment will be issued in the August 24 direct deposit reimbursing providers for the week of July 26 through August 1. (Announced July 1.)


>> Temporary Assistance for Stabilizing Child Care (TASCC) Grants (for providers)
Alabama Department of Human Resources (DHR) is now accepting applications for the Temporary Assistance for Stabilizing Child Care (TASCC) Grants. Eligible providers must be licensed, in good standing with DHR, have an active Alabama STAARS Vendor Code, and be open or plan to reopen no later than August 17, 2020. (In correspondence with The Hunt Institute, DHR confirmed that TASCC grants are funded by CARES Act CCDBG funds.)

Awards will be based on providers' daytime licensed capacity. The base rate is $300 per child. No funding is availalbe for children funded by the Office of Head Start or the Child Care Subsidy Program. Grants will be awarded on a first-come-first-served basis. Applications are due by August 7, 2020. Online applications are available at www.dhr.alabama.gov/child-care/. Please email any questions to quality.enhancement@dhr.alabama.gov.
11 or fewer children


Resource Links:

Alabama Department of Human Resources, Coronavirus Information for Providers

Alabama Department Public Health, Guidelines for Child Care, Released May 21

Guidance to Child Care Providers, March 13

Guidance to CCDF Participant Centers, March 16

Guidance to CCDF Participant Centers, May 1

Guidance to Early Head Start- Child Care Partnerships, March 16
Alaska

Alaska Department of Health and Social Services
OPTION TO REMAIN OPEN

According to guidance issued April 23, 2020, child care providers and camps may operate in static groups of no more than 10 children apiece as part of Phase 1 of the state's reopening, using enhanced health, sanitation and social distancing guidelines established by the state.
$6,489,103

>> Capacity Building Payments
The Alaska Child Care Program Office (CCPO) will be making “capacity building payments” to child care providers for the months of March, April and May 2020. These payments will be based on February 2020 enrollment amongst both private pay and Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) children. The payment amounts will be calculated using the higher of the provider’s rate or the State CCAP rate for all the children who were in care during the service month of February 2020. (Announced May 14.)

CCPO recieved an additional $10.5 million to be distributed to child care providers. These funds are intended to offest the revenue lost from private tuition during April and May. The new funding is in addition to previous funding provided through CCPO ($6.4 million from the CARES Act through US ACF for child care assistance, along with $2.6 million in State of Alaska CARES Act funds). Previous funds have already been distributed to cover March 2020 expenses. (Announced June 18.)

Awards will be based on the following:

- CCPO will pay providers for revenue lost from private payment sources, using a provider's licensed capacity multiplied by a flat rate

- If a provider was open at any time during April and/or May, the flat rate per child will be $400. If a provide was closed for the entire month of April and/or May, the flat rate per child will be $200.

- The child care assistance funds that providers are currently eligible for will continue to paid going forward.

- All licensed providers will receive a payment based on their licensed capacity for April and May. There is no need for any additional documentation to be submitted to the CCPO office.


>> Enhanced Subsidy Payments
In addition to the capacity building payments described above, licensed providers remaining in operation during these months will receive payment for all children who were in care based on actual attendance in the following amounts: $100 for each infant in care; $75 for each toddler in care; $50 for each preschooler in care; and $25 for each school aged child in care.
Returned to normal group size.

20 or fewer, not including staff (Municipality of Anchorage)


Resource Links:

COVID-19 Resources from Alaska's Child Care Resource and Referral Network

Licensed Child Care Facilities Guidance Phase 3-4, updated May 22

Reopen Alaska Responsibly Phase 3/4, Business & Entity Guidance

Child Care Alert from Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, released March 17
Arizona

Arizona Department of Health Services
OPTION TO REMAIN OPEN

On March 30, 2020, Governor Ducey issued a "Stay Home, Stay Healthy, Stay Connected" Executive Order, to promote physical distancing, limiting time away from places of residence except for essential activities. Child care is exempted from closure as an essential human service.
TIMELINE:

>> Subsidized Care for Essential Workers
On April 6, the Arizona Department of Economic Security (DES) launched "Arizona Enrichment Centers" to provide all essential workers with no-cost childcare. The program has been extended through August 31. New applications for child care scholarships must be received by July 31.

To receive funds under this program, providers must:

1) Be an AZ licensed child care facility, group home, or DES certified family child care home;

2) Provide child care services for children of essential workers;

3) Follow CDC and ADHS COVID-19 guidelines;

4) Report weekly capacity information "so that the supply and demand for child care services can be monitored"; and

5) Provide care at no additional cost to essential-worker families approved to recieve the child care scholarship.

DHR is working with Arizona Child Care Resource & Referral (CCR&R) to connect essential workers with child care providers. The state created a web portal through which essential workers can apply for both priority enrollment and scholarship supports.

>> Subsidy Program
On March 23, DES announced that, "Child care providers contracted with DES will continue to receive child care reimbursement payments no less than those provided in January 2020. Payments for services provided in March will be issued to providers soon after April 1, and payments will continue to be distributed after the first of the month until the end of the state emergency." See DES FAQs for more information.


CURRENT POLICIES:

>> Subsidized Care for Essential Workers
Essential workers can receive no-cost child care through the Arizona Enrichment Centers. The program has been extended through August 31. New applications for child care scholarships must be received by July 31. Any further changes to these dates will be posted on arizonaenrichmentcenters.az.gov.

>> Subsidy Program
Child care providers contracted with DES will continue to receive emergency child care reimbursement payments which are based on January 2020 units billed and paid. DES will communicate with providers prior to the end of the emergency reimbursement payments.

>> Guidance
AZ Department of Health (DHS) maintains a webpage with health and safety guidance for schools and child care providers. The guidance makes recommendations around day-to-day operations, reopening, hygiene and sanitation, physical distancing, and face coverings. The webpage also links to additional resources for providers (e.g., Release from Isolation Guidance).
$88,005,835

A House Bill introduced on May 19, 2020 by Rep. Michelle Udall proposes to permit the AZ Department of Economic Security to utilize $85,005,835 of Arizona’s CCDBG increase to provide forgivable loans on a statewide basis to licensed child care facilities that provide child care services for at least six months after receiving a loan and that spend the monies for any of the following purposes:

(a) Reopening the child care facility and providing child care 15 services.

(b) Continuing to operate the child care facility and providing child care services.

(c) Making past and future rental or lease payments for the child 19 care facility.

(d) Purchasing sanitation supplies and personal protective 21 equipment for the child care facility and the facility's staff.

This bill would provide the $3,000,000 remaining to the Department of Health Services to provide a one-time waiver of the licensure renewal fee for each licensed child care facility.
10 or fewer, including staff (as feasible)

Provision of School-Aged Child Care:

On August 13, 2020, Governor Ducey announced $88 million in additional resources from the CARES Act will go toward supporting childcare programs throughout the state. These dollars will support the Child Care COVID-19 Grant Program for reopening of childcare centers, provide care for the children of essential workers through the Arizona Enrichment Centers Program, = the Increase Paid Absences program to help working parents manage absences from school, and the Child Care Reserve Plan.

Resource Links:

AZ DES Child Care COVID-19 Guidance

Arizona Child Care Resource and Referral COVID-19 Information

AZ Dept. of Health Services COVID-19 Child Care Information
Arkansas

Arkansas Department of Human Services
OPTION TO REMAIN OPEN

On March 21, 2020, the Arkansas Department of Health issued the following guidance:

"You may be aware that Governor Hutchinson announced statewide school closures beginning this week through April 17 [Note: This date was subsequently extended to May 31, 2020.] which includes school districts that operate Arkansas Better Chance. For licensed child care and early childhood education programs not operated or administered by a school district, there is no new guidance from the AR Department of Health advising DCCECE to close licensed programs. If DCCECE receives notice that child care and early childhood education programs should close, we will notify programs immediately. Programs may choose to close voluntarily. Please continue to monitor for updates and follow the normal protocols regarding hand washing and sanitizing to keep children and staff safe."
CURRENT POLICIES:

>> Enhanced Subsidy Payment (open providers)
For children participating in the child care assistance program, providers will receive an additional $10 per infant/toddler, $7 per preschooler, and $5 per school-age child. Providers must remain open to receive this enhanced subsidy payment. The policy is in effect until August 14, 2020.

>> Subsidized Child Care (essential workers)
Arkansas is offering child care assitance for essential personnel, regardless of income, on a case-by-case basis. According to DHS website, "The vouchers will be paid during the public health emergency. Payments would cover the full cost of child care during that time, as funding allows."

>> Supplemental Funding
Arkansas Division of Child Care & Early Childhood Education (DCCECE) is offering a one-time payment to reimburse providers for the costs of cleaning and sanitation after their facility is advised to closed by the Akransas Department of Health. Reimbursements may be granted between May 4 and August 31, 2020.

DCCECE is offering a one-time payment for all providers to meet new pandemic requirements. Awards are available for providers who remain open or re-open between May 4 and August 31, 2020.

>> Guidance
DCCECE released guidance for child care providers operating during the pandemic. (Updated July 21.) The guidance includes the following:

- Group size limited to 10 or fewer people, including staff. Groups should remain stable, when possible.

- Drop-off and pick-up should take place outside, when possible.

- Daily health screenings must be conducted before any adult/child enters the facility.

- Staff must wear face masks.

- When transporting children, each child's temperature must be taken at pick up, prior to boarding the vehicle.

- Transportation is now permitted at full capacity for school-age children. For transportation of children under age 5, half capacity and social distancing are required.

- Providers must notify their Licensing Specialist each time an employee or child at their facility tests positive for COVID-19.


TIMELINE:

>> Licensing
The state issued severalPublic Health Emergency Rules Suspensions. Specifically, the Department of Human Services (DHS) temporarily suspended child care licensing policies around: 1) staff-to-child ratios, 2) group size, and 3) training requirements for staff. These licensing requirements were suspended until May 31, 2020.

>> Enhanced Subsidy Payment (open providers)
According to the Department of Human Services website, "For childcare voucher providers who remain open, DCCECE will reimburse through claim payment an additional $10 per infant/toddler, $7 per preschool, and $5 school-age/out of school time care for children receiving federal child care assistance through [CCDBG]." This policy is in effect until August 14, 2020.

>> Supplemental Funding
DCCECE offered providers different opportunities for supplemental funding. See "CARES Act CCDBG Funding and Use" for more information. These programs include:

- For open providers: One-time maintenance payment for providers who remained open from March 13 to May 1

- For temporarily closed providers: One-time reimbursement for actual costs of deep cleaning

- For all providers: One-time payment for safe operations (i.e., to meet new pandemic requirements)

>> Guidance
On July 2, DCCECE released guidance for child care providers operating during the pandemic. The guidance addresses closures, group size, sanitation and hygiene, face masks, drop-off/pick-up, health screenings, and transportation.

On July 21, DHS released updated guidance to align with school district policies. Namely, transportation is now permitted at full capacity for school-age children. For transportation of children under age 5, half capacity and social distancing are required. The updated guidance now requires providers to notify their Licensing Specialist each time an employee or child at their facility tests positive for COVID-19.
$41,462,912

Arkansas DHS released a fact sheet outlining the state's plans for additional CCDBG funding through the CARES Act.


1) Child care assistsance for essential personnel ($18 million.)

- Child care assitance for essential personnel, regardless of income, on a case-by-case basis.

- Essential personnel, under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, includes but is not limited to emergency responders, health care providers, public health personnel, manufacturing workers, sanitation workers, child care and early childhood staff, and individuals involved in the food supply chain during pandemic.

- Assistance will be paid directly to the licensed child care provider. The provider must participate in the child care voucher program.

- The vouchers will be paid during the public health emergency. Payments would cover the full cost of child care during that time, as funding allows.

- If you make less than $2,954.98 each month for a family of two, you may qualify for traditional child care assistance instead of the short-term assistance for essential workers. Apply for the traditional child care assistance program at access.arkansas.gov.


2) Continued enhanced subsidy payments ($11 million.)

- Child care providers will get an additional $10 per infant/toddler, $7 per preschooler, and $5 per school-age child for children receiving federal child care assistance.

- Supplemental voucher payments will continue into August, to conincide with school start dates.


3) One-time supplemental maintenance payment for providers ($4 million.)

- Payments for licensed providers who were open March 13 and have remained open during the public health emergency.

- Funds will help with additional costs incurred to safetly contiue services from March 13 through May 1, 2020.

- Funding is alloted based on licensed capacity and quality level.


4) Reimbursement for actual costs of deep cleaning and sanitation ($3 million.)

- These funds reimburse licensed providers for their actual costs for deep cleaning or sanitization after programs are advised to close by the Department of Health.

- Reimbursement based on capacity. Funds will be granted between May 4 and August 31, 2020.


5) One-time payment for safe operation of facilities ($5 million.)

- A one-time payment for all proviers to meet new pandemic procedures for safe operations including social distancing requirements, masks for staff, and screening processes.

- Funding is allotted based on licensed capacity and quality level. Eligible providers must remain open or re-open between May 4 and August 31, 2020.
10 or fewer children. If providers have more than 10 children in one room, they must be separated into smaller groups (e.g., groups of children at opposite sides of the room or separate tables). If providers have more than 10 children in a room and have them separated into two groups, one adult may monitor both groups as long as the provider does not exceed licensed staff-to-child ratios for that age group.


Resource Links:

DHS COVID-19 Guidance for Child Care Facilities

DCCECE Information for Child Care Providers Regarding COVID-19
California

California Department of Education
OPTION TO REMAIN OPEN, WITH EMERGENCY CARE FOR ESSENTIAL STAFF, CHILDREN AT RISK OF ABUSE AND NEGLECT AND CHILDREN WITH SPECIAL NEEDS

On March 19, 2020 Governor Newsom issued a "Shelter in Place" order, directing Californians to stay home except as needed to maintain the continuity of 16 work sectors identified by the federal government as essential to maintaining national infrastructure.

Currently the California Department of Social Services leaves the decision as to whether a child day care facility should close to the discretion of the licensee unless ordered by local, state, or federal authorities with emergency jurisdiction to do so, requesting, at minimum, that each adhere to the California Department of Public Health's (CDPH) guidance for schools on COVID-19 when evaluating whether to close or remain open.

Guidance published alongside the “Stay Home” Order suggests that “daycares are still open, but only for children of parents working in essential sectors. Daycare centers that remain open should employ heightened cleaning and distancing requirements. Babysitters may also come to the house to care for minors of parents working in essential sectors.”

California has established an online portal to assist parents in identifying available care.
CURRENT POLICIES:

>> Access to Care for Essential Workers
The state is temporarily waiving elibility and enrollment priorities, allowing child care providers to prioritize essential workers' children.

>> Subsidized Care for Essential Workers
Essential workers may qualify for subsidized child care. Eligibility is based on household income (at or below 85% of the state’s median yearly income).

New enrollments in Emergency Childcare cannot occur after June 30. Effective July 1, subsidies for families currently enrolled (or enrolled as of June 30), may be extended for an additional 90 days. The program is in effect through September, 2020.

>> Emergency Closures
In April, CDE announced that contractors who experienced substantial absences related to the COVID-19 State of Emergency may submit an emergency closure request.

For contractors that were closed, partially closed, or where attendance was substantially affected in April, May, and June, CDNFS will use the previous month’s attendance and fiscal data to determine an appropriate credit for the duration of emergency closure. This policy was in effect until June 30.

>> Subsidy Payments (for providers)
Center-based contractors that remain open may include absences due to the pandemic as excused absences. The state will use the most current attendance and fiscal report to determine each contractor's monthly apportionment payment. Contractors will continue to receive their apportionments during an emergency closure due to COVID-19.

Alternative Payment (AP) providers who remain open will be reimbursed based on enrollment, not attendance. AP providers who close during the emergency will be reimbursed based on enrollment, not attendance, for a maximum of 30 consecutive days.

>> Guidance
CDPH and CDSS released updated mandatory COVID-19 guidance for child care providers. The guidance addresses planning, face coverings, sanitation and hygiene, drop-off/pick-up, health screenings, reporting potential exposure, and day-to-day operations. (Updated July 17.) The guidance includes the following:

- Mandatory health screenings and/or temperature checks before any staff/child enters the facility.

- Keep children in groups as small as possible. Follow the local health ordinance if that is stricter.

- Keep the same children and teacher/staff with each group. Include children from the same family in the same group.

- Staff must wear face coverings. Children age 2 and older should wear face coverings, especially when indoors.

- Establish plans for sharing information and guidelisne with parents and caregivers in their preferred language.

- Introduce fresh outdoor air and use the air conditioning setting that brings in fresh air. Replace and check air filters.


TIMELINE:

>> Waived Family Fees
In March, the California Department of Education (CDE) announced that state-subsidized early learning and care programs must waive family fees for the months of April, May, and June. The waiver of family fees for parents will not affect the amounts paid to providers, as contractors will reimburse providers for the full amount of the certificate or voucher without deducting family fees.

>> Access to Care for Essential Workers
On April 4, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed an executive order allowing the California Department of Education and the California Department of Social Services to waive certain requirements that prevent child care providers from serving children of essential workers.

"The waivers will focus on current eligibility and enrollment priorities... The waiver will allow eligibility for child care to prioritize essential workers, including health care professionals, emergency response personnel, law enforcement, and grocery workers."

>> Subsidized Care for Essential Workers
On April 13, Gov. Newsom announced $50 million in new funding to pay for up to 20,000 temporary state-subsidized childcare slots for essential workers and vulnerable populations ("Emergency Childcare").

The initiative is being funded through SB 89, the state’s one-billion-dollar emergency funding legislation. Eligibility is based on household income (at or below 85% of the state’s median yearly income). The program was originally slated to end on June 30, though it was extended for 90 days by the 2020-21 state budget legislation.

New enrollments in Emergency Childcare cannot occur after June 30. Effective July 1, subsidies for families currently enrolled (or enrolled as of June 30), may be extended for an additional 90 days.

>> Reimburse for Cleaning Supplies
Another $50 million will be used to reimburse providers for the purchase of masks, gloves, cleaning supplies, and labor related to cleaning. These funds are intended to offset costs related to COVID-19 health and safety guidelines.

>> Online Portal
On April 30, Gov. Newsom released an online portal designed to help essential works find child care. The portal allows parents to search for child care providers by location and shows availability for each provider (when possible). The website does not include information on cost or if that provider accepts subsidies. A more elaborate child care search website (planned and funded before the current crisis) will launch in July.

>> Emergency Closures
In April, CDE announced that contractors who experienced substantial absences related to the COVID-19 State of Emergency may submit an emergency closure request.

For contractors that were closed, partially closed, or where attendance was substantially affected in April, May, and June, CDNFS will use the previous month’s attendance and fiscal data to determine an appropriate credit for the duration of emergency closure. This policy was in effect until June 30.

>> Subsidy Payments (for providers)
In June, CDE announced that the COVID-19 State of Emergency can be considered a family emergency. Therefore, center-based contractors that remain open may include absences due to the pandemic as excused absences. The state will use the most current attendance and fiscal report to determine each contractor's monthly apportionment payment.

Alternative Payment (AP) providers who remain open will be reimbursed based on enrollment, not attendance. AP providers must continue to submit attendance records and/or invoices. AP providers who close during the emergency will be reimbursed based on enrollment, not attendance, for a maximum of 30 consecutive days. This policy was in effect until June 30.

>> Guidance
On June 5, CDPH and CDSS released updated mandatory COVID-19 guidance for child care providers. The guidance addresses face coverings, sanitation and hygiene, drop-off/pick-up, health screenings, reporting potential exposure, physical distancing, and meal times.

On July 17, CDPH and CDSS released updated health and safety guidance for child care providers.corresponding checklist for providers.
$350,313,504

According to Governor Newsom’s proposed May 2020 Budget Revision [pages 42-43]:

California received $350.3 million through the federal CARES Act for COVID-19 related child care activities. To maximize the benefits of these funds to providers and families, the May Revision proposes the following expenditure plan:

- $144.3 million [to reimburse] state costs associated with SB 89 expenditures, family fee waivers,
and provider payment protection.

- $125 million for one-time stipends for state-subsidized child care providers offering
care during the COVID-19 pandemic.

- $73 million for increased access to care for at-risk children and children of essential
workers.

- $8 million to extend family fee waivers until June 30, 2020.

Children should remain in groups as small as possible. Should these guidelines differ from local health ordinances, follow the stricter guidance.

Provision of School-Aged Child Care:
CDPH and CDSS , COVID-19 Updated Guidance for Child Care Providers, updated July 17On August 25, 2020, the California Department of Public Health released guidance regarding the in-person supervision of cohorts of children or youth in educational and childcare settings. A cohort is a stable group of no more than 14 children or youth and no more than two supervising adults in a supervised environment in which the adults and children stay together for all activities and avoids contact with people outside of their group in the setting. Cohorts must be kept separate from one another for special activities such as art, music, and exercise. Physical distancing between children in the same cohort should be balanced with developmental and socio‐emotional needs of the age group.


Resource Links:

CDSS Child Care Licensing Coronavirus Information

CDE COVID-19 Guidance for Early Learning and Care Programs

CDE FAQs for Early Learning and Care Programs
Colorado

Colorado Department of Human Services
OPTION TO REMAIN OPEN

On April 1, 2020, Colorado issued Public Health Order 20-24, Ordering Coloradans to Stay at Home Due to the Presence of COVID-19 in the State.

According to guidance posted on the CO Department of Human Services' Office of Early Childhood website:

"Child care is considered one of the essential services under the state-wide stay-at-home order, and can continue to operate.

Under the statewide public health order, existing child care providers may continue to care for families whether they are included in the "critical business section" or not. The choice to continue to serve any family is up to each provider. CDHS is encouraging any provider to take children of those deemed critical as a top priority.

Local public health guidance may differ, so always consult with your local public health agency if you have questions."

On April 26, 2020, Governor Polis issued replaced his original “Stay at Home” Order with a “Safer at Home” Order, which begins to grant the flexibility for businesses to reopen. Under this updated order, Polis prohibits “public gatherings of ten (10) persons or more in both public spaces and private commercial venues.”

Accordingly, effective May 4, 2020, child care providers – who were never ordered to close – will be required to operate with groups of 10 or fewer (including staff), consistent with Safer at Home guidance.

UPDATE:
Child care providers may return to regular group sizes and licensed capacity beginning June 4. This guidance does not include school-age day camps, license-exempt youth programs, or children's resident camps. (Announced June 3.)
CURRENT POLICIES:

>> Guidance
All child care staff are required to wear face coverings while working, in accordance with Amended Public Health Order 20-31. (Child care is defined as a "Critical Business" under PHO 20-28.) This policy is in effect until August 15, 2020.

The Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment (DPHE) has released face covering guidance for child care providers.


TIMELINE:

>> Subsidized Child Care for Essential Workers
Effective March 30, 2020, child care in the state of Colorado will be free for essential workers via the Colorado Emergency Child Care Collaborative.

The state announced on March 30, 2020 it would be extending a 100 percent tuition credit to all essential workers.

The credit would cover all child care costs for essential workers until May 17. The state established a system of emergency child care providers, the Colorado Emergency Child Care Collaborative, to serve these essential workers. The program ended on May 24, 2020.

>> Baby Supplies
The state distributed essential baby supplies (e.g., formula, diapers, baby wipes) to Resource Centers and food banks throughout Colorado. These regional locations will help distribute supplies to child care providers and families in need.

>> Webinar on Business Supports
In late April, the Colorado Office of Early Childhood (OEC) hosted a webinar outlining small business supports for child care providers. The webinar recording, presentation slides, and resources can be found here.

>> Guidance
Effective April 23, child care staff were required to wear face coverings while working, in accordance with Public Health Order 20-26. (Child care is defined as a "Critical Business" under PHO 20-28.) While this mandate was originally set to expire on May 17, it has been extended multiple times (Amended PHO 20-26, PHO 20-31, Amended PHO 20-31).

In July 9, OEC and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment released a resource guide to support providers during COVID-19. The non-mandatory guide links to other resources and addresses planning, drop-off/pick-up, communicating with families, and day-to-day operations.

DPHE has shared screening forms for providers (and parents) to evaluate a child's health before they enter the facility.
$42,457,884

On June 27, Governor Jared Polis signed Executive Order D 2020 120 directing CDHS to use CARES Act CCDBG funds to support the following initiatives:

- Subsidy payments & parent co-pays: For counties to reimburse open and operating child care programs through the Coloardo Child Care Assitance Program (CCCAP) for increased child absences as a result of COVID-19. Funds will also be used to support "affordable parental fees for subsidized child care as families recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 economic recession."

- Childrens' mental health: Fund additional early childhood mental health consultants across the state to support child care providers and families as children transition back into early care and learning environments. Gov. Polis strongly encourages community mental health organizations and early childhood councils to collaborate with early childhood mental health consultants to support the well-being of children and providers impacted by COVID-19. Early childhood mental health consultants should address trauma, grief, loss, emotional distress, fostering healthy adult-child relationships, and building resilience.

- Grants to providers: Establish and administer sustainability grants to help licensed child care providers remain open or reopen. Sustainability grants will be used to support child care providers with costs associated with COVID-19. Such expensesmay include, but are not limited to, accomodating smaller group sizes, purchasing safety and cleaning supplies, and staff retention strategies.


In addition to these programs supported by CARES Act CCDBG funds, Gov. Polis also directed CDHS to expand capacity by utilizing new facilities for child care. CDHS and the CO Department of Education should work with local communities, including districts and the Charter School Institute, to maximize the use of public and private spaces licensed for child care. Gov. Polis strongly enourages local districts to make their facilities available over the summer months for child care, including school age care and summer day camps. (Note: While this directive was included in Gov. Polis' executive order, it will not use CARES Act CCDBG funds.)
Returned to normal group size June 4.


Provision of School-Aged Child Care:

On September 10, 2020, Governor Polis announced an executive order temporarily suspending statute to facilitate learning pods due to the presence of COVID-19 in the state of Colorado. This applies to an
individual or facility solely providing less than twenty-four (24) hour care to
support learning pods in those instances when: 1) all children in care are ten (10)
years of age or older; 2) no more than eight (8) children are in care at one time;
and 3) the parent, guardian, or other person having legal custody of such child
gives consent to such care. It also applies in those instances when: 1) all children in care are between six (6) years of age and nine (9) years of age; 2) no more than five (5) children are
in care at one time; and 3) the parent, guardian, or other person having legal
custody of such child gives consent to such care.

Resource Links:

Safer at Home Guidance for Child Care Providers

CO DHS Office of Early Childhood COVID-19 Resources for Child Care Providers

CO COVID-19 Website, Guidance for Schools and Child Care

Colorado Public Health & Executive Orders
Connecticut

Connecticut Office of Early Childhood
OPTION TO REMAIN OPEN

On March 20, 2020, Governor Lamont issued an Executive Order requiring the closure of non-essential businesses until April 22 (unless otherwise ordered). Child care is exempted as essential.

The CT Office of Early Childhood has developed a detailed COVID-19 information page for providers and posts updates near daily.
CURRENT POLICIES:

>> Licensing
- OEC inspections have resumed. The focus of these "shortened inspections" is to ensure programs are complying with COVID-19 related requirements (OEC Memo #25).

- Effective August 3, OEC will resume requiring the submission of fingerprints to complete background checks (OEC Memo #27).

- Health and immunization requirements are temporarily waived during the state of emergency (OEC Memo #7). When the emergency declaration is lifted, providers msut update expired records for children and staff.

>> Guidance
Updated guidance from June 24 includes a checklist of all requirements. A few highlights:

- Staff must wear face coverings at all times.

- Providers must maintain groups of 14 or fewer children per space (limited to 8 or fewer for children under age three).

- Providers must conduct daily health screenings of all staff and children prior to entering the facility. (To mitigate spread, temperature checks are no longer required.)

- Providers must immediately report cases of COVID-19 to DPH Epidemiology and Emerging Infection Program (860-509-7994) and to their local department of health. Cases must reported "by telephone on the day of recognition or strong suspicion of the disease."


TIMELINE:

On March 20, Gov. Ned Lamont issued Executive Order 7H, which listed essential industries allowed to stay open, including child care.

Soon after, OEC issued guidance to parents and providers about finding child care and public health practices.

>> Emergency Care Centers for Hospital Workers
CT CARES for Hospital Workers:
OEC worked closely with hospitals to actively monitor and address child care needs. If hospitals did not use the capacity, spaces were open to nursing home staff from nearby facilities. This program opened March 23 and ended on June 26, 2020.

>> Supplemental Funding
CT CARES for Child Care: Beginning April 4, OEC provided additional funds to both center-based and family-based licensed providers serving children of essential workers. The amount was determined by the number of children in care, with funding ranging from $866 to $3,572 per month.

This funding was intended to offset costs associated with new public health standards. Providers were asked to document that they would use these funds to increase staff wages. The program was supported by $5 million of CARES Act CCDBG funds. New applications closed on July 3, 2020.

>> Subsidized Care for Essential Workers
CT CARES for Frontline Workers: Beginning April 27, OEC began offering a child care subsidy of $200 per week to help essential workers access child care. The subsidy was offered to families earning up to 85% of state median income ($82,755 for family of 3).

Up to $10 million of the Federal CARES Act dollars was applied to this program. Applications were open from April 27 through June 15. Subsidies were provided to families until June 3, 2020.

>> Financial Supports for Providers

i) The state will continue subsidy payments to providers based on enrollment, not attendance, even if the provider is temporarily closed or if attendance decreases. Payment for April, May, and June will be based on enrollment from March 2020. If a provider's enrollment increases during April, May and/or June, payment will be based on enrollment from that month. This policy ended on June 30, 2020.

ii) OEC waived family fees for Part C Birth to Three services and provided General Administrative Payments (GAP) to Birth to Three providers.

iii) OEC issued fully funded fourth-quarter payments to home visiting providers.

>> Licensing
During the public health emergency, OEC offered flexiblity to providers by waiving some regulations. OEC has deemed health and immunization records that expire as acceptable; modified the background check process while fingerprinting is unavailable; and limited general facility inspections. Concurrently, OEC has placed restrictions on group sizes and health procedures.

On March 16, OEC announced that it would temporarily waive health and immunization requirements during the state of emergency (OEC Memo #7). When the emergency declaration is lifted, providers will be responsible for updating expired records for children and staff.

On March 20, OEC temporarily waived the requirements to submit fingerprints for OEC background checks due to the suspension of fingerprint collection services (OEC Memo #9). Effective August 3, all OEC background checks must include the submission of fingerprints (OEC Memo #27).

In late April, OEC temporarily waived inspections for Cares4Kids providers and annual licensing inspections (OEC Memo #21). On July 6, OEC announced that it would begin conducting "shortened inspections in the very near future." The focus of these inspections is to ensure programs are complying with COVID-19 related requirements (OEC Memo #25).

>> Online Resources
OEC has an improved web presence with a dedicated COVID-19 response page. The webpage includes resources for providers and families, including FAQs, COVID-19 related memos, and distance learning information. OEC also launched a social media campaign to share updated information.

>> Guidance
On May 29, OEC released health and safety guidance for child care providers. The guidance also includes helpful infographics and a checklist of all requirements. The guidance addreses social distancing, PPE, drop-off/pick-up, health screenings, hygiene and cleaning, reporting exposure, and reopening.

Subsequent updates have rolled back some initial regulations. While initial guidance required tempature checks before children/staff entered the facility, updated guidance removed this requirement. Where intial guidance limited providers to caring for a maximum of 50 children at one time, updated guidance has no restriction on the number of children allowed in a facility.
$23,504,479

>> CT CARES for Child Care: OEC is providing additional funds to licensed child care providers who continue to serve children of essential workers, both center-based and family care providers. The amount is determined by the number of children in care, with funding ranging from $866 to $3572 per month. This additional funding will offset the higher costs many child care providers are experiencing while they adhere to strict new public health standards. It also recognizes the critical role of the child care industry at this time, programs are asked to document that they will use these funds to increase wages for workers. Funding is through additional CCDBG via CARES Act. $5 million is set aside for this purpose.

>> CT CARES for Frontline Workers: The week of April 20th, OEC will begin offering resource and referral, and a child care subsidy of $200 per week to help Frontline Worker families to access child care. Up to $10 million of the Federal CARES Act dollars are being applied to this program. The benefit will be offered to families earning up to 85% of SMI ($82,755 for family of 3). Frontline workers include direct care workers, grocery workers, health care workers, child care workers, first responders, among others.
14 or fewer (preschoolers). 8 or fewer (children under age 3). Children should stay in the same group each day. The restriction setting a maximum of 50 (and earlier max of 30) children in a child care center has been removed.


Resource Links:

CT OEC Memos About COVID-19

OEC Child Care and COVID-19 FAQs

OEC Care4Kids and COVID-19 FAQs

CT OEC Guidance for Child Care During COVID-19, updated June 24
Delaware

Delaware Department of Health and Social Services
OPTION TO REMAIN OPEN (REOPENED JUNE 15, 2020, WITH GROUP SIZE AND OTHER LIMITATIONS).

Closure History:

On March 30, 2020,
Governor Carney Governor John Carney on Monday signed the eighth modification to his State of Emergency declaration, which allows child care programs in Delaware to be designated as emergency child care sites in an effort to assist essential personnel during the coronavirus crisis.

Starting April 6 and continuing until the State of Emergency is lifted, child care may only be provided by child care centers and child care homes that have been designated as "Emergency Child Care Sites" by the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families (DSCYF). In order to be an emergency child care site, child care centers and homes must certify that they are only providing child care to children of personnel working for essential businesses, as defined by Governor Carney's State of Emergency, and cannot work from home.

On June 2, 2020, Governor Carney announced that Phase 2 of Delaware’s economic reopening will begin at 8:00 a.m. on Monday, June 15. Child care facilities will be allowed to open for all Delaware families during Phase 2, with restrictions on group sizes and additional social distancing and cleaning protocols.
CURRENT POLICIES:

>> Subsidy Program
Beginning in August, all child care programs will be reimbursed based on attendance and parents will be responsible for copays. Enhanced Reimbursement program details for August have not yet been decided.

>> Licensing
Providers who wish to reopen do not need to be designated as an Emergency Child Care Site. (Phase 2 Guidance.)

DSCYF Secretary has suspended some existing regulations to provide flexibility for child care providers.

- Intern staff may be alone with children ages three years and older. Interns must 1) have a valid intern qualifications certificate, 2) at least 18 years old, 3) have at least one year of experience at the facility where they are currently working, and 4) have completed a background check. Aides may not be alone with children at any time.

- Staff may begin working before their fingerpringint appointment and must be supervised at all times by a person who has completed a background check. Providers must ensure that a staff member has a scheduled fingerprinting appointment with the Delaware State Police before the start of employment. No staff may be alone with children until after a completed background check.

>> Guidance
As of July 29, the state is in Phase 2 of reopening child care reopening. Requirements include:

- Group size limitations (15 or fewer for ages 2+).

- Conduct a daily questionnaire and confirm temperature before staff/children enter the facility.

- Providers can take the person's temperature on arrival or can ask staff/parents to self-report.

- Cleaning and sanitation requirements, including suspended use of sand and water play.

- Staff must wear cloth face coverings. Providers must offer face coverings if staff do not already have them.

- Providers must create a written plan that addresses the prevention and response to COVID-19. DSCYF has developed a sample plan that providers may use.


TIMELINE:

>> Emergency Centers
From April 6 through Phase 1 (June 15), only providers designated by DSCYF as "Emergency Child Care Sites" were permitted to operate.

Interested providers were required to submit an emergency child care site application by April 3.

To operate as an Emergency Child Care Site, providers certified that they would only provide care to children of essential workers. (This policy was revised on May 5 to include children of workers in businesses permitted re-open.) Providers must also follow DSCYF health and safety guidance.

Beginning in Phase 2 (June 15), child care providers who wish to reopen do not need to be designated as an Emergency Child Care Site.

>> Subsidy Program
For June, providers that were open in Phase 1 received enhanced reimbursement using the previously established formula. Effective July 1, enhanced reimbursement was no longer paid to closed providers.

For the month of July, providers open as of July 6 will be reimbursed based on enrollment. Providers that open after July 6 will be reimbursed based on actual attendance. The Division of Social Services will pay parent copays for the month of July. Providers open as of July 1 will receive the previously established enhanced reimbursement rate. Providers must be open for the entire month of July to receive these funds.

Beginning in August, all child care programs will be reimbursed based on attendance and parents will be responsible for copays. Enhanced Reimbursement program details for August have not yet been decided.

For general questions about the state’s enhanced reimbursement please reach out to Tina Shockley at tina.shockley@doe.k12.de.us.

>> Guidance
Delaware released guidance for reopening child care in Phase 2, effective June 15. The guidance includes requirements around group size, health screening, cleaning and sanitation, face coverings, and social distancing.

The guidance requires providers to create a written plan that addresses the prevention and response to COVID-19. DSCYF has developed a sample plan that providers may use.
$9,757,763


According to correspondence from the DE Department of Health and Social Services, Delaware will use the stimulus funding to support essential personnel by waiving parent co-pays. The state will also use the funds to support all subsidized providers by reimbursing them based on enrollment (rather than attendance). The state will reimburse all providers, whether they are open or closed.

UPDATE: As Delaware enters Phase 2 of reopening on June 15, enhanced reimbursement policies will change for some providers:

- Providers that were open in Phase 1 and remain open in Phase 2 will continue to receive enhanced reimbursement.

- Providers that were closed for Phase 1 and are reopening will receive enhanced reimbursement for the first part of June based on their status in Phase 1 and the second part of June based on their status in Phase 2.

- Providers that remain closed in Phase 2 will receive enhanced reimbursement based on their status as either paying staff or not paying staff. Effective July 1, enhanced reimbursement will no longer be paid to providers that remain closed.

For general questions about enhanced reimbursement, reach out to Tina Shockley at tina.shockley@doe.k12.de.us.
15 or fewer, not including staff (ages 2 and older). 12 or fewer (young toddlers). 8 or fewer (infants).

Groups should consist of the same children and staff each day. Providers may seek a variance from OCCL if they must have a group size larger than 14.


Resource Links:

Guidance to Child Care Providers, Press Release

COVID-19 Information for Child Care Providers

DSCYF Phase 2 Requirements for Child Care Providers, updated June 18

DE Office of Child Care Licensing
District of Columbia

D.C. Office of the State Superintendent of Education
OPTION TO REMAIN OPEN

On March 24, 2020, Washington DC Mayor Bowser issued Mayor's Order 2020-053, ordering the closure of non-essential businesses and prohibiting large gatherings during the COVID-19 outbreak. The order exempts child care from closure, but dictates that:

"To the extent possible:

Child care facilities should prioritize services for children of essential employees, and child care facilities shall comply with OSSE, Guidance for Child Care Providers and Families Related to Coronavirus (COVID-19)."

According to the District’s COVID-19 website, “because the coronavirus poses serious risks to public health and safety, the best option for families is to keep their children at home with them.”
CURRENT POLICIES:

>> Emergency Centers
Beginning July 2, slots at emergency sites are dedicated to serving pre-K and school-age children, ages 4 to 12. Families in need of child care for infants and toddlers can reach out to DC Child Care Connections at (202) 829-2500.

>> Subsidy Program
OSSE will continue subsidy payments to all child care providers, whether closed or open. Payments are based on the provider's "average monthly payment for the current fiscal year, from Oct. 1, 2019 through Jan. 31, 2020." This policy is in effect until September 30, 2020.

>> Licensing
OSSE issued guidance around licensing requirements during the pandemic:

- Licenses expiring between April 1 and July 30 will be automatically extended for 120 days.

- License applications will be held in abeyance until the end of the public health emergency.

- All expiring background checks must be renewed on time. Processing of fingerprints will continue without interruption

Licensing inspections resumed on June 8. Effective July 14, OSSE will allow virtual inspections during the public health emergency.

>> Guidance
OSSE health and safety guidance for providers addresses health screenings, face coverings, cleaning, meal times, and reporting potential exposure.

- Parents must take their child's temperature before drop-off and "verbally confirm" that the temperature was below 100.4 degrees.

- Face coverings are recommended for children age 2 and older, when feasible.

- Providers must report any confirmed cases to DC Health, OSSE, and DME and dismiss children/staff for 2-5 days "while determining the long-term course."

- Providers must report potential exposure to DME at (202)727-5707 or DME.DismissalAdvice@dc.gov.


TIMELINE:

>> Emergency Centers (for essential workers)
On March 26, OSSE established emergency child care facilities to serve the children of healthcare workers and essential government employees.

OSSE is covering part of the cost for families who do not typically qualify for child care assistance. Out-of-pocket costs for families vary depending on the provider and age of the child.

Emergency child care is currently being offered from 6 am to 8 pm, Monday through Friday, at four sites. The sites follow federal and District health and safety guidance related to group size limits, cleaning protocols, and health screenings. The four sites have the capacity to serve approximately 175 children.

Beginning July 2, slots at emergency sites are dedicated to serving pre-K and school-age children, ages 4 to 12. Families in need of child care for infants and toddlers can reach out to DC Child Care Connections at (202) 829-2500.

>> Subsidy Program
On March 13, OSSE announced that it would continue subsidy payments to providers based on enrollment, not attendance. Subsidy payments would also continue to closed providers, so long as the closure was approved by OSSE.

Beginning May 1, OSSE began paying closed child care providers based on their "average monthly payment for the current fiscal year, from Oct. 1, 2019 through Jan. 31, 2020." Parent co-pays were waived. OSSE paid parent co-pays to Level I providers.

On June 22, OSSE extended the policy until September 30, 2020. Under the updated policy, subsidy payments to all providers (closed or open) will be based on the methodology described above.

>> Licensing
On April 1, OSSE issued guidance around licensing requirements during the pandemic:
- All licensing inspections were postponed until the end of the public health emergency.
- Licenses expiring within the next 120 days were be automatically extended for 120 days.
- License applications will be held in abeyance until the end of the public health emergency.
- All expiring background checks must be renewed on time. Processing of fingerprints will continue without interruption.

Licensing inspections resumed on June 8. Effective July 14, OSSE will allow virtual inspections during the public health emergency.

>> Guidance
On May 21, OSSE released detailed health and safety guidance and FAQs for child care providers. The guidance addresses health screening, face coverings, cleaning, meal times, and reporting potential exposure.

On July 6, OSSE released updated FAQs regarding mandatory guidance for child care providers. Updates address day-to-day operations (e.g., shared bathrooms must be assigned to groups of children), criteria for excluding symptomatic children/staff, and criteria for returning previously isolated children/staff.
$6,000,400Coronavirus Resources

Information for Small Business Recovery

COVID-19-Related OSSE Guidance Documents

OSSE Health and Safety Guidance for Child Care Providers: COVID-19 Recovery Period, updated July 6
Florida

Florida Department of Children and Families
OPTION TO REMAIN OPENCURRENT POLICIES

>> Subsidized Care for Essential Workers
No new applications will be accepted after July 31, 2020. Parents receiving services prior to July 31 may continue to receive services upon employer referral renewal.

>> Licensing
Florida is allowing providers to waive certain requirements in order to continue operations. Providers considering closure should contact their licensing specialists to co-develop plans to stay open.


TIMELINE

>> Licensing
Florida is permitting waivers of specific standards in order to continue operations and asking providers considering closure to contact their licensing specialists to co-develop plans to stay open.

According to the DCF website:

"If you need to request a variance or waiver of specific standards in order to continue operations, please submit the request to through your local licensing office. We are processing these daily. If you are considering closing, please contact your licensing specialist to discuss a plan to stay open. We want to help you.

If you are a teacher and your center has closed and you would like to help other centers that provide emergency child care in any capacity, please email your transcript, proof of background screening, and an email address to HQW.Child.Care.Licensing@myflfamilies.com. You will be added to a list that providers will have access in order to contact you directly."

>> Subsidized Care for Essential Workers
Florida is providing no-cost or reduced-cost child care for first responders and health care workers (essential workers), regardless of income. Children ages infant to 13 years are eligible. Families apply through an online portal. Child care providers may charge parents additional fees.

Applications were accepted through July 31. Parents receiving services prior to July 31 may continue to receive services upon employer referral renewal. The program has provided child care and early learning services to more than 20,000 children of first responders and healthcare workers.

>> Subsidy Program
The Office of Early Learning (OEL) website indicates that the state will:

1) Develop a Q&A document with steps to minimize financial impact.
2) Reimburse providers for current enrollments during temporary closures.
3) Beginning March 1, pay providers for absences and not require additional documentation.
4) Develop streamlined process to purchase supplies.
5) Authorize a bonus system to provide additional funding to providers serving first responders.
6) Offer emergency provisional licensing.
$223,605,188

Florida Department of Education (FDOE) released a summary detailing uses of CARES Act CCDBG funding. The summary includes the following supports for child care:

1) First Responders and Health Care Workers ($44 million)
- Continue funding incentives and new enrollments.
- Monitor participation rates to continue to prioritize access to child care SR programs and waive required parent copayments.
- Monitor for appropriate end date, likely during Summer 2020.

2) Emergency Child Care Relief Grants ($55 million) - "Phase 1"
- Support open Voluntary Pre-K/School Readiness (VPK/SR) providers with funding for infrastructure, staff payments and bonuses, cleaning supplies, and other costs to ensure health and safe environments.
- Support open non-VPK/SR providers with funding for infrastructure, staff payments and bonuses, cleaning supplies, and other costs to ensure health and safe environments.
- Support will be allocated to providers that were open as of April 30, 2020.

3) High Quality Reopening Support Grants ($16.9 million) - "Phase 2"
- Support closed VPK/SR to reopen with funding for infrastructure, staff payments and bonuses, cleaning supplies, and other costs to ensure health and safe environments.
- Support closed non-VPK/SR to reopen with funding for infrastructure, staff payments and bonuses, cleaning supplies, and other costs to ensure health and safe environments.
- Support will be allocated to providers that were closed as of April 30, 2020.

4) Successful Transition to Kindergarten ($20.9 million)
- $18 million to implement summer programs for rising kidnergarten students identified with limited language and emergency literary skills (as determined by the VPK assessments and teacher recommendations). This program is linked to the K-12 "Summer Recovery" program, which is supported through GEER funds.
- $2.9 million to pilot a VPK-K progress minotiring system statewide. This program is linked to the PreK-3 Progress Monitoring and Data Informed Supports" effort supported by ESSER funds.

UPDATE: FL DOE released estimated awards for Phase 1 (Emergency Child Care Relief Grants) and Phase 2 (High Quality Reopening Support Grants) grants. Additional information on eligibility requirements for Phase I and Phase II funding can be found here.
Returned to normal group size. Children and staff may not change from one group to another. Groups should be in separate rooms and not mix or interact with each other.


Resource Links:

FL DCF Guidance for Child Care Providers, updated June 5

FL DCF COVID-19 FAQs for Providers

FL DCF COVID-19 FAQs for Parents

FL DOE COVID-19 Important Documents & Webinars

FL DOE Voluntary PreK COVID-19 Q&A Guidance, released March 2020
Georgia

Bright from the Start: Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning
OPTION TO REMAIN OPEN

On March 23, 2020, Governor Kemp issued an executive order (subsequently extended until April 13) that prohibits gatherings of more than 10. Child care is not required to close under this order, but to remain in compliance, centers must limit classroom sizes to no more than 10, including staff.

According to guidance posted on the DECAL website:

"Although no one wants to turn away families who are enrolled or wish to enroll, child care must adhere
to Governor Kemp's Executive Order of March 23, which states that no more than 10 people can gather
in one location unless six feet of social distancing can be maintained. For child care, this means that
classrooms can have no more than 10 people, including teachers. If demand exceeds space at a
licensed or exempt program, providers must make the business decision about who they will serve by
prioritizing enrollment slots. DECAL recommends giving priority to families who are essential workers, so
they can provide vital services to the community in this critical time."
CURRENT POLICIES

>> Subsidized Care for Essential Workers
Essential workers are now a priority group for child care subsidies. Eligible families must have a household income at or below 50% of the state median income ($38,103 for a family of 4).

>> Subsidy Program
- Providers will continue to receive subsidy payments for any child with an active scholarship who received care at least once since March 1. This applies to both open and closed providers.

- Parent employment/education requirements are temporarily waived. This waiver allows parents to continue receiving subsidized care, even if they lose their job or stop attending an education program due to COVID-19.

- Family signatures on CAPS arrival and departure records are temporarily suspended.

- DECAL will temporarily allow "layered funding," meaning that a provider may bill for children with an active scholarship who received care at least once since March 1, even when another federal/state program (e.g., Head Start or Georgia Pre-K) has paid for that child's care for the same service period. This applies to both open and closed providers.

The waivers described above have been extended multiple times. These policies are in effect until July 31, 2020.

>> Guidance
Decal health and safety guidance for providers includes both required and recommended provisions. Providers must "screen and evaluate" all children prior to entering the facility. Children with specific symptoms or a fever over 100.4 may not enter.

DECAL has created a checklist for providers to ensure they meet all requirements.


TIMELINE

>> Subsidized Care for Essential Workers
On April 1, DECAL established a new priority group for Childcare and Parent Services (CAPS): Essential Services Workforce. Parents in this priority group can receive child care subsidies. This new priority group was rolled out in two tiers. Effective April 1, the first tier of the Essential Services Workforce Priority Group included first responders, medical workers, pharmacy workers, and child care workers. Effective May 1, the second tier includes food and grocery workers.

Families who qualify for the Essential Services Workforce Priority Group, and meet other CAPS eligibility requirements, will be eligible to receive child care subsidy for three months. Eligible families have a household income at or below 50% of the state median income ($38,103 for a family of 4).

>> Subsidy Program
On April 1, DECAL notified providers that they will continue to receive subsidy payments for any child with an active scholarship who received care at least once since March 1. The Emergency CAPS Payment Policies Waiver applies to both open and closed providers.

DECAL also temporarily waived employment/education requirements. This waiver allows parents to continue receiving subsidized care, even if they lose their job or stop attending an education program due to COVID-19.

On April 8, DECAL issued temporary suspension of family signatures on CAPS arrival and departure records. DECAL also temporarily allowed for "layered funding," meaning that a provider may bill for children with an active scholarship who received care at least once since March 1, even when another federal/state program (e.g., Head Start or Georgia Pre-K) has paid for that child's care for the same service period. This applies to both open and closed providers.

The waivers described above have been extended multiple times. These policies are in effect until July 31, 2020.

>> Supplemental Funding (for providers)
On April 23, 2020, DECAL announced that its non-profit arm, The Georgia Foundation for Early Care + Learning, will be making $250,000 in grant funding available to providers to address child care assistance for essential workers and financial assistance for child care providers.

>> Guidance
On June 16, DECAL issuedupdated health and safety guidance for providers. The guidance includes both required and recommended provisions. DECAL has created a checklist for providers to ensure they meet all requirements.

The guidance addresses daily health screenings, hygiene and sanitation, transportation, meal times, visitors, and sign-in/sign-out procedures. Providers must "screen and evaluate" all children prior to entering the facility. Children with specific symptoms or a fever over 100.4 may not enter. It is unclear if providers will conduct temperature checks themselves or if they will rely on parents to report their child's temperature.
$144,539,371

On April 29, 2020, the Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning (DECAL) announced the creation of STABLE (Short Term Assistance Benefit for Licensed Entities), a CARES Act funded fiscal support open to all 4,500 of Georgia’s licensed child care providers.

According to a press release from DECAL:

“Beginning May 1, 2020, all licensed Georgia child care providers are invited to apply for Short Term Assistance Benefit for Licensed Entities (STABLE) payments from the Georgia Department of Early Care and Learning (DECAL). These payments represent the first phase of administering $144 million Georgia received under the federal Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

STABLE payments may be used to pay for salaries and benefits for lead teachers, assistant teachers, and other employees; substitute teachers; tuition relief for families; lease or mortgage payments; utilities; cleaning supplies; classroom materials and supplies; unreimbursed food; and additional supplies required by CDC guidelines.”

For step-by-step instructions on how to apply, please see DECAL's STABLE Application Guidance. For questions regarding the application, please email STABLE@decal.ga.gov.
Maximum group size 50 per room, including teachers. Meals must be provided in classrooms.


Resource Links:

GA DECAL COVID-19 Updates and Guidance

DECAL COVID-19 Guidance for Child Care Settings, updated June 15

DECAL Frequently Asked Questions Related to COVID-19, updated July 28

Emergency CAPS Policy Waivers in Response to COVID-19, released May 6

Information Regarding Georgia's Pre-K Program for the 2020-21 School Year
Hawaii

Hawaii Department of Human Services
OPTION TO REMAIN OPEN (REOPENED ON MAY 7, 2020)

CLOSURE HISTORY:

On March 23, 2020, Governor Ige issued an Executive Order directing that all persons in the state must stay at home or in their place of residence until April 30, 2020. This order identified child care as an essential business, allowing it to remain in operation only to the extent that it is designed to provide emergency services for essential employees exempted by the order.

On April 27, 2020, Governor Ige issued a secondary order extending this deadline to May 31, 2020.

On May 5, 2020, Governor Ige issued his 7th COVID-19 proclamation, reopening a variety of businesses, including “child care services licensed or authorized under the law,” effective Thursday, May 7, 2020.
CURRENT POLICIES
>> Subsidy Program
DHS has temporarily increased its child care payment rates. The temporary rates are effective July 2020 through December 2020.

These temporary child care rate changes apply for both the Child Care Connection Hawaii and Preschool Open Doors subsidy programs. Click here for the temporary child care rates.

>> Subsidized Care for Famile
DHS has temporarily suspend the income ceiling for families to be eligible for financial assistance for child care. DHS has also temporarily suspended requirements that families must be looking for new employment.

DHS asks providers to encourage all families who need assistance to apply and see if they are eligible. Families can use subsidies for emergency care or to hold their spot with their current child care provider.

>> Guidance
Hawaii DHS health and safety guidance addresses cleaning, physical distancing, health screenings, facility safety, parent/child expectations, and employee support. Last updated on June 9, the guidance includes the following provisions:

- Groups should include the same children/staff each day.

- Staff must wear face masks or shields. Each provider can determine whether to require children to wear masks.

- Providers must conduct daily health screens and keep a log of temperature checks for all children, staff, and visitors.

- Providers must notify local health officials, staff, and families immediately of any possible child/visitor/staff case of COVID-19.

In accordance with Governor Ige’s Supplementary Emergency Proclamations authorizing child care providers to remain open or reopen, DHS requires that all licensed and registered child care facilities and homes establish and follow written policies in line with the published guidance.


TIMELINE

>> Subsidy Program
On June 15, DHS announced that the state will temporarily increasing its child care payment rates dated June 15, 2020, and the temporary rates are effective July 2020 through December 2020. These temporary child care rate changes apply for both the Child Care Connection Hawaii and Preschool Open Doors subsidy programs and are allowed under Governor Ige’s Emergency Supplementary Proclamations in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

>> Subsidized Care for Familes
On April 15, DHS announced that it would temporarily suspend the income ceiling for families to be eligible for financial assistance for child care. DHS has also temporarily suspended requirements that families must be looking for new employment. DHS asks providers to encourage all families who need assistance to apply and see if they are eligible. Families can use subsidies for emergency care or to hold their spot with their current child care provider.

>> Guidance
On May 26, Hawaii DHS released guidance to minimize the risk of children, staff, and families contracting COVID-19. The guidance covers cleaning, physical distancing, health screenings, facility safety, parent/child expectations, and employee support. The guidance was updated on June 9.
$11,990,147

According to an op-ed written by the Executive Office on Early Learning and the Department of Human Services, Hawaii will use CARES Act funding "to provide short-term emergency grants/contracts for all child care businesses, to offset costs for sanitation, additional staffing, and lost tuition income." (Announced May 17.)

Hawaii will use its CARES Act CCDBG funds to award contracts to providers to cover cleaning and sanitation, or other activities necessary to reopen (called the "DHS Emergency Child Care Services Contract"). Eligible providers include all licensed and registered child care facilities and homes, as well as organizations contracted by the Department of Education to operate A+ sites at elementary school campuses. The application deadline is July 31, 2020. (Announced May 26.)
No COVID-specific group size guidance identified


Resource Links:

DHS COVID-19 Resources for Early Childhood Providers

Child Care Information for Essential Employees

HI DHS COVID Plan and Prepare Memo, released March 9

HI DHS Guidelines for Child Care Facilities, updated June 9

DHS Emergency Child Care Services Contract Application, Agreement, and FAQs
Idaho

Idaho Department of Health and Welfare
OPTION TO REMAIN OPEN

On March 26, 2020, Governor Little issued a 21-day "Stay at Home" order. The order identifies child care providers as an essential business, exempting them from closure at this time. However, the order dictates that: "To the extent possible, child care facilities must operate under the following condition: child care must be carried out in as small and stable groups as possible.
$20,672,881

On April 30, 2020, the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare announced the creation of the Idaho Child Care Emergency Grant, a CARES Act funded program designed to provide child care businesses the means to reopen and to continue operating during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Idaho Child Care Emergency Grant provides funding for eligible expenses incurred between March 2020 and July 2020. Eligible expenses include:

- Consumable supplies and materials

- General business operations (rent, utilities)

- Support staffing costs or hazard pay

- Cleaning and janitorial expenses

Grant funds are available for licensed and/or ICCP certified child care providers who administer full-time child care, and who were/are open and operating during the month(s) for which funding is requested.

The Idaho Child Care Emergency Grant Application must be completed by June 30.
Providers encouraged to "limit group sizes as much as possible."


Resource Links:

Idaho Department of Health and Welfarce Guidance to Child Care Providers

Dept. of Health & Welfare COVID-19 FAQs for Child Care Providers, updated March 16
Illinois

Illinois Department of Human Services
OPTION TO REMAIN OPEN (REOPENED MAY 29, 2020, WITH GROUP SIZE AND OTHER LIMITATIONS

Closure History:

On March 20, 2020, Governor Pritzker issued a "Stay at Home" Order for all citizens. The order closes licensed child care centers and all childcare homes serving more than six children, with the exception of those granted an emergency license to provide care for essential staff.

Illinois will entered Phase 3 of its reopening on May 29, 2020. Child care facilities that were previously closed are encouraged to reopen under Phase 3. However, state officials say they should serve no more than 10 children per classroom for the first four weeks after reopening. They should also follow new health, social distancing and sanitation guidelines and routines. Once they’ve done so safely for four weeks, they’ll be able to expand services to larger groups of children during Phase 4
CURRENT POLICIES

>> Licensing

Emergency rules:

- All providers must follow updated licensing and operating procedures outlined in Emergency Rules 406, 407, and 408.

- Emergency Rule 407 (updated June 24) allows center-based providers to, "Staff classrooms with a qualified Early Childhood Assistant for up to 3 hours per day." Providers must document this arrangement in a written staffing plan.

- These Emergency Rules are in effect for 150 days, beginning on May 29. As such, these rules will end on October 26, 2020.

Reopening:

- Providers must comply with all new guidance for Phase III and IV, as well as normal licensing standards. Before reopening, providers must submit a Reopening Plan to DCFS.

- Previously closed providers are required to submit their Reopening Plans to DCFS before reopening, but providers do not need to wait for DCFS approval before reopening.

>> Emergency Centers
As of May 29, emergency licenses were no longer issued. Upon transitioning to Phase III of Restore Illinois, previously licensed child care providers' licenses were restored.

Providers that were operating as an Emergency Day Care (EDC) may continue to operate. EDC providers must update their practices to be in compliance with new DCFS guidance and must submit their Reopening Plan to DCFS as soon as possible. (Note: Some new regulations, such as the maximum group size for infants, are stricter than requirements under the EDC license.)

>> Subsidy Program
Beginning in July, providers will no longer receive CCAP payments for children not receiving care.

>> Subsidized Care for Essential Workers
Effective April 1, all essential workers qualify for the state's Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP). The state will cover most of the cost of child care (parents will have a $1 co-pay). This expanded eligibility includes nurses, doctors, hospital support staff, essential government services, grocery store clerks, and food producers.

>> Guidance
Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) has released health and safety guidelines for providers as they reopen. The Restore Illinois Day Care Guidance is intended as a supplement to the licensing standards detailed in Emergency Rules 406, 407, and 408. In the event that these standards conflict with other law or regulation, the more stringent requirement shall be followed.

The guidance addresses planning, group size, daily health screenings, face coverings, hygiene and sanitation, and reporting exposure to COVID-19. Any updates to this guidance can be found on DCFS's child care communications page. (Announced June 24.)

Under the updated guidance, providers must:

- Submit a Reopening Plan to their DCFS licensing representative before reopening. Providers to not need to wait for approval from DCFS to open. DCFS will contact the provider to modify plans as necessary.

- Conduct daily health screenings (including temperature checks) of all persons entering the facility. Staff and children with temperatures above 100.4 may not enter.

- Limit group sizes for both center-based providers (8 or fewer for infants; 12 or fewer for toddlers; 15 or fewer for ages 3-5) and home-based providers (8 or fewer with one caregiver; 10-12 or fewer with two caregivers).

- Staff should wear face coverings whenever 6 feet of physical distancing is not possible. When possible and at the discretion of the parent, children age 2 and older should be encouraged to wear a mask.

- Consider staggering pick-up/drop-off times and/or conduct pick-up/drop-off outside.

- No soft or plush toys are permitted.


TIMELINE

>> Licensing
On March 20, 2020, Gov. Pritzker issued a "Stay at Home" Order for all citizens. The order closed child care facilities serving more than six children, with the exception of those granted an emergency license to provide care for essential staff.

On May 29, DCFS released Emergency Rules outlining the process reopening home-based (Emergency Rule 406), center-based, (Emergency Rule 407), and group-based (Emergency Rule 408) child care facilities under Phases III and IV of the Restore Illinois plan.

On June 12, DCFS announced updates to Emergency Rules 406, 407, and 408. The amended rules require providers to 1) keep children in the same group each day, and 2) adhere to updated ratios and maximum group sizes.

On June 24, DCFS updated Emergency Rule 407 to allow center-based providers to, "Staff classrooms with a qualified Early Childhood Assistant for up to 3 hours per day." Providers must document this arrangement in a written staffing plan. The updated rule also allowed educators working in Emergency Day Care Centers (EDC) from March 20 - May 29 to continue working as an Early Childhood Teacher through July 31, 2020, provided that they work at the same EDC program that has since reverted to its' normal day care license.

The emergency rules outlined above are in effect for 150 days, beginning on May 29. As such, these rules will end on October 26, 2020.

>> Emergency Centers
Child care centers that were interested in re-opening as Emergency Day Care Centers (EDC) could apply for a permit through the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS). Information is available on the Governor's Office of Early Childhood Development (GOECD) website.

Licensed and license-exempt child care homes may serve up to 6 children of essential workers.

On March 30, DHS announced that it would offer one-time stipends to EDC providers caring for children of essential workers. Under the Emergency Child Care Stipend program, EDC providers receive one-time stipends of $750-$1,000 (home-based) or $2,000-$3,000 (centers) depending on setting and size. Emergency providers that provided care through May 15 were eligible. Applications were due May 19.

On May 11, the state announced that it would pay enhanced reimbursement rates to EDC providers, effective April 1. The enhanced reimbursement rate is 30 percent above the usual pay rate. The change reflects additional costs of providing care in smaller groups.

As of May 29, emergency licenses were no longer issued. Upon transitioning to Phase III of Restore Illinois, previously licensed child care providers' licenses were restored. EDC providers must update their practices to be in compliance with new DCFS guidance and must submit their Reopening Plan to DCFS as soon as possible.

>> Subsidized Care for Essential Workers
Effective April 1, all essential workers qualify for the state's Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP). The state will cover most of the cost of care provided by emergency child care centers and homes. This expanded eligibility includes nurses, doctors, hospital support staff, essential government services, grocery store clerks, and food producers.

>> Subsidy Program
On April 10, the state announced that it would pay providers (both open and closed) based on enrollment, not attendance, for children who participate in the state's Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP). The state developed a simple waiver process so that staff could continue receiving pay through the crisis.

On May 11, the state released a simplified CCAP attendance exemption waiver so that providers could continue receiving payment. Providers were paid based on enrollment in Phases I and II (March, April, May, and June). Beginning July 1, providers will no longer receive CCAP payments for children not receiving care.

>> Guidance
On June 24, theIllinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) released new health and safety guidelines for providers as they reopen. The Restore Illinois Day Care Guidance is intended as a supplement to the licensing standards detailed in Emergency Rules 406, 407, and 408. In the event that these standards conflict with other law or regulation, the more stringent requirement shall be followed. The guidance addresses planning, group size, daily health screenings, face coverings, hygiene and sanitation, and reporting exposure to COVID-19.

Any updates to this guidance can be found on DCFS's child care communications page.

In the same week, DCFS also released both FAQs for Reopening Licensed Child Care Homes and FAQs for Reopening Licensed Child Care Centers. Both FAQs have been updated since, most recently on July 29.
$118,420,119


Non-CCDBG CARES Act funding:

The Governor and the Illinois General Assembly has directed at least $270 million of the state’s Coronavirus Urgent Remediation Emergency (CURE) Fund to support child care providers as the state's economy reopens in the coming months. As part of CURE, the Business Interruption Grants (BIG) Program is specifically designed to support businesses who endure lost revenue due to the COVID-19 public health emergency. The Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity in partnership with the Illinois Department of Human Services will develop the grant program for licensed child care. The Child Care Restoration Grants will be administered by the Illinois Network of Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies (INCCRRA).

Eligible providers include licensed home-based or center-based providers who have had their operating capacity reduced as a result of COVID-19 public health guidelines. Providers must be open and currently caring for children. Providers can apply for a grant by first completing an "Intent to Apply" questionnaire. (The questionnaire is not mandatory, but will inform the final design of the grant program.) Grant applications are available beginning in July through August 14, 2020.
Maximum group size varies based on provider type.

Center-based providers:
- 8 or fewer for infants
- 12 or fewer for toddlers ages 1-2
- 15 or fewer for ages 3-5

Group-based:
- 8 or fewer with one caregiver
- 12 or fewer with two caregivers

Home-based providers:
- 8 or fewer with one caregiver
- 10 or fewer with two caregivers

(Note: For home-based providers, group size limitations include the caregiver's own children under the age of 12.)


Provision of School-Aged Child Care:

On August 17, 2020, the Illinois Department of Public Health issued public health interim guidance for Pre-K-12 schools and day care programs for addressing COVID-19. The guidance includes procedures for students, faculty, and support staff who test positive, who are close contacts to a confirmed COVID-19 case, who become sick at school or day care, procedures for contact tracing and quarantining persons exposed to a confirmed COVID-19 case, procedures for temporary closure and environmental cleaning and disinfection when a confirmed or possible case of COVID-19 is identified in a school or day care, and procedures for outbreak response and consideration for closure.
On August 21, 2020, Governor Pritzker reissued several Executive Orders through September 19, 2020. This included Section 4 of Executive Order 2020-22, which proclaims that, the definition of “child” under the Child Care Act of 1969, is suspended for the limited purpose of ensuring that persons in the care of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services who are 18 years of age or older and are in a placement identified in the Child Care Act of 1969, are permitted to remain in their placement.

Resource Links:

Governor's Office of Early Childhood Development COVID-19 Updates

Governor's Office of Early Childhood Development COVID-19 for Providers

IL Department of Children & Family Services, COVID-19 Messages to Providers

Restore Illinois Licensed Day Care Guidance, released June 24

FAQs for Reopening Licensed Child Care Homes, updated July 29

FAQs for Reopening Licensed Child Care Centers, updated July 29
Indiana

Indiana Family and Social Services Administration
OPTION TO REMAIN OPEN

Indiana has directed that child care should remain open and accept children in need of care unless a positive case of COVID-19 is identified within the child care as a way to support public health workers, families and other important personnel who need to support the overall efforts to combat COVID-19.

On March 25, 2020, a press release from the Office of Governor Eric Holcomb described new measures being taken to support families in accessing child care:

“The Indiana State Department of Education (DOE) and Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA) have teamed to encourage school corporations in Indiana to open schools on a limited basis to provide child care services for emergency workers and others who are working to keep communities safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.

On March 20, 2020, FSSA provided new guidance for child care operators who are licensed by the state.

CURRENT POLICIES

>> Supplemental Grants
The final application round for Temporary Assistance Grants will end on July 28. (This grant program aimed to offset lost revenues from private pay children due to absences or closure.) Final payments to providers will be made on August 5, 2020.

Beginning August 3, providers can apply for Child Care Closure Assistance Grants. This grant will provide assistance to programs that closed due to a confirmed case of COVID-19:

- Grants will be awarded to programs for the purpose of continuing to regularly pay child care staff and maintain operations for the time period of the required COVID-19 closure.

- This grant should cover the cost of lost revenue during closure from children who are funded through private pay/cash pay.

- Providers must have been temporarily closed during the time period of this grant because of a confirmed COVID-19 case of a person affiliated with the facility.

- Providers must be eligible to receive CCDF

- For purposes of this grant, total grant awards will be capped at $20,00

>> Guidance
Indiana released health and safety guidance for child care providers, including guidelines for reopening. The guidance addresses daily health screenings (including temperature checks), drop-off/pick-up procedures, face coverings, social distancing, hygiene and sanitization, communications plans, and daily operations.

OECOSL created a resource to help providers understand which practices are mandatory and which are recommended. Even so, OECOSL will "strongly encourage items listend in the recommended practice coumn during licensing visits."

The state has also shared recommended steps providers should take if a case of COVID-19 is confirmed at their facility. (Released July 21.)


TIMELINE

>> Supplemental Grants
The state offered Temporary Employee Recruitment and Retention Grants. Eligible providers must be open with children in attendance on or before June 14. The grant application, instructions, and grant period dates (including application due dates) can be found on OECOSL's website.

Beginning June 1, Indiana offered Temporary Assistance Grants to Retain Child Care for child care providers. These grants supported providers impacted by, "Periods of excessive absence of PRIVATE PAY children and closures due to COVID-19. This grant does NOT provide assistance to providers for CCDF/ On My Way Pre-K funded children." The grant program included four rounds of funding, with the final grant period ending July 25. Final payments will be made to providers on August 5.

Beginning August 3, providers can apply for Child Care Closure Assistance Grants. This grant will provide assistance to programs that closed due to a confirmed case of COVID-19. This grant should cover the cost of lost revenue during closure from children who are funded through private pay/cash pay.

>> Guidance
On May 22, Indiana released recommended health and safety guidance for child care providers, including guidelines for reopening. The guidance addresses daily health screenings (including temperature checks), drop-off/pick-up procedures, face coverings, social distancing, hygiene and sanitization, communications plans, and daily operations.

On July 21, the state released additional guidance outlining steps providers should take if a case of COVID-19 is confirmed at their facility.
$78,821,955

Indiana FSSA’s Office of Early Childhood and Out-of-School Learning (OECOSL) is making Temporary Assistance Grants to Retain Child Care available using new CCDBG funds provided through the CARES Act.

These grants are designed to replace lost revenues from self, private, or cash pay children during the COVID-19 emergency (in order to ensure the ongoing availability of these programs at the end of the public health emergency). Grants are intended to assist providers in continuing to pay staff during the timeframe associated with each two-week grant award period.

Any provider that is CCDF-eligible may apply and each must re-apply every two weeks. Providers with multiple locations, must fill out one grant application per location per two-week period.

During the the first two weeks of grant distribution 1,172 programs were funded at a cost of $5,131,752.

During the second two week period 2,243 programs were funded at a cost of $14,262,879.

Total spent over the initial 4-week period: $19,394,631.

Over the first month of operation, 32% of applications came from center-based programs, 13% from ministries and 55% from home-based family child care providers.

Maximum reimbursement rates are calculated by taking all rates that currently exist in the state’s CCDF system and taking the average by age group. If an individual provider’s existing rate is lower than the average rate calculated, they will receive the lesser amount. Providers may not raise their rates from one grant period to the next.

Calculated maximum weekly rates are as follows:

Infants: $219

Toddlers: $196

3s/4s/5s: $176

School age: $140


Maximum grants are capped as follows:

For programs that remain open, the overall grant amount requested cannot exceed $20,000 for the two week period.

For programs that are closed, the overall grant amount requested cannot exceed $5,000 for the two week period.

Additional CARES Act funding will be used to support programs in reopening.

UPDATE: In order to remain eligible for a Temporary Assistance Grant, providers must reopen by June 14 with children in attendance by this date. (Announced June 1.)


Returned to normal group size.

Recommended that the same children be in the same group each day, and with the same teacher each day.

Limit the mixing of groups through Stage 3.

Provisions for School-Aged Child Care:

On August 21, 2020, Governor Holcomb waived requirements to the extent necessary to allow school corporations to contract with community organizations to operate school age, in-person, childcare programs in physical environments other than public school building in order to support community needs for care environments for students engaging in remote learning. To increase childcare options, provisions for a childcare home subject to licensure are suspended to the extent necessary to permit in-person supervision in a physical location for no more than 10 school-age children in a residential structure on school days, provided they are participating in remote learning.

Resource Links:

IN FSSA COVID-19 Information for Providers (Includes grant information, guidance, webinars, etc.)

Temporary Employee Recruitment and Retention Grant Instructions/Tutorial for Application

Temporary Employee Recruitment and Retention Grant Application (6/15 - 6/28), Ends on July 1

IN Guidance for Child Care Programs, updated May 22

IN FSSA COVID-19 Updates- Webinar Slides, from June 17
Iowa

Iowa Department of Human Services
OPTION TO REMAIN OPEN

The Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS) encourages parents who telecommute to keep their children home with them. DHS also encourages childcare settings to limit rooms to 10 individuals per room when possible, and to increase space between children. Recess, activities and hallway passing should be staggered to limit interactions. To remain open during this time, the Department is requiring all childcare centers follow practices outlined in new guidance issued April 1, 2020.
CURRENT POLICIES

>> Supplemental Funding

Rejuvenation Grants: Providers closed due to COVID-19 seeking to reopen are eligible for a one-time grant ($1,500 for center-based; $600 for home-based). Providers must complete the "Rejuvenation Grant Survey" on the DHS Funding Opportunities webpage. This program is in effect through August 2020.

Basic Monthly Stipend: Open providers will receive a monthly stipend ($2,000 for centers-based; $500 for home-based). Providers must complete the "Monthly Stipend Survey" each month, available on the DHS Funding Opportunities webpage. This program is in effect through August 2020.

Essential Employee Add-On: Open providers willing to give a 25% discount to essential worker families will receive an bonus monthly stipend ($2,000 for center-based; $500 for home-based). Providers must complete the "Monthly Stipend Survey." This program is in effect through August 2020.

More information available here.

>> Subsidy Program
Effective March 9, the Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS) temporarily suspended the Childcare Assistance (CCA) program attendance policy. As such, DHS no longer limits the number of absent days paid per month. This program will continue until the State of Emergency ends, or on October 10, 2020, whichever comes first.

DHS will continue reimbursing providers for family co-pays. Payment will be based on attendance records. This program will continue until the State of Emergency ends, or on October 10, 2020, whichever comes first.

Effective July 1, there are important changes to the CCA program:

1) The definition of 'infant/toddler' will now include children up to 3 years old (previously it was up to 2). This means that two-year-old children will now be included in the CCA ‘infant/toddler’ age group which has a higher maximum rate. Once the child turns three, they will move to the ‘preschool’ age group.

2) The 12-month eligibility limit for families is being eliminated. As long as family income remains below the monthly gross income limit, families may continue to remain eligible under the CCA Plus program. Because the 12-month limit is being eliminated, the maximum monthly income limit for the program is changing to 225% of the federal poverty level (FPL) rather than 85% of the state median income (SMI).

>> Guidance
DHS released updated guidance for child care providers responding to COVID-19. The guidance addresses group size, hygiene and sanitation, health screenings, social distancing, and reporting confirmed cases. (Updated June 29.)

Highlights from the updated guidance:

- While group size limitations are recommended, all other actions are required.

- Providers must conduct daily temperature screenings of all children and staff.

- Children/staff with a temperature of 100.4 or higher may not enter the facility.


TIMELINE

>> Supplemental Funding
On May 6, DHS announced three new programs to support child care providers.

1) Rejuvenation Grants: Providers closed due to COVID-19 seeking to reopen are eligible for a one-time grant ($1,500 for center-based; $600 for home-based). Providers must complete the "Rejuvenation Grant Survey" on the DHS Funding Opportunities webpage.

Eligible providers must be open as of March 1, and currently closed due to COVID-19 but agrees to reopen. Please email any questions to RejuvG@dhs.state.ia.us. This program is in effect through August 2020.

2) Basic Monthly Stipend: Open providers will be eligible for a monthly stipend ($2,000 for centers-based; $500 for home-based). This funding is to provide immediate support to your child care program (e.g., supporting staff wages, replenishing toys or products, paying rent or utilities, etc.).

Providers must complete the "Monthly Stipend Survey" each month, available on the DHS Funding Opportunities webpage. Please email any questions to CanWeHelp@dhs.state.ia.us.

While the program was original slated for April through July, it has since been extended. This program is in effect through August 2020.

3) Essential Employee Add-On: Open providers willing to give a 25% discount to essential worker families will receive an bonus monthly stipend ($2,000 for center-based; $500 for home-based). Providers must complete the "Monthly Stipend Survey." This program is in effect through August 2020.

>> Subsidy Program
Effective March 9, the Iowa Department of Human Services (DHS) temporarily suspended the Childcare Assistance (CCA) Payment program attendance policy. As such, DHS no longer limits the number of absent days paid per month. (Announced March 30.)

>> Emergency Centers
In March, DHS launched ttemporary emergency child care centers to support essential workers who needed child care for school-age children (or in the event communities identify a lack of access to child care in their area.) Providers applied to to DHS to become a Temporary Emergency Childcare site.

>> Guidance
On June 29, Iowa DHS released updated guidance for child care providers responding to COVID-19. The guidance addresses group size, hygiene and sanitation, health screenings, social distancing, and reporting confirmed cases. While group size limitations are recommended, all other actions are required. DHS released earlier versions of the health and safety guidance on May 21 and June 8.
$31,899,093

On May 5, 2020, the Iowa Department of Human Services announced details of the state’s COVID-19 Child Care Sustainability Plan, which will used CARES Act funds to:

- Provide a monthly stipend of $2,000 to open licensed centers and $500 to open registered homes,

- Provide an additional monthly stipend of $2,000 to licensed centers and $500 to registered homes providing a 25 percent discount to essential services personnel,

- Pay providers for unlimited absences and full-day care for school-age children,

- Provide hand sanitizer and other cleaning supplies directly to providers,

- Cover the cost of background checks for employees at temporary emergency sites,

- Waive CCA family co-pays and provide full tuition amounts to providers serving CCA families,

- Provide a rejuvenation grant to providers who have closed to assist them in re-opening.

Providers must meet certain criteria to be eligible for CARES Act funding through DHS. Additional details are available in the COVID-19 Childcare Sustainability Plan and a frequently asked questions (FAQs) document.
Recommended limit of 10 or fewer, including staff, when possible.


Resource Links:

Iowa Child Care Resource & Referral, COVID-19 Updates
Iowa DHS Child Care Guidance in Response to COVID-19

Iowa DHS Funding Opportunities for Child Care Programs

Iowa DHS Temporary Emergency Child Care for Essential Workforce, FAQs and Guidance

Iowa DHS Announces Additional Support for Child Care Providers, released May 6
Kansas

Kansas Department for Children and Families
OPTION TO REMAIN OPEN


At this time, KDHE supports continuity of operations for child care. KDHE will communicate updates should our recommendations change. Child care facilities (family child care and center-based care) that are willing and able to continue to operate are providing an important service for parents who must continue to work, particularly those whose jobs are considered essential for the well-being of the community. Licensed child care, with its emphasis on healthy and safe daily routines, provides a stabilizing and often familiar setting for children while parents are away at work. Although child care has been identified as an essential business and may operate in all counties, child care licensees may independently decide to temporarily close based on their own situation.
CURRENT POLICIES

>> Subsidy Program
For families working additional hours, additional child care hours may be authorized. Please contact your local DCF service center to report your change in hours worked.

>> Guidance
Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) released FAQs and guidance for child care providers.

KDHE is not requiring the use of masks or face coverings for staff or children. Whlie this guidance is voluntary, local health officials have the authority to issue additional, mandatory requirements. (Announced May 18.)


TIMELINE

>> Licensing
According to the Interim Guidance for Child Care Facilities Licensed by the KDHE:

"Child Care Licensing will not issue blanket exceptions to increase capacity or eliminate other health and safety requirements as part of the COVID-19 response. This includes issuing temporary licenses for an existing facility to operate in an alternate location. We await federal guidance on any waivers for requirements related to background checks and initial health and safety training.

Existing child care facilities are required to continue to operate within the terms of their licenses and to comply with licensing laws and regulations."

>> Subsidy Program
On March 30, 2020, the Kansas Department for Children and Families (DCF) announced three ways DCF would support families during COVID-19:

1) For families working additional hours, additional child care hours may be authorized. Please contact your local DCF service center to report your change in hours worked.

2) Families whose child care assistance is due to be reviewed for benefits to continue in April, May, June or July will have an additional 12-month eligibility period authorized automatically at the same benefit level as before. If your child care assistance was already reviewed for April benefits, you will receive notification as usual regarding your new benefits. If you have had an increase in work hours, or if your income has gone down, let your local DCF service center know so we can review to see if we can adjust your benefits to better serve your needs.

3) During the months of March, April, May, June, and July 2020, DCF will delay taking action on some child care cases that normally would close. A family's regular income must remain under 85% of the State Median Income (SMI) in order to remain eligible for child care. You can find the current SMI for your household size on any approval notice that you receive for child care with plans starting in April 2020. More information here.

>> Supplemental Funding
Through its Preschool Development Grant (Birth-Five), the state has established $500 Child Care Action Lab Grants to help child care providers during the pandemic.

>> Guidance
On May 18, Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) released FAQs and guidance for child care providers operating during COVID-19. The voluntary guidance addresses drop-off/pick-up, health screenings, reporting confirmed cases, sanitation and hygiene, and day-to-day operations.

KDHE is not requiring the use of masks or face coverings for staff or children. Whlie this guidance is voluntary, local health officials have the authority to issue additional, mandatory requirements. (Announced May 18.)
$30,771,514

On April 17, 2020, Governor Laura Kelly and DCF Secretary Laura Howard announced the Kansas “Hero Relief Program” which expands DCF’s child care assistance subsidies for families and provides financial support directly to child care providers. The new program specifically targets health care workers, first responders and other essential workers.

Beginning Monday, April 20, child care subsidies will be available to essential workers who financially qualify. The list includes:

- Health care workers (including RNs, other medical professionals and health care support workers, hospital and laboratory staff)

- First responders (including law enforcement, fire and rescue, and other public safety workers)

- Food and agriculture workers

- Judicial branch (essential services)

- National Guard

- Child and adult protective service specialists

- Child care providers caring for children of eligible workers listed above

In order to qualify, families must have countable gross income at or below 250% of the federal poverty level. For an average family of four that equals a monthly income of $5,458. Families will receive the full DCF subsidy amount based on their family size, with no family-share deduction.

The Hero Relief Program will also support child care providers by providing a menu of stipends and grants to assist during the pandemic.

Grants may include:

- Sustainability stipends for all KDHE-Licensed child care and relative providers to help pay for ongoing expenses like food, supplies, labor and rent/mortgage.

- Revenue replacement subsidies for DCF enrolled child care providers

- Supply grants to assist with pandemic related expenses like gloves, disinfectants, soap and other necessary items.

- Emergency worker support bonuses – a one-time bonus to providers who care for children of health care workers and first responders.
KDHE is not putting limits on group size for child care because the Governor’s Executive Orders have exempted child care from these requirements...Local health
officials may enforce more restrictive requirements.



Provision of School-Aged Child Care:

On August 31, 2020, Governor Kelly announced an additional benefit in September for those receiving childcare assistance to support families as they adapt to delayed school openings across the state. The Department for Children and Families is also expanding eligibility criteria for its Hero Relief Program. The program expands DCF’s childcare assistance subsidies for families by making them available to essential workers who financially qualify with a countable gross income at or below 250% of the federal poverty level.

Resource Links:

KS Dept. of Health and Environment Child Care FAQs & Guidance, updated May 18

KS Department for Children and Families FAQs for Families, updated April 2

KS Department of Health and Environment, FAQs for Child Care Facilities, updated May 18
Kentucky

Department for Community-Based Services
OPTION REMAIN OPEN (REOPENED JUNE 15, 2020 WITH LIMITED GROUP SIZES AND ENHANCES HEALTH AND SAFETY MEASURES.)

Closure History:

Due to the highly contagious nature of COVID-19, Kentucky is ordering licensed, certified, and registered child care programs shutdown by close of business on Friday, March 20, 2020, until further notice. This includes all child care centers and family child care homes. All Kentucky All STARS rating visits and DRCC annual licensing visits are canceled until further notice.

On March 19, 2020 the state
issued Interim Guidance for Limited Duration Child Care Programs, which permits approved health care facilities to partner with YMCAs and/or licensed child care providers for emergency care.

On May 7, 2020, Governor Beshear announced tentative reopening dates for a variety of businesses, including child care – which is slated to reopen with new limitations on group size on June 15, 2020.

On May 21, 2020, Governor Beshear announced that family-based child care will be allowed to reopen on June 8, followed by center-based programs on June 15. Both will be required to adhere to health and safety guidance issued by the state, which caps group sizes at 10.
CURRENT POLICIES

>> Subsidy Program
The Kentucky Division of Child Care (DCC) will pay subsidies to providers based on enrollment, not attendance, regardless if the program is open or closed. DCC will also cover the cost of parent co-pays during the crisis. More information available here.

>> Worker's Compensation
Child care workers can receive worker's compensation if they are ordered to quarantine. Applies to workers not covered by unemployment insurance.

>> Guidance
KY Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) released a timeline and mandatory guidance for reopening child care programs. The mandatory guidance addresses regulatory requirements, social distsancing, group size, square footage per child requirement, drop-off/pick-up, day-to-day operations, hygiene and sanitation, health screenings, face coverings, and staff training. The guidance includes the following provisions:

- Adults must wear a face mask inside the facility.

- Children and adults must be screened for a fever and contagious symptoms before entering the facility.

- Child care programs must have required cleaning supplies and PPE (masks, gloves) on site before they can reopen. Childcare Aware staff will screen programs to make sure that supplies are on site prior to opening.

- All satff members will need to take a refresher training on cleaning and sanitizing procedures, as well as mandatory reporting of child abuse, before their program reopens (or, before a Limited Duration Childcare program transitions back to a licensed program). (Effective June 8.)


TIMELINE

>> Emergency Centers
As indicated at left, on March 19, the state announced that approved health care providers may partner with YMCAs and/or licensed child care providers for the provision of limited duration, emergency child care. The state recommended these "Limited Duration Centers" charge a daily rate of $50 per child.

>> Subsidy Program
On March 31, the Kentucky Division of Child Care (DCC) announced that it would pay subsidies to providers based on enrollment, not attendance, regardless if the program is open or closed. DCC will also cover the cost of parent co-pays during the crisis. More information available here.

>> Worker's Compensation
On March 25, the state announced that child care workers can now receive worker's compensation if they are ordered to quarantine. Applies to workers not covered by unemployment insurance. The program was expanded on April 9.

>> Guidance
On May 25, the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) released a timeline and mandatory guidance for reopening child care programs. The mandatory guidance addresses regulatory requirements, social distsancing, group size, square footage per child requirement, drop-off/pick-up, day-to-day operations, hygiene and sanitation, health screenings, face coverings, and staff training. (Effective June 8.)

$67,741,412

According to an April 24, 2020 press release from the KY Cabinet for Health and Family Services:

“Kentucky will be awarded $67,741,412 to support state child care programs as part of the federal CARES Act to provide financial relief to businesses affected by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

Due to extended provider closures, the primary concern of the Kentucky Division of Child Care (DCC) during the pandemic is preserving the child care capacity throughout the state, so these funds will be directed to providers with the intent that their centers can sustain the closures and reopen as part of Gov. Andy Beshear’s phased reopening of Kentucky’s economy through his “Healthy At Work” proposal.

Sustainment Stipends for Providers

- A sustainment stipend for all childcare programs (based on capacity) of $225 per child

- This funding will be used towards employee salaries, facility costs, utilities, insurance premiums, and other fixed expenses.

Bonuses for Staff

- “Hero Bonus” for all child care providers working in Limited Duration (Emergency) Child Care

Total Tuition Payment for CCAP Families

- DCC will pay the total cost of childcare for children in the Child Care Assistance Subsidy Program who are enrolled in a Limited Duration Childcare program throughout the shutdown

The Division of Child Care will begin to disperse these funds as soon as all childcare providers sign an agreement to comply with the designated uses of the funds in alignment with the federal CARES Act.”
Stable groups consisting of 10 children or fewer.

Provision of School-Aged Child Care:

On September 1, 2020, Governor Beshear announced a new emergency administrative regulation which differs from the previously filed regulation governing the same subject matter in the following manner: regulating limited duration child care programs, increasing maximum group size of children 24 months and older to 15 children, allowing tours with potential clients after regular operating hours if no children are present in the facility, an exception to the limitation on electronic viewing/listening devices for completing assigned nontraditional instruction, inclusion of Kentucky all STARS program information so financial awards providers receive for attaining a higher level of quality are not negatively impacted, and waving fingerprint-based background checks during the public health emergency per federal guidance.

Resource Links:

KY Closure Order

CHFS COVID-19 Resources for Child Care Providers

CHFS Timeline and Requirements for Reopening Child Care Programs, effective June 8

CHFS Plan to Reopen Child Care in Kentucky FAQs
Louisiana

Louisiana Department of Education
OPTION TO REMAIN OPEN

Louisiana is currently under an extended Stay at Home Order until April 30, 2020.

According to guidance from the Louisiana Department of Education:

"Child care centers are not included for closure in the governor's executive order. Sites should make closure decisions in coordination with local public health contact. If providers have questions regarding school or center closures, they can consult with their local public health contact, but are not required to call.

In light of the Governor's Stay-At-Home order, the Louisiana Office of Public Health has updated guidance to private early learning centers. Given the risk for transmission of the virus causing COVID-19 in group or congregate settings, centers must follow the below guidance in order to remain in operation:

- Strongly encourage all children that can stay home to do so.

- Early learning center and daycare services should prioritize support for health care workers and essential workers.

- Children and staff group sizes should be limited to 10 or less. Group sizes for infants should be limited to 5 or less.

- Outdoor groups should be separated from each other, and also follow the follow the <10 staff/children
guidance.

- Practice frequent environmental cleaning (cleaning high tough surfaces hourly) and wash hands
frequently with soap and water for 20 seconds. Alcohol based sanitizers are appropriate when
soap and water are not readily available.

- Actively monitor children and staff for any symptoms of fever, cough, shortness of breath or
sore throat throughout the day. Any child with these symptoms should not participate in these
programs for the duration of the illness. Only well children should attend.

- Staff members in high-risk (elderly, those with medical conditions) should be encouraged to stay
home."
CURRENT POLICIES

>> Licensing
Prospective and licensed center owners are not required to submit an application in CAFÉ for an initial, change of ownership (CHOW), or change of location (CHOL) license. Please complete the application and contact the Licensing Consultant assigned to your center. Fees will not be requested at this time. For any questions call 225-342-9905 or email ldelicensing@la.gov.

Licenses will be extended for 90 days for providers whose licenses expired in March, April, May, June, and July 2020:
- March renewals are extended to June
- April renewals are extended to July
- May renewals are extended to August
- June renewals are extended to September
- July renewals are extended to October

Requirements for continuing education hours have been waived until February 28, 2021. Centers will be required to be in compliance with continuing education hours starting with March 2021 renewals. Please note: Medication Management Training and three hours of training by a child health consultant on infectious disease, health and safety, and/or food service should still be completed.

Providers can temporarily employ staff ages 16 or 17, as long as they are under the direct supervision of a current employee. 16- or 17-year-old staff may count for the purpose of ratios. This policy is in effect until August 31, 2020.

BESE has temporarily waived the $15 Department fee for background checks and the $15 fee for out-of-state applicants. This policy is in effect until September 30, 2020.

Providers are still required to show documentation of a Child Care Criminal Background Check (CCCBC) for all staff. Staff must apply, be fingerprinted, and receive an eligible or provisional CCCBC determination prior to starting work. New staff must be fingerprinted.

>> Subsidy Program
The state will continue to pay providers based on enrollment, not attendance. The state will also waive family co-pays. This policy is in effect until September 30, 2020.

The state will extend redetermentation periods for families:
- March and June are extended to Sept. 30
- April and July are extended to Oct. 31
- May and August are extended to Nov. 30

During this time, family child care providers and in-home providers will receive the same subsidy funding per child as Type III centers. This policy is in effect until September 30, 2020.

>> Guidance
Louisiana Office of Public Health (OPH) and the Department of Education (DOE) have released released supplemental guidance for child care providers, which includes both mandatory and recommended practices. (Updated July 13.)

Mandatory practices include:

- Staff must wear a face mask.

- Providers must conduct daily health screenigns of children and staff upon arrival, including a temperature check.

- Transportation is now allowed at 50% capacity (previously 25% in Phase 1).

- Do not share toys with other groups, unless they are sanitized between groups.

- Drop-off/pick-up bust be done curbside or "in a room/foyer that does not allow the parent inside the center. The parent must wear a mask if they enter the room/center."

- Staff must clean and disinfect surfaces, bathrooms, and frequently touched objects (e.g., doorknobs, light sitches, sink handles, countertops) every hour.

- Special events, field trips, festivals, and performances must be canceled.


TIMELINE

>> Licensing
On March 14, the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) waived licensing requirements to give providers flexibility during the pandemic.

March, April, and May 2020 renewals have been extended 90 days for each month noted (Example: new expiration for March 2020 renewals is now June 30, 2020). For any questions call 225-342-9905 or email ldelicensing@la.gov.

Licenses will be extended for 90 days for providers whose licenses expired in March, April, May, June, and July 2020:
- March renewals are extended to June
- April renewals are extended to July
- May renewals are extended to August
- June renewals are extended to September
- July renewals are extended to October

The requirement to show documentation of a Child Care Criminal Background Check was temporarily waived until April 30, 2020. BESE also waived license fees until April 30. These policies were not extended and are no longer in effect

On July 1, BESE waived additional licensing requirements around continuing education, staff age, and background check fees.

Requirements for continuing education hours have been waived until February 28, 2021. Centers will be required to be in compliance with continuing education hours starting with March 2021 renewals. Please note: Medication Management Training and three hours of training by a child health consultant on infectious disease, health and safety, and/or food service should still be completed.

Providers can temporarily employ staff ages 16 or 17, as long as they are under the direct supervision of a current employee. 16- or 17-year-old staff may count for the purpose of ratios. This policy is in effect until August 31, 2020.

BESE has temporarily waived the $15 Department fee for background checks and the $15 fee for out-of-state applicants. This policy is in effect until September 30, 2020.

>> Subsidy Program
On March 14, the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) waived several rules to support subsidized providers during the pandemic.

The state will continue to pay providers based on enrollment, not attendance. The state will also waive family co-pays. This policy is in effect until September 30, 2020.

The state will extend redetermentation periods for families:
- March and June are extended to Sept. 30
- April and July are extended to Oct. 31
- May and August are extended to Nov. 30

>> Supplemental Funding
"We are pleased that the federal government enacted the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). The CARES Act includes emergency funding to assist childcare providers. The CARES Act is a step forward in providing economic relief for childcare providers affected by the coronavirus pandemic. The Department is assessing the allowable use of dollars. DHS will collaborate with local communities and providers to ensure a robust partnership that ensures these funds are used to best address Iowa's childcare needs."

>> Supplies
On May 27, the state announced that all licensed child care providers will receive supplies to ensure the health and safety of children and staff as the state reopens. Eligible providers include Head Start, licensed care centers, and in-home, and family-based care certified through the Child Care Assistance Program. The Department of Education will distribute no-touch thermometers, masks, gloves, hand sanitizier, paper towels, tissues, and cleaning products.

>> Online Resource (for parents)
Louisiana Department of Education's COVID-19 website includes resources for parents to find a school meal site, child care provider, and P-EBT application information.

>> Guidance
On May 13, Louisiana released mandatory health and safety guidance from the Office of Public Health (OPH).

As Louisiana entered Phase 1 of reopening on May 15, child care centers and summer programs were required to follow protective measures, including: small groups that minimally interact with other groups, screening students for symptoms of COVID-19, and practicing frequent cleaning and hand-washing. Adults and children older than 2 years old should wear cloth masks, if they are able.

At the same time, OPH and the Department of Education released supplemental guidance, including both mandatory and recommended practices. This guidance has most recently been updated on July 13.

>> Planning Guide
On May 14, the Louisiana Department of Education released its "Strong Start 2020" planning guide for early childhood providers. The planning guide is intended to help child care providers 1) address unfinished learning due to the pandemic, 2) set the foundation for continuous learning next year, and 3) prepare for potential modified operations. The guide outlines priorities for reopening, cites funding opportunities, and links to resources.
$67,581,166

On April 16, the Louisiana Department of Education announced that it would award nearly $10 million in federal CARES Act funding “to child care providers to offset the financial impacts of the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak. The funding is intended to support early learning sites to stay open and provide care to the children of essential personnel or to reopen after this unprecedented time.”

Because the CARES Act included separate allocations to support Head Start, Head Start and Early Head Start grantees are not eligible. Applications must be received by April 23, 2020.

According to the state’s provider application, two grants will be administered.

1. Emergency Child Care Relief Grant:

This grant will support providers to remain operational after this period in an effort to support child care access for families in need. A portion of these funds are encouraged to be used to pay the salaries and wages of staff. Other operational costs are allowable, such as supplies, rent, and utilities.

- Eligible providers: All providers certified for Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP), including CCAP certified family child care and in-home providers are eligible to apply. Eligible applicants will include those CCAP eligible as of the date of the Public Health Emergency declaration (March 11, 2020) and those that have become CCAP eligible since that time. Programs do not currently have to have a CCAP-eligible child to be eligible for funding.

- Grant award amount: Payment is anticipated to be $125 per child in licensed capacity. Based on the maximum CCAP payment for infants of $25 for 1 week (5 business days).

2. Emergency Child Care Development Fund Response Grant: There are many child care providers certified for CCAP that have remained open during the Stay at Home Order or reopened during the Stay at Home Order, to offer care for children of frontline and critical infrastructure workers, and are incurring additional costs as a result of mitigation requirements and Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance. A portion of these funds are encouraged to be used to pay the salaries and wages of staff and to cover the additional costs associated with operating during this pandemic, such as sanitation supplies, utilities, etc.

- Eligible providers: All Providers certified for CCAP, including CCAP certified family home and in-home providers that were open at any point during the Stay at Home Order, which began on March 23, 2020, are eligible to apply.

- Grant award amount: Payment is anticipated to be $62.50 per child in licensed capacity. [This is] based on the difference between the 75th percentile rate ($31.25) and maximum CCAP payment for infants ($25) for two weeks (10 business days) for Type III centers which is $6.25 for 10 business days.

UPDATE: Individual providers can apply for Louisiana Child Care Assistance Provider Relief Grants. The Department awarded nearly $10 million in relief grants during the first round. To support centers reopening by June 1, the second round of grants will be issued by the second week in June 2020. For providers who open later in the summer, additional relief grants will be made available.
25 or fewer, including staff (ages 3+).
22 or fewer, including staff (age 2).
21 or fewer, including staff (age 1).
15 or fewer, including staff (infants).


Resource Links:

Louisiana Department of Education COVID-19 Resources

Louisiana Office of Public Health COVID-19 Guidance

LA Department of Education COVID-19 FAQs for Child Care Providers, updated July 9

LA Early Childhood Strong Start 2020 Planning Guide, updated May 14

LA Office of Public Health Guidelines for Child Care, updated July 13
Maine

Maine Department of Health and Human Services
OPTION TO REMAIN OPEN

DHHS Office of Child and Family Services:

"It remains each provider's decision whether or not to operate. The March 31, 2020 Executive Order does not order that child cares close. OCFS continues to encourage and support child care providers who choose to remain open providing care to children of Maine's working families who cannot work from
home."
CURRENT POLICIES

>> Licensing
Child care licensing fees will be waived, beginning July 1, 2020 and continuing through June 30, 2022. Fees will be waived for both renewals and new applications.

>> Employee Retention Tax Credit
DHHS is offering eligible providers a tax credit equal to 50% of wages paid, up to a $5,000 tax credit per worker.

To receive the Q3 tax credit, eligible providers must:

- Paid at least one employee (part-time or full-time) at any point during Q2 (April through June).
- Hired or re-hired one more employee in August
- Gross receipts in Q3 2020 (July through September) are 60% of Q3 2019.
- Did not take a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan.

Wages paid to both workers in Q3 are eligible for the tax credit. Please email any questions to Cynthia Murphy, at Cynthia.Murphy@ceimaine.org.

>> Guidance
Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) guidance for child care providers operating during Stage 3. (Updated July 31.)

Updated guidance includes the following:

- Face coverings are required for staff and adults entering the facility. (Previously: "when feasible.")

- Face coverings are now required for children 5 and older. (Previously: "when feasible.")

- Recommended daily health screenings before any adult/child enters the facility.

- Health screenings may include a temperature check.

- "Screen children upon arrival, if possible." (Previously: required for all persons before entering the facility.)

- Guidelines for planning and preparing for COVID-19 cases.

- Providers should notify health officials, staff, and families immediately of any possible case of COVID-19.


TIMELINE

>> Licensing
On May 15, DHHS announced that it would waive child care licensing fees, beginning July 1, 2020 and continuing through June 30, 2022. Fees will be waived for both renewals and new applications.

>> Subsidy Program
The Child Care Subsidy Program (CCSP) accepted applications from essential workers who were over income eligiblity limit through June 12, 2020. CCSP awards for essential workers over the income limit continued through July 3, 2020.

The office of Child and Family Services (OCFS) temporarily waived the attendance requirement, so providers received subsidy payments based on enrollment. Additionally, OCFS waived parent fees and waived the 12-week job search requirement. These policies ended on July 3, 2020.

>> Employee Retention Tax Credit
On July 23, DHHS announced that providers may be eligible for an immediate and refundable tax credit equal to 50% of wages paid, up to a $5,000 tax credit per worker.

Eligible providers must:
- Paid at least one employee (part-time or full-time) at any point during Q2 (April through June).
- Experienced at least a 50% reduction in gross receipts in Q2 2020, compared to Q2 2019.
- Did not take a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan.

Moving forward, providers may be eligible for another tax credit if they hire or re-hire one more worker in August and gross receipts in Q3 2020 (July through September) are 60% of Q3 2019. Wages paid to both workers in Q3 are eligible for the tax credit.

>> Resource (for parents)
According to DHHS Office of Child and Family Services, "We know that there are some child care programs and early childhood professionals who are able to help care for children of healthcare workers and other essential service employees. OCFS is partnering with Maine AEYC to help connect those most in need of child care with those early educators who are able to help."

>> Guidance
On July 1, the Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) released guidance for child care providers operating during Stage 3. The guidance addresses hygiene and sanitation, health screenings, physical distancing, sharing toys/supplies, drop-off/pick-up, meal service, planning for illness, and reporting possible cases of COVID-19.

On July 31, DHS released updated health and safety guidance.

Notable changes include:

- Face coverings are required for staff and adults entering the facility (previously: "when feasible").
- Face coverings are now required for children 5 and older (previously: "when feasible").
- "Screen children upon arrival, if possible" (previously: required for all persons before entering the facility).
- Guidelines for planning and preparing for COVID-19 cases.
- More specific guidance around hygiene and sanitation.
$10,953,470

On April 22, 2020, Governor Mills and the Maine Office of Child and Family Services announced that Maine will be implementing the following three strategies with the CCDBG funds from the CARES Act:

1. Child care for essential workers ($1 million).
Provide child care subsidy for essential employees who exceed current Child Care Subsidy Program (CCSP) income guidelines ($1 million). Implemented in April and will continue until 6/30/20 or two weeks after the end of the civil emergency, whichever is soonest.

2. One-time stipend for providers ($5.23 million).
Implemented in late April/early May. Eligible providers include:
a. all licensed child care providers, and
b. all license-exempt non-relative providers participating in CCSP

3. Reopening grants ($4.72 million).
Provide one-time grants to aid child care providers in resuming operations following the civil emergency (via a grant process about which details are forthcoming). Will begin in June and align to Stage 2 of the state's reopening plan.

- Grants will be open to all licensed providers currently providing child care, and also providers that will be open and providing care by June 30, 2020.

- Family-based providers will receive $750. Center-based providers will receive $3,000.

- Applications due by June 21, 2020.

- Email questions to Katharyn Zwicker at Katharyn.B.Zwicker@maine.gov with "CARES Act Grants" in the subject line.


Other CARES Act funding:

Maine DHHS will provide an additional $8.4 million to child care providers. These funds will be provided through Maine's Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF). Center-based providers will each receieve up to $9,200 and family-based providers will each receive up to $950 to cover COVID-related expenses. (Announced July 17.)
Returned to normal group size in Stage 2. (Announced May 28.)


Resource Links:

Office of Child and Family Serfices (OCFS) COVID-19 Updates and Information

CARES Act Grants for Child Care Providers, released June 4

DHHS Stage 3 Guidance for Child Care Providers, released July 1
Maryland

Maryland State Department of Education
PHASED REOPENING UNDERWAY. CHILD CARE IS CURRENTLY ACCESSIBLE TO ESSENTIAL STAFF, AS WELL AS TO PARENTS WHO WORK IN BUSINESSES, ORGANIZATIONS, AND FACILITIES OPENED BY THE GOVERNOR. PROVIDERS MUST BE APPROVED AS ESSENTIAL PERSONNEL CHILD CARE (EPCC) OR ESSENTIAL PERSONNEL SCHOOL AGE (EPSA) PROGRAMS BY THE MD DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION TO OPERATE.

On March 26, 2020, the Maryland Department of Education announced that child care providers will be required to close after Friday, March 27, with the exception of those serving essential personnel.

Licensed child care programs willing to provide child care to children of essential personnel, may reopen beginning March 30, 2020, with the following requirements:

- Programs must apply with their Regional Licensing Specialists to be approved before they begin serving eligible families.

- These programs may only reopen after a thorough cleaning has been conducted.

- They must only serve the children of essential personnel.

Designated essential personnel may find emergency child care programs using LOCATE: Child Care, a free service available by phone Monday - Friday at 877-261-0060 between 7:00 AM and 7:00 PM. Specialized services for parents of children with special needs, as well as Spanish language, are also available on these platforms.

The child care programs established by the State are at no cost to designated essential personnel only. Children attending the State-funded child care programs will be kept an appropriate distance from each other with ratios of a minimum of 1 teacher and 9 children for school-age with smaller class sizes for younger children.

Because of the scarcity of child care services, non-designated essential personnel will not be allowed to participate. Parents are strongly urged to keep children at home as the first and best option to protect them from the virus.

The Maryland Department of Education has issued enhanced safety guidelines for child care providers remaining in operation.

On June 3, 2020, the Maryland Department of Education issued the following statement:

“In continuing our safe and responsible reopening of child care, we will continue to accept applications for all licensed child care programs to operate as Essential Personnel Child Care (EPCC) sites and community organizations to operate as Essential Personnel School Age (EPSA) sites. EPCC and EPSA providers must be approved by the Office of Child Care (OCC) to ensure program staff have read and understood the joint MSDE and Maryland Department of Health (MDH) guidance on the Division of Early Childhood (DEC) website.

The reopening of child care programs statewide does not change current guidance for health and safety during the COVID-19 pandemic, such as in regards to group size. Group size in rooms remains at a maximum of 10 persons. In addition, licensing regulations temporarily relaxed during the onset of COVID-19 are currently under review and will be shared shortly with clear guidance on requirements and effective dates.”

Current responses to Frequently Asked Questions can be accessed here.


CURRENT POLICIES

>> Licensing
Licensed child care programs interested in reopening may contact their licensing specialist and complete a Child Care Verification of Reopening form.

Effective July 20, 2020, unlicensed Family and Friend Care will no longer be allowed. A family child care home is not required to be registered if the provider: (a) is a relative of each child; (b) is a friend of each child’s parent or legal guardian and the care is provided on a non-regular basis of less than 20 hours a month.

>> Emergency Centers
Effective July 20, 2020, any remaining EPSA approved sites will no longer be permitted to operate.

>> Subsidy Program
Providers will receive payment based on attendance.

Parents are required to pay mandatory co-pays, unless the parent has requested the suspension of their child care services or the provider has chosen not to reopen.

>> Guidance
MSDE and MDOH health and safety guidance for child care providers addresses health screenings, day-to-day operations, hygiene and sanitation, and handling a confirmed case of COVID-19. The guidance was updated to include playground use, masks for children, returning staff/children after a confirmed case, and reopening after closure due to COVID-19. (Updated May 8.)

The most recent guidance on temperature and symptom screening at child care facilities requires the child's parent to take the child's temperature upon arrival, while being directly observed by staff. Parents should use a thermometer brought from home.


TIMELINE

>> Licensing
The state has already waived a number of regulations as outlined here.

Effective June 11, the Maryland Department of Health (MDOH) established updated licensing regulations for child care providers. Updates include:

- Updated ratios: For children age 3+, there most be one qualified teacher for each group of 14 children as long as square footage and toys requirements are met. Ratios for children age 2 and under remain the same.

- Staff who have not had a medical in the last 5 years are required to submit a new medical report to their Licensing Specialist by December 31, 2020.

- Licensing staff will continue to inspect programs virtually. Programs will be notified when in-person inspections resume.

- Children enrolling or re-enrolling to a program must have immunization records.

- Continued training must be completed by December 31, 2020. (There is no extension for the free, online health and safety training.)

>> Emergency Centers
On April 7, the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) suspended applications to the Essential Personnel Child Care (EPCC) program.

On April 8, the state announced that it would offer a one-time, supplemental payment to providers participating in the EPCC program. Center-based providers will each receive $1,600 and home-based providers will each receive $800. To recieve the stipend, providers must submit an invoice begining April 10.

Effective July 20, any remaining Essential Persons School Age (EPSA) approved sites will no longer be permitted to operate. The state will return to allowing only licensed child care programs to serve families.

Additionally, unlicensed Family and Friend Care will no longer be allowed. A family child care home is not required to be registered if the provider: (a) is a relative of each child; (b) is a friend of each child’s parent or legal guardian and the care is provided on a non-regular basis of fewer than 20 hours a month. Any ESPA or family and friend providers that wish to continue operating should contact their regional licensing office.

>> Resource (for providers)
On April 22, MSDE announced that it had connected with grocery stores and big box stores to support child care providers in purchasing above the maximum limit on food/cleaning items. Providers can share this letter with the store manager to purchase supplies beyond the posted limit.

>> Required Reopening Form
As child care centers begin reopening, all providers must submit a current personnel list and staffing pattern to their Licensing Specialist. Providers must complete and submit the Child Care Verification of Reopening form. These forms msut be updated as staff are added/deleted. Providers must agree to abide by child care reuglations and guidelines established by the MD Department of Education and the MD Department of Health regarding COVID-19. (Updated June 10.)

>> Subsidy Program
Effective July 20, MSDE will resume reimbursing providers for subsidized care based on attendance, not enrollment. Parents will be required to pay their mandatory co-pays unless the parent has requested the suspension of their child care services or the provider has chosen not to reopen.

>> Guidance
On April 23, MSDE and MDOH shared interim guidance on the use of face coverings in child care programs. The guidance recommended that adults and children age 2+ wear cloth face coverings "when feasible."

On May 1, MSDE and MDOH released health and safety guidance for child care providers. The guidance addresses health screenings, day-to-day operations, hygiene and sanitation, and handling a confirmed case of COVID-19. On May 8, the guidance was updated to include playground use, masks for children, and the process of returning a staff/child after a confirmed case, and reopening after recommended closure due to COVID-19 at the facility.

On May 21, MSDE and MDOH released updated procedures for temperature and symptom screening at child care facilities.
$45,821,890

The MD Department of Education is using CARES Act funding to provide child care at no cost to the children of essential personnel via the state’s Essential Personnel Child Care (EPCC) Program. Licensed providers must be approved as EPCC sites in order to participate.

Care for children ages 6 weeks to 3 years is reimbursed at $350 per week, per child (part time and full time). This rate is $250 per week, per child for children between the ages of 3 and 13.

According to a May 20, 2020 press release from the MD Department of Education:

“Parents newly returning to work as part of the State’s Stage 1 opening of businesses can immediately access an open Essential Personnel Child Care or Essential Personnel School-Age program, recently expanded by 125 sites and ready to provide care for 21,500 more children than are being served presently. In this transition stage, all new families, not designated as essential persons under Governor Hogan’s March 25th Executive Order, accessing child care will pay tuition directly to providers. The State will extend payment of childcare tuition for all pre-recovery phase essential personnel through June 7; and beginning June 8, child care tuition will be paid by all parents directly to the provider.

MSDE will ensure that there are Essential Personnel School-Age Child Care facilities available to provide care for students through the end of the school year. Additional child care providers (family and center based) can apply to open as new Essential Personnel Child Care or Essential Personnel School-Age programs. New child care sites must follow rigorous health and safety guidance set by MSDE and the Maryland Department of Health (MDH), and attend orientation webinar and regional conference calls. Each new site will receive a one-time grant in the amount of $800 (for family-based centers) and $1600 (for child care centers) for cleaning, sanitization and supplies. MSDE/MDH guidance for child care programs can be found here. Providers seeking to become an essential personnel child care program should contact their licensing specialists.”
Center-based care is limited to 15 or fewer people per room, including staff. Family-based care is limited to the number of children for which they are licensed at one time, and no more than 15 persons total including residents.

Providers may use large rooms sectioned off by half-walls if that is how they operated before COVID-19.

(Note: Unlicensed centers may provide care for up to 5 unrelated children in their home. All children must be kindergarten-age and older.)


Resource Links:

Early Childhood Grants, Programming and Initiatives in Maryland During COVID-19

MD FAQs and Guidance for Providers during COVID-19

Maryland's Recovery Plan for Child Care, released May 2020

Maryland's Recovery Plan for Child Care: FAQs for Providers, updated June 19
Massachusetts

Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care
OPTION TO REOPEN WITH APPROVAL BY EEC (EFFECTIVE JUNE 8, EEC IS DISTRIBUTING "INTENT TO REOPEN" FORMS, WITH REOPENING PLANS TO BE SUBMITTED FOR REVIEW BEGINNING JUNE 15.)

On March 18, 2020, Governor Baker issued an Executive Order requiring all early education centers and family childcare providers to close, effective Monday March 23, 2020 to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. The Department of Early Education and Care (EEC) also issued emergency procedures to set forth a process for opening Exempt Emergency Child Care Programs during the COVID-19 outbreak to provide priority access for families of emergency personnel, medical staff, and others critical to confronting COVID-19.

On March 25, 2020, Governor Baker took action extending the closure of public schools and non-emergency child care until May 4, 2020.

On April 21, 2020, Governor Baker extended the closure of child care until June 29, 2020.

On June 6, 2020, Governor Baker announced that Phase 2 of the Commonwealth’s Reopening Plan would begin on Monday, June 8, 2020. Child care may begin the process of opening in Phase 2. The goal of EEC is to ensure programs have the information they need to prepare for reopening, and can take the necessary steps to begin this process.

Beginning Monday, June 8, EEC will distribute “intent to reopen” forms to capture the intent of each provider to reopen under new minimum health and safety requirements. Beginning June 15, EEC will invite providers to submit reopening plans for review and approval. Following an immediate review, providers will be allowed to conditionally reopen based on their chosen timelines. Subsequent, final approvals will be communicated within 60 days.
CURRENT POLICIES

>> Licensing
EEC has temporarily modified licenesing requirements around teacher qualifications and background checks.

Teacher qualifications:
- Educators with higher education degrees and work experience will receive accelerated approval, for the purposes of educational requirements for EEC certification.
- 50 hours of consistent work at one program will be equivalent to one month of work experience, for the purposes of work experience requirements for EEC certification.
- Expandsion of acceptable courses for Child Growth and Development, for the purposes for EEC course requirements.

Background checks:
- EEC will not request Mental Health Asssessments or Criminal Justice Letters from candidates with presumptive records.
- The full background check is still required, but will be prioritized to ensure expedited review and processing.
- Staff who were approved through the Urgent BRC Process during the pandemic are required to complete the full background check process. The Urgent BRC does not meet federal compliance requirements.

>> Supplemental Funding
EEC is providing grants to support the initial months of reopening child care. Eligible providers must have current subsidy agreements and enrolled children. Providers who served as Exempt Emergency Child Care Providers throughout the state of emergency will also be eligible.

Grants will be offered on a per-provider basis for family-based providers and a per-classroom basis for center-based providers and school-age programs. Providers receiving subsidized payments will be required to reopen in July in order to continue receiving subsidies for enrolled children.

>> Subsidy Program
Providers receiving subsidized payments must reopen in July to continue receiving subsidies for enrolled children.

Beginning July 2020, subsidy payments will be based on enrollment, not attendance. Providers must contact every family to document each child's continued enrollment. Payment will end July 31 for any child that is not confirmed. (Announced June 20.)

EEC has temporarily waived the attendance policy, eliminating limits on the total number of absences a child can have. EEC will not eliminate policies around unexplained absences (no show/no call). EEC will released detailed guidance on how attendance should be marked that will allow for payment of children during this transition period and will also allow EEC to track what children are actively utilizing care. (Announced June 20.)

>> Guidance
MA Department of Early Education and Care (EEC mandatory health and safety guidance for providers was last updated on July 15. The guidance addresses planning, group sizes, social distancing, health screenings, hygiene and cleaning, face coverings, reporting requirements, and other daily operations.

Requirements include:

- Develop a detailed plan prior to reopening.

- Designate a staff member to be responsible for responding to COVID-29 concerns

- Groups are limited to 10 or fewer children.

- Daily health screenings of all staff and children before they enter the facility

- Staff are encouraged to wear face coverings. Whenever 6 feet of physical distance is not possible, masks are required. Children older than 2 should wear masks "when possible and at the discretion of parents."

- Machine washable cloth toys cannot be used at all. Offsite parks and playgrounds cannot be used.

- Potential exposure must be reported to employees, families, local board of health (if individual tested positive), funding and licensing agencies (if individual tested positive)


TIMELINE

>> Emergency Centers
Under Governor Baker's Executive Order, Exempt Emergency Child Care Programs (EECCPs) were the only child care providers able to operate during the COVID-19 outbreak. These programs were only available to essential workers, vulnerable children, and "people who must go to work but aren't necessarily emergency personnel."

The state reimbursed EECCPs at a flate rate, not based on the number of children served. Center-based programs were reimbursed $2,500 per class per week (maxiumum $5,000 per site per week). Home-based programs were reimbursed $1,000 per site per week for up to children.

Providers that accept state funding may not charge parents for child care. Providers must apply to operate as an EECCP. As of May 15, the state will no longer review applications, but will continue accepting applications and will review as need arises.

Effective July 10, all EECCPs must stop operating emergency care. Emergency providers were intended to end by June 30, but were permitted to operate until July 10. Programs may not operate as both an emergency program and licensed program simultaneously. Emergency providers may choose when to close emergency services and reopen for traditional enrollment, so long as the closure date is before July 10, 2020.

>> Licensing
Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care (EEC) expedited the application review process for emergency child care programs and conducted expedited background checks for teachers and staff. A proposed program can be either a currently-licensed child care program, or a new program such as a location within or near a medical facility. All programs that would like to operate must complete the EEC's Emergency Licensing and Background Record Check process. Programs that have a current license and educators with confirmed background checks will be expedited for approval.

On July 2, EEC released its "Reopening Information Package." The guidance includes temporary modifications to teacher qualifications and background checks.

Teacher qualifications:
- Educators with higher education degrees and work experience will receive accelerated approval, for the purposes of educational requirements for EEC certification.
- 50 hours of consistent work at one program will be equivalent to one month of work experience, for the purposes of work experience requirements for EEC certification.
- Expandsion of acceptable courses for Child Growth and Development, for the purposes for EEC course requirements.

Background checks:
- EEC will not request Mental Health Asssessments or Criminal Justice Letters from candidates with presumptive records.
- The full background check is still required, but will be prioritized to ensure expedited review and processing.
- Staff who were approved through the Urgent BRC Process during the pandemic are required to complete the full background check process. The Urgent BRC does not meet federal compliance requirements.

>> Supplemental Funding
EEC will be providing grants to support the initial months of reopening child care. Eligible providers must have current subsidy agreements and enrolled children. Providers who served as Exempt Emergency Child Care Providers throughout the state of emergency will also be eligible.

Grants will be offered on a per-provider basis for family-based providers and a per-classroom basis for center-based providers and school-age programs. Providers receiving subsidized payments will be required to reopen in July in order to continue receiving subsidies for enrolled children.

>> Subsidy Program
Massachusetts will continue paying subsidies to providers, even if the facility is closed. Beginning in March, the state will pay contract and parent fees for subsidized families enrolled in care. (Note: Parent fees from March and April will be paid in May.) Payment will continue for the duration of the closure.

On June 20, EEC announced that providers receiving subsidized payments must reopen in July in order to continue receiving subsidies for enrolled children. Beginning July 2020, subsidy payments will be based on enrollment, not attendance. Providers must contact every family to document each child's continued enrollment. Payment will end July 31 for any child that is not confirmed. (Announced June 20.)

On June 20, EEC temporarily waived the attendance policy, eliminating limits on the total number of absences a child can have. EEC did not eliminate policies around unexplained absences (no show/no call). EEC will released detailed guidance on how attendance should be marked that will allow for payment of children during this transition period and will also allow EEC to track what children are actively utilizing care.

>> Guidance
On May 6, EEC released guidance recommending that providers "strongly encourage" staff, parents, and children older than 3 to wear face coverings.

On June 1, EEC released mandatory health and safety guidance for providers. The guidance has since been updated several times, most recently on July 15. The guidance addresses planning, group sizes, social distancing, health screenings, hygiene and cleaning, face coverings, reporting requirements, and other daily operations. Masks are still encouraged but not required for children and staff.
$45,698,95020 or fewer per classroom in authorized emergency center-based care. 8 or fewer children in authorized emergency home-based care.

Change in preschool ratio from 2:10 to 1:10, so programs can establish the staffing plan that makes the most sense for their program.

Provisions for School-Aged Child Care:

On August 28, 2020, Governor Baker authorized the Department of Early Education and Care (EEC) to take necessary actions to permit school-aged child care programs to expand their capacity and hours of operation in order to provide supervision and education support during the regular school day for children participating in remote learning. Remote learning enrichment program requirements will be specified by the EEC and meet minimum standards of operation to provide supervised group care for children who are attending remote learning instruction during the hours of the regular school day. The order also directed the EEC to facilitate remote learning parent cooperatives, meaning the establishment of an organized plan among a group of families in which children enrolled in school are supervised by one of their parents or guardians while attending remote learning during the school day.

Resource Links:

MA EEC COVID-19 Exempt Emergency Child Care Programs

MA Child Care Programs Reopening Resources

MA EEC Health and Safety Required Guidance and FAQs, updated July 15

MA Department of Early Education and Care Reopen Approach, updated July 2

MA EEC COVID-19 Updates for Child Care Providers
Michigan

Office of Great Start, Michigan Department of Education
OPTION TO REMAIN OPEN (REOPENED JUNE 1, WITH GROUP SIZE AND OTHER LIMITATIONS)

Closure History:

On March 23, 2020, Governor Whitmer issued Executive Order 2020-21, which suspends activities in the state not critical to sustain or protect life. This order identifies child care as a part of the state's critical infrastructure, "but only to the extent necessary to serve the children or dependents of critical infrastructure workers as defined in this order. This category includes individuals (whether licensed or not) who have arranged to care for the children or dependents of critical infrastructure workers."

According to an April 2, 2020 memo from Michigan's Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs:

"On March 23, Governor Whitmer signed the "Stay Home, Stay Safe" Executive Order (EO 2020-21). This order directs all Michigan businesses and operations to temporarily suspend in-person operations that are not necessary to sustain or protect life. This order also directs Michiganders to stay in their homes unless they're part of the critical infrastructure workforce.

Until this order expires, child care providers are required to close.

There is one exception. Child care providers that are willing and able to provide care to the children of critical infrastructure workers (also referred to as essential workforce in EO 2020-16) are encouraged to continue providing care when possible."
CURRENT POLICIES

>> Emergency Centers
As of July 18, the state is no longer accepting applications for the Disaster Relief Child Care Temporary Provisional License. With the expiration of Governor Whitmer’s Executive Order 2020-117, all Disaster Relief Child Care Centers (DRCCs) will expire no later than August 31, 2020, or upon the end of the declaration of state of emergency and state of disaster, whichever occurs first.

>> Licensing

Renewal applications:
When submitting a renewal application, providers must complete a written acknowledgement that inspections of furnaces, hot water units, and radon tests will be completed as soon as reasonably possible after of the emergency order is canceled.

CPR and first aid training:
The state will allow a 60-day extension of the expiration date for all refersher/updated CPR and first aid trainings, with a written acknolwedgement by the provider agreeing that they will complete the training as soon as possible after the emergency order has been lifted. Contact your licensing consultant to discuss an extension.

For new staff that don’t have previous first aid or CPR trainings, online training can be utilized now with the understanding that they will complete the in-person skills test once the emergency order is canceled.

Fingerprinting:
If care is being provided in a licensed family/group home or a center-based program, fingerprinting requirements remain in place. The Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs does provide a notification to licensees when an individual qualifies to work supervised. This typically appears in the additional information letter sent to providers and applicants by the department.

If care is being provided in a disaster relief childcare center temporarily housed in a school building or under a temporary provisional license, a minimal background check on the staff using Internet Criminal History Access Tool (ICHAT) and Michigan Public Sex Offender Registry (PSOR) check.

New licensing rules:
Please note: The new rules for Family and Group Child Care Homes and Child Care Centers are now in effect. To view the new rules for Family and Group Child Care Homes, please click HERE. To view the new rules for Child Care Centers, click HERE. Please contact your licensing consultant with any questions. All Child Care Licensing new rule trainings have been postponed until the state emergency has ended.

>> Subsidy Program
Effective June 21 (pay period 014), providers should bill for children only when the child is in attendance and the facility is open.

Closed providers will not receive subsidy payments (this includes absence hours). However, closed providers are eligible to apply for a Child Care Relief Fund grant for June. Open providers should follow normal billing practices.

Open providers should bill for the hours that they provided care for the child(ren). If a child is absent, use absence hours for the time when the child would have been in your care. If a child is absent, but is expected to return to care, a provider may bill the CDC program for absence hours. The absence hours should reflect the days and times a child would normally be in care. Note: Licensed providers should have a written policy to charge families for absences, in order to bill the CDC program for absences.

Child care subsidy cases that have eligibility end dates for March, April, May, or June 2020 will be allowed to continue without interruption:

- March 31 redeterminations will be extended to September 30, 2020
- April 30 redeterminations will be extended to October 31, 2020
- May 31 redeterminations will be extended to November 30, 2020
- June 30 redeterminations will be extended to December 31, 2020

>> Supplemental Funding
The Child Care Relief Fund provides direct, non-competitive grants to child care providers. The Child Care Relief Fund will include funding for providers to reduce the cost of care for families in June, July, and August. Providers will report their monthly tuition bills and receive a grant for 30% of those costs. After receiving funding from the state, providers will give families a credit on their next tuition statement.

>> Guidance
The Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) shared recommended safety guidance for child care providers operating during COVID-19. The guidance applies to both center-based and home-based providers. The guidance addresses planning, health screenings, social distancing, group size limitations, pick-up/drop-off, hygiene and sanitation, face coverings, reporting potential exposure, and communicating with families. (Updated July 13.)

>> Required Planning
LARA requires all providers to develop and implement a COVID-19 preparedness and response plan consistent with the state's safety guidance for child care providers (see above). The written response plan must be available at the site or company headquarters. Response plans must be made available to families and staff. (Updated July 13.)

Plans should include:

- How you will monitor symptoms of COVID-19.

- How your programs practice social distancing, as developmentally appropriate.

- How you will ensure hygiene (including regular cleaning and disinfecting).

- Communication protocol for families to report symptoms or a positive test; policies on when children will be excluded from care.

- Isolation procedure in case of symptoms or confirmed case onsite.

- How to maintain required staff-to-child ratios in the event that staff member(s) becomes ill.
Your licensing consultant may request to review the response plan; however, response plans do not need to be submitted to licensing for approval.


TIMELINE

>> Emergency Centers
On April 15, 2020, Gov. Whitmer issued Executive Order 2020-51, clarifying and extending (until May 15) a prior order which enabled the creation of Disaster Relief Child Care Centers for essential workers in the state.

On June 9, Gov. Whitmer signed Executive Order 2020-117 to expand access to child care, with priority for essential workers. The Executive Order allows for expedited provisional licenses to expand capacity for child care services. It also allows employers, like hospitals, to operate emergency child care centers for their employees. Finally, it allows public and nonpublic school facilities to be used for emergency child care centers. The Executive Order remains in effect until July 7, 2020.

As of July 18, the state is no longer accepting applications for the Disaster Relief Child Care Temporary Provisional License. With the expiration of Governor Whitmer’s Executive Order 2020-117, all Disaster Relief Child Care Centers (DRCCs) will expire no later than August 31, 2020, or upon the end of the declaration of state of emergency and state of disaster, whichever occurs first.

>> Subsidy Program
For the care period of March 16 through June 20, both open and closed providers receieved subsidy payments based on enrollment, not attendance. Effective June 21 (pay period 014), providers should bill for children only when the child is in attendance and the facility is open.

Effective June 21, closed providers will not receive subsidy payments (this includes absence hours). However, closed providers are eligible to apply for a Child Care Relief Fund grant for June. Open providers should follow normal billing practices.

Child care subsidy cases that have eligibility end dates for March, April, May, or June 2020 will be allowed to continue without interruption:

- March 31 redeterminations will be extended to September 30, 2020
- April 30 redeterminations will be extended to October 31, 2020
- May 31 redeterminations will be extended to November 30, 2020
- June 30 redeterminations will be extended to December 31, 2020

>> Supplemental Funding
On April 29, Gov. Whitmer announced the Child Care Relief Fund, created to provide direct, non-competitive grants to child care providers. The Child Care Relief Fund will include funding for providers to reduce the cost of care for families in June, July, and August. Providers will report their monthly tuition bills and receive a grant for 30% of those costs. After receiving funding from the state, providers will give families a credit on their next tuition statement. For more information, see the column "CARES Act CCDBG Funding and Use."

>> Resource (for parents)
On June 9, the Michigan Public Service Commission, Connected Nation Michigan, the Michigan Deparment of Technology, Management and Budget, and the Michigan Department of Education announced theirjoint effort to create a map of Wi-Fi hotspots across the state.

>> Guidance
On May 21, the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) shared recommended safety guidance for child care providers operating during COVID-19. The guidance has been updated several times since, most recnetly on July 13. The guidance applies to both center-based and home-based providers. The guidance addresses planning, health screenings, social distancing, group size limitations, pick-up/drop-off, hygiene and sanitation, face coverings, reporting potential exposure, and communicating with families.

>> Required Planning
LARA requires all providers to develop and implement a COVID-19 preparedness and response plan consistent with the state's safety guidance for child care providers (see above). The written response plan must be available at the site or company headquarters. Response plans must be made available to families and staff.
$100,898,829

On April 29, 2020, Governor Whitmer announced a $130 million investment in the new Child Care Relief Fund to make child care more affordable for families during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Child Care Relief Fund will include funding for providers to reduce the cost of care for families in June, July, and August. Providers will report their monthly tuition bills and receive a grant for 30% of those costs. After receiving funding from the state, providers will give families a credit on their next tuition statement.

Michigan’s Child Care Relief Fund – which consists of $100 million in federal CARES Act funding and $30 million from the state’s child care fund – will provide direct, non-competitive grants to child care providers.
These funds will help ensure:

- Child care providers currently serving essential workers remain open, and costs associated with providing care during the COVID-19 pandemic are not passed on to essential workers.

- Child care providers can stay afloat during the “Stay Home, Stay Safe” state of emergency.

- Child care is more affordable to families now, and as our economy begins to reopen.

- Child care providers across the state have the resources needed to reopen for Michigan’s workforce when the recovery process of the current COVID-19 pandemic begins and more families are in need of child care options.

Licensed child care centers, family group homes, tribal child care providers, provisional disaster relief child care centers, and subsidized license exempt providers are all eligible for Michigan’s Child Care Relief Fund grants.

Grant recipients must commit to reducing their weekly rates for families by at least 10 percent, and provide care for children of essential workers regardless of where their parents or caregivers work. Grant recipients must also agree not to charge a fee to hold a child’s spot in a program while receiving grant funds.

The Child Care Relief Fund will be administered by the Michigan Department of Education’s Office of Child Development and Care – with support from the governor’s office and the Michigan Department of Labor and Regulatory Affairs. Beginning April 29, there will be a simple online application for child care providers to use at www.michigan.gov/childcare.

Grants start at $1,500 for home-based providers and $3,000 for child care centers. Additional funds will be awarded based on the size of the provider, whether they are open and serving essential workers, and their quality rating.

In addition to this grant program, Michigan has also made important changes to the Child Development and Care program, commonly called the child care subsidy.

These changes ensure families can access the care they need and providers have some financial certainty. This includes continuing to review and approve applications; increasing the hours school age children can be in care; extending the deadline for re-determinations so families can continue to receive the subsidy during the crisis; and continuing to make subsidy payments based on the number of children enrolled in a program, not the number attending.

UPDATE: Child Care Relief Fund grant applications close on June 5. Grant processing will take 4-6 weeks.



Other CARES Act funding:

For families (child care rate reduction stipend):
Governor Whitmer signed Senate Bill 690 which appropriates $125 million in federal funds for grant funding to reduce the cost of child care for families. The grant is provided through the state's Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF). SB 690 creates a "child care rate reduction stipend as an add-on to the Child Care Relief Fund grant."

Providers will be reimbursed up to 30% of the tuition charged to private-pay families, and then providers must reduce tuition rates by the percentage provided in the stipend. Eligible entitites include licensed child care providers that receieve grants from the Child Care Relief Fund. Stipends are available for June, July, and August 2020. (Announced July 1.)
"Strongly recommended" limit of 10 or fewer. The same children should remain with the same staff each day. Groups should not mix. It is especially important that children less than six months (and staff caring for them) are separated from older children because they cannot be vaccinated against influenza.

Provision of School-Aged Child Care:

On August 6, 2020, Governor Whitmer announced new requirements for staffers and children to wear masks at child-care centers and camps, aiming to prevent the further spread of COVID-19 and to align the rules on mask use in child-care centers and camps with those that already apply to PreK–12 schools. Child-care organizations and camps must require the wearing of face coverings that cover the nose and mouth for: all staff and all children ages 2 and up when on a school bus or other transportation provided by the child care organization or camp; all staff and all children ages 4 and up when in indoor hallways and common 2 areas (face coverings should be encouraged for children ages 2 and up); all staff and all children ages 12 and up when in classrooms, homes, cabins, or similar indoor settings (encouraged for children ages 2 and up); and all visitors to the child-care organization or camp.

Resource Links:

MI Essential Worker Child Care Intake

MI COVID-19 Website, Communications to Child Care Providers

MI Child Care Relief Fund Application

MI Child Care Relief Fund FAQs

MI Guidelines for Safe Child Care Operations During COVID-19, updated July 13
Minnesota

Minnesota Department of Human Services
OPTION TO REMAIN OPEN

Governor Tim Walz message to child care Providers (March 16, 2020):

"Today I signed an Executive Order that included closure of Minnesota restaurants and bars for dine-in customers as well as other places of public accommodation and amusement. This Executive Order does not direct child care centers or family child care to close.

That said, based on this Executive Order and the new guidelines from the federal government to limit groups to the size of ten, we know that many of you may be considering closing, which is understandable. The health of your staff, families, and children is my top priority and I know it is yours too."

Per the guidance from the MN Department of Human Services:

"As of today, child care providers are allowed to remain open.

If you are able to remain open, we encourage you to:

- Prioritize children of emergency workers and workers in critical sectors

- Follow guidance, which includes health and safety best practices and best practices to operate your child care program during the pandemic

- Use Minnesota's Department of Health's COVID-19 Child Care Screening for Emergency Child Care Centers

- Use Minnesota's Department of Health's COVID-19 Child Care Exclusion Guidance, which contains a decision tree for symptomatic individuals in child care programs"
CURRENT POLICIES

>> Licensing
The Minnesota Department of Humans Services (DHS) has waived certain licensing regulatory actions and extended licenses that would otherwise expire. Information about all of the waivers and new modifications can be found here.

>> Guidance
According to DHS, open child care providers must adhere to CDC public health guidance.

According to Executive Order 20-81,Minnesotans are required to wear a face covering in certain settings to prevent the spread of COVID-19, including specific guidance for face coverings and shields in child care settings. (Updated July 22.)


TIMELINE

>> Licensing
The Minnesota Department of Humans Services (DHS) has waived certain licensing regulatory actions and extended licenses that would otherwise expire. Information about all of the waivers and new modifications can be found here.

On June 5, Gov. Walz signed Executive Order 20-74 requiring all critical businesses that were allowed to operate during the recent “stay at home” orders to develop and implement a COVID-19 Preparedness Plan that describes how your business will implement specific health and safety practices in compliance with MDH and CDC guidelines. The Licensing Division worked with the Department of Labor and Industry to create guidance and templates for the following provider groups: child care; residential services, and nonresidential services. These documents are available on the Licensing Division’s COVID-19 website.

>> Subsidy Program
On March 24, Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) announced temporary changes to the state's subsidized child care program to support providers during the pandmic.

Beginning March 20, DHS will temporarily suspend its absence policy. If a child is absent from care, an absent day exemption must be granted if requested by the family or provider. To allow more flexibility, DHS allows multiple avenues for requesting the exemption (e.g., providers can now submit requests for all children with absences, not just those who were sent home from care). The absent day exemption policy only applies when the child care provider is open and available for care. Exemptions related to COVID-19 are in effect until June 30, 2020.

If a provider closes due to COVID-19, and a child does not need care with another provider, DHS can continue paying the provider for up to one month.

If a child starts care with another facility while their previous provider is closed, providers will receive a 15-day notice from the Child Care Assistance Program, but child care assistance will not pay you once the child starts care with their new provider.

If you have any questions, please call 651-431-4848 or email DHS.CCAP@state.mn.us.

>> Supplemental Funding
On March 26, 2020 the MN Legislature approved a request from Governor Walz providing $30 million in grants for child care centers and in-home providers as part of a larger spending package aimed at mitigating the economic and public health damage of coronavirus.

Under the bill, child care providers that are currently operating can apply for a $4,500 monthly grant. They're eligible for an extra $1,000 if the program serves children who have special needs, don't speak English or if the service is open during nonstandard hours like nights and weekends. Larger child care centers that care for 15 or more children can get an additional monthly grant up to $15,500, based on capacity.

The MN Department of Human Services has developed and released a set of frequently asked questions about these new Peacetime Emergency Child Care Grants.

On April 21, 2020, the Department of Human Services announced that more than 1,200 Minnesota child care providers will receive about $9.8 million to continue serving children of essential workers through the first round of emergency state funding.

Selected applicants will receive an award on a month-to-month basis. Whether or not they received a grant in the first round, child care providers will have the opportunity apply for grants in the second and third rounds in mid-May and mid-June.

Monthly grant awards start at $4,500 with up to $15,500 additional funding based on added services and capacity. The grants are intended to provide about $10 million per month over three months to make sure child care is available. Child care programs receiving the grants will be able to continue charging fees for families still attending their programs. The grant funding will help support expenses not covered due to decreased enrollment.

>> Guidance
On July 22nd Gov. Walz signed Executive Order 20-81 requiring Minnesotans to wear a face covering in certain settings to prevent the spread of COVID-19 with specific guidance for face coverings and shields in child care settings.
$48,146,164

On May 14, 2020, Governor Walz announced priorities for the use of new CCDBG funding under the CARES Act. According to a press release, the Governor and Lt. Governor have asked that CCDBG dollars be used to:

- Provide increased access to supports to reduce child care costs for working families who are essential workers and on the frontlines.

- Increase funding for peacetime emergency child care grants to expand critical relief and supports for those remaining open to care for children of essential workers, including school-age programs who help meet the needs for care during the summer.

- Provide flexibilities for our center and family child care providers serving lower income working families to continue to fund absent days, pay for second providers and those temporarily closed and other flexibilities needed to support this critical industry.

UPDATE: Applications for the Peacetime Emergency Child Care Grant are due June 15, 2020 at 5:00 pm. Applicants will be notified of their grant award or denial by June 19, 2020 via the email address used in their application.


Other CARES Act funding:

Gov. Tim Walz proposed that the state use $56.6 million from its Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) to support Minnesota child care providers during the pandemic. The proposal would provide grants to family child care providers, child care centers, and certain eligible certified centers to support the increased costs and decreased revenue due to COVID-19. Eligible providers will receive a grant paid out over three months. Family providers will receive up to $1,200 per month and licensed centers will receive up to $8,500 per month, scaled based on the number of eligible applicants.

Eligible providers must 1) have been open and caring for children by June 15 and through the duration of the three-month grant period, 2) have experienced revenue losses or increased costs associated with COVID-29, 3) provide financial incentives for working staff, and 4) have a license in good standing. The proposal was submitted to the Legislative Advisory Commission for approval on July 1. Once funding is approved, DHS and the Children’s Cabinet will provide information about how childcare providers can apply for the grants. (Announced July 7.)
Recommended limit of 10 or fewer, including staff.


Provision of School-aged Child Care:

On August 31, 2020, DHS announced the following temporary modifications to Licensing and Certification Procedures to meet need for additional school-age care. In order to support children whose school district has implemented remote, hybrid or other distance learning strategies during the peacetime emergency, the Commissioner of Human Services is allowing a temporary exemption from licensure for individuals or programs serving school-age children ages 5 and older during typical hours of the children’s school day, similar to the exemption for k-12 youth development programs already in statute. The Commissioner is also creating an accelerated approval process for licensed and certified centers that want to temporarily operate an additional program at a currently unlicensed new location, (a “satellite” location), to serve school-age children age 5 and older who are enrolled in a public or nonpublic school.

Resource Links:
MN DHS COVID-19 Guidance for Child Care Providers

MN Dept. of Management and Budget COVID-19 Overview and Resources for Child Care Providers

MN DHS COVID-19 Licensing Information Updates
Mississippi

Mississippi Department of Human Services
OPTION TO REMAIN OPEN

"MDHS is in contact with the administration at the Mississippi State Department of Health. As of now, the Health Department is not recommending closure of child care programs."

"All providers participating in the CCDF program will be paid for March 2020 based on the number of children enrolled regardless of attendance as long as the child attended at least one day in March. Payments for April 2020 will be based on enrollment regardless of attendance, meaning a child would not need to attend in April for a provider to be paid as long as the child is still enrolled. Payments will occur for March and April even if a provider chooses to temporarily close during these months."
CURRENT POLICIES

>> Emergency Centers
Child care providers that were already licensed or registered with Mississippi Department of Health did not need to apply as a temporary emergency CCAIR site because they were already allowed to operate as a child care facility.

Effective June 15, 2020 at 5:00 PM, MDHS will no longer be accpeting applications for Temporary CCAIR sites. Any CCAIR applicants that have previously submitted an application will have until June 30, 2020 at 5:00 PM to complete the CCAIR process which includes being inspected and approved through the Mississippi State Department of Health. Existing Temporary CCAIR Sites will be allowed to continue operation until otherwise notified.

Emergency certificates will be paid at the enhanced emergency subsidy rate. Providers will be paid based on attendance for emergency certificates. The priority population that is eligible for emergency certificates includes people that work as first responders and in healthcare operations. Emergency certificates can only be used at CCAIR Emergency locations ensuring that CCAIR guidelines are used while serving these children.

>> Subsidy Program
On July 1, MDHS notified child care providers of the following payment processes, effective immediately:

- All child care subsidy certificates will be paid at the higher enhanced rate, beginning July 1, 2020 and continuing through September 30, 2020. MDHS will notify providers of possible extension of these enhanced rates no later than September 1, 2020. To receive the higher enhanced rate providers must have completed the CCAIR training for child care providers. This training is free and available online.

- All child care subsidy certificates will continue to be paid based on enrollment through the end of July 2020. Beginning August 1, 2020, only centers that are open and serving children will be eligible for this payment.

- MDHS will continue to pay all family co-payments to providers through the end of July 2020. Beginning August 1, 2020 only centers that are open and serving children will be eligible for this payment.

- Beginning August 1, 2020 only centers that are open and serving children are eligible for any payment for child care certificates. Those centers that remain closed will not be eligible for any payments from MDHS until they re-open. Providers should notify MDHS of their reopening date in order to be eligible for payment of child care certificates.

- Providers who are operating, but have been temporarily closed by the Mississippi Department of Health, Bureau of Child Care Licensure due to COVID-19 related conditions will remain eligible for continuation of payment during the temporary closure. In order to receive payment under this condition, providers should notify MDHS.


TIMELINE

>> Emergency Center
Mississippi's Childcare Crisis Assistance in Isolation Response Plan (CCAIR) offers guidance for establishing temporary, emergency child care in a non-traditional setting.

Current child care providers that were already licensed or registered with Mississippi Department of Health did not need to apply as a temporary emergency CCAIR site because they were already allowed to operate as a child care facility.

On April 1, CCAIR site applications were opened. CCAIR sites were intended to provide temporary child care for first responders and other essential personnel while some licensed child care programs were closed due to COVID-19 conditions.

Emergency certificates will be paid at the enhanced emergency subsidy rate. Providers will be paid based on attendance for emergency certificates. The priority population that is eligible for emergency certificates includes people that work as first responders and in healthcare operations. Providers serving children of parents from this priority population are at higher risk of COVID-19 exposure. Therefore, emergency certificates can only be used at CCAIR Emergency locations ensuring that CCAIR guidelines are used while serving these children.

Effective June 15, 2020 at 5:00 PM, MDHS will no longer be accpeting applications for Temporary CCAIR sites. Any CCAIR applicants that have previously submitted an application will have until June 30, 2020 at 5:00 PM to complete the CCAIR process which includes being inspected and approved through the Mississippi State Department of Health. Existing Temporary CCAIR Sites will be allowed to continue operation until otherwise notified.

>> Training
CCAIR is offering a 30-minute online training for child care providers with guidelines and practices to help safeguard against the spread of COVID-19. This training is optional for current providers and required for new providers applying to become a "CCAIR Temporary Emergency Site." Providers must have completed the CCAIR training to receive the higher enhanced subsidy rate.

>> Subsidy Program
On March 19, MDHS announced that the state would make subsidy payments to non-emergency providers based on enrollment, not attendance. This policy was in effect through June 2020. not attendance. Payments occured even if a provider temporarily closed during ehse months. The state also paid providers for parent co-pays for the months of April through June.

If a parent fails to meet school/work hour requirements to remain eligible for the Child Care Payment Program, child care certificates will not be terminated. Parents are required to continue seeking employment and/or school enrollment. "However, if the crisis continues past the three-month job/school search and you are not employed or enrolled in school as required by the program, your certificate will continue for 60 days after the Governor determines that employees may return to work or until the certificate is processed for redetermination, whichever comes first."

On July 1, MDHS notified child care providers of the following payment processes, effective immediately:

- All child care subsidy certificates will be paid at the higher enhanced rate, beginning July 1, 2020 and continuing through September 30, 2020. MDHS will notify providers of possible extension of these enhanced rates no later than September 1, 2020. To receive the higher enhanced rate providers must have completed the CCAIR training for child care providers. This training is free and available online.

- All child care subsidy certificates will continue to be paid based on enrollment through the end of July 2020. Beginning August 1, 2020 only centers that are open and serving children will be eligible for this payment.

- MDHS will continue to pay all family co-payments to providers through the end of July 2020. Beginning August 1, 2020 only centers that are open and serving children will be eligible for this payment.

- Beginning August 1, 2020 only centers that are open and serving children are eligible for any payment for child care certificates. Those centers that remain closed will not be eligible for any payments from MDHS until they re-open. Providers should notify MDHS of their reopening date in order to be eligible for payment of child care certificates.

- Providers who are operating, but have been temporarily closed by the Mississippi Department of Health, Bureau of Child Care Licensure due to COVID-19 related conditions will remain eligible for continuation of payment during the temporary closure. In order to receive payment under this condition, providers should notify MDHS.

>> Supplies
On May 4, MDHS announced that open providers could request health and safety supplies at no cost. The window to request supplies was May 6 - 8. There was a limited quantity available and supplies were issued on, "A first-come, first-serve basis with priority given to providers in counties with the highest number of confirmed cases."

On August 26, 2020, the Mississippi Department of Health issued a public health guidance intended to provide licensed childcare facilities with guidance for operating a facility during the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Every licensed childcare facility should have a plan to protect staff, children, and their families from the spread of COVID-19. This guidance covers policies and procedures providers should implement during the COVID-19 pandemic. Moreover, it provides licensed childcare facilities with guidance on how to handle a positive COVID-19 case or exposure to a positive COVID-19 case in childcare facilities.
On August 27, 2020, the State Early Childhood Advisory Council of Mississippi extended the Child Care Certificate payment policies to enhance higher rates paid to providers that began July 1 through December 31, 2020.
$47,131,386No mandatory group size restriction. Recommended limit of 10 or fewer, including staff.


Resource Links:

COVID-19 Updates from the State Early Childhood Advisory Council of Mississippi

COVID-19 Recommended Guidance, updated March 30
Missouri

Missouri Department of Social Services
OPTION TO REMAIN OPEN

Effective April 6, 2020, the state is under the "Stay Home Missouri" Order, requiring Missourians to avoid leaving their homes or places of residence unless necessary. The order exempts the closure of child care, noting:

"Notwithstanding section 2 of this Order, nothing in this Order shall prohibit daycares, child care providers, or schools from providing child care for working families in accordance with CDC guidelines found at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/schools-childcare/guidance-for-childcare.html."
CURRENT POLICIES

>> Licensing
On June 12, SCCR released a letter announcing the end of earlier allowances outlined in the "SCCR Emergency Q&A Guidance for Licensed Providers in response to COVID-29."

All licensing rules (including medical examinations and fingerprinting) will again be enforced. If a provider has enrolled new children and/or hired new staff during the state of emergency, they should have all required paperwork on file. Additionally, SCCR will resume in-person facility inspections beginning June 15.

>> Subsidy Program
Child Care Subsidy provider application renewals due in April, May, June and July were extended for 90 days.

Beginning in July 2020, payments will resume being based off actual attendance.

Child Care Subsidy providers who choose to close their daycare need to notify the Children’s Division.

DSS has updated its child care subsidy payment policies in response to COVID-19:

- Pay for Units above Authorized Amount: Payments will be made for children whose attendance is greater than authorized due to school being closed; parent required to work additional hours; and other circumstance as approved by the division. Units will be paid through a Child Care Payment Resolution Request (CD-147).

- Pay Additional Absences: Additional absences will be paid for children who are unable to attend child care due to suppressed immune systems or other chronic illness; or when the family is under quarantine. The provider will be required to submit a Child Care Payment Resolution Request (CD-147) to be paid for the additional absences.

- Payment Due to Facility Closure: If a facility is forced to close due to local government mandate; lack of staffing due to COVID-19 exposure/quarantine; or other mitigating circumstance as approved by the division, payment may be made to the facility. In order to be considered for payment due to closure the facility must have a completed Notification of Child Care Closure form on file with the Children's Division Early Childhood section.

>> Guidance
DHSS FAQs for Child Care Programs Reopening After Being Closed due to COVID-19 includes both recommended and required provisions. (Released April 29.)

Local authorities can make further rules and regulations.. If your local city and/or county have issued an order, providers must comply with any requirements. Providers can find information about local orders here.


TIMELINE

>> Licensing
On March 20, MO Department of Health & Senior Services (DHSS) Section for Child Care Regulation (SCCR) released Emergency Q&A Guidance for Licensed Providers in response to COVID-29. The guidance included the following allowances:

- Allowing parents to self-certify that their child is in good health by completing a school-age medical report form, if the parent was unable to obtain a medical [examination] for the child. If the child was in care more than 45 days, the provider must have an appropriate medical exemption report on file.

- Allowing providers to hire new staff by having a self-certified abbreviated medical form and the results of a Family Care Safety Registry on file. If the staff member continues to be employed more than 45 days, the provider is required to meet all the paperwork requirements.

- Allowing staff whose CPR/First Aid certification expired a 60 day grace period for recertification. In May, the grace period was extended to 120 days past the expiration date.

On June 12, SCCR released a letter announcing the end of earlier allowances outlined in the "SCCR Emergency Q&A Guidance for Licensed Providers in response to COVID-29." All licensing rules (including medical examinations and fingerprinting) will again be enforced. If a provider has enrolled new children and/or hired new staff during the state of emergency, they should have all required paperwork on file. Additionally, SCCR will resume in-person facility inspections beginning June 15.

>> Subsidy Program
On March 17, MO Department of Social Services (DSS) updated its child care subsidy payment policies in response to COVID-19:

- Pay for Units above Authorized Amount: Payments will be made for children whose attendance is greater than authorized due to school being closed; parent required to work additional hours; and other circumstance as approved by the division. Units will be paid through a Child Care Payment Resolution Request (CD-147).

- Pay Additional Absences: Additional absences will be paid for children who are unable to attend child care due to suppressed immune systems or other chronic illness; or when the family is under quarantine. The provider will be required to submit a Child Care Payment Resolution Request (CD-147) to be paid for the additional absences.

- Payment Due to Facility Closure: If a facility is forced to close due to local government mandate; lack of staffing due to COVID-19 exposure/quarantine; or other mitigating circumstance as approved by the division, payment may be made to the facility. In order to be considered for payment due to closure the facility must have a completed Notification of Child Care Closure form on file with the Children's Division Early Childhood section.

On March 19, DSS confirmed that Child Care Subsidy benefits for families were extended for 90 days. The Child Care Subsidy program will work on a case-by-case basis to approve additional hours of care for families affected by COVID-19. Additionally, Child Care Subsidy provider application renewals are extended for 90 days. Any Child Care Subsidy providers who choose to close should notify the Children's Division.

On March 31, MO Department of Social Services (DSS) announced that, for the month of March, providers would receive subsidy payments "no less than the average of their payments for the preceding three months." Providers must continue to pay staff wages while the facility is closed.

Providers will receive subsidy payments based on enrollment, not attendance, for April, May, and June. Beginning in July 2020, payments will resume being based off actual attendance.

>> Guidance
On April 21, DHSS released recommended guidance for providers around face coverings for staff and children.

On April 27, Gov Parson signed Executive Order ??, which is in effect through May 31, 2020. While the ORder is in effect, providers should follow guidance from the CDC, which includes procedures for temperature checks, drop-off/pick-up procedures, and guidelinse for when to exclude children/staff from the facility.

On April 29, DHSS released FAQs for Child Care Programs Reopening After Being Closed due to COVID-19. The guidance includes both recommended and required provisions.

Local authorities can make further rules and regulations. If your local city and/or county have issued an order, providers must comply with any requirements. Providers can find information about local orders here.
$66,542,726

On May 6, 2020, Governor Mike Parson and the MO Department of Social Services announced new CARES Act benefits for both families and child care providers.

CARES Act Child Care Plan benefits for low-income families:
- Low-income Missouri families who are unemployed due to COVID-19 can now get a temporary Child Care Subsidy benefit (up to 90 days) while they look for work. This benefit is available through December 2020. Effective May 1 through August 31, parents who work, attend school, or train for work with an income up to 215% of the federal poverty level may now qualify for Transitional Child Care Subsidy, even if they previously did not qualify for Child Care Subsidy.

- Missouri families qualifying for or currently receiving a Transitional Child Care Subsidy benefit will receive an 80 percent subsidy benefit if their income is between 138%-176% of FPL or a 60 percent subsidy benefit if their income is from 177% to 215% of FPL.


CARES Act Child Care Plan benefits for providers:

- Child care providers remaining open to provide services to essential personnel can receive a one-time payment. The payment is based on child care provider’s capacity and range from $1,000 (under 10 children served) to $7,500 (over 200 children served).

- All licensed or licensed-exempt child care providers who operate non-traditional hours, 6:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m. Monday through Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, can receive a $100 monthly stipend for each child care slot for the months of April, May, and June.

- Missouri Child Care Subsidy providers will receive payments based on authorized care instead of actual attendance for April, May, and June service months.

- Missouri has allocated $10 million for one-time grants to higher education institutions to establish on-campus child care programs that include slots for Child Care Subsidy families.

Child care providers interested in CARES Act Child Care Plan benefits should visit theDSS COVID-19 information webpage to find more information under the “Child Care” section.


Other CARES Act Funding:

The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) will use $35 million from the state's Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) to address student internet connectivity and potential learning loss during extended school closures. (Announced July 6.) Specifically, the state will use CRF funds to support the following programs:

- Internet connectivity: $10 million to reimburse schools for costs associated with increasing student connectivity and expanding campus wi-fi networks for the coming school year.

- Assessing growth: $10 million to create a formative assessment tool to guage the level of learning loss (or growth) students experienced this spring. According to DESE, "These short, turnkey assessments will not be used for accountability, but rather as a valuable tool educators can use when students return to school in August to inform instruction and assemble the supports a student may need, with results returned to schools in just one week."

- Transportation: $7.5 million to reimburse schools for transportation expenses incurred when delivering meals to students during school closures.

- Supplies: $7.5 million to help schools cover the costs of PPE and cleaning and medical supplies for schools and buses, as part of a cost-share program with local counties. Just over $795,000 has also been allocated to reimburse those schools that provided childcare for emergency workers during school closures.
No COVID-specific group size guidance identified. Local health officials may enforce more restrictive requirements.


Resource Links:

MO Dept. of Health & Senior Services, Child Care and COVID-19 Updates

MO Dept. of Social Services, Child Care and COVID-19 Updates

MO DHSS FAQs for Child Care Reopening After COVID-19 Closure, released April 29

MO DHSS Q&A Guidance for Child Care Providers, updated June 12
Montana

Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services
OPTION TO REMAIN OPEN

According to guidance provided by the Montana Department of Public Health, a directive from Governor Bullock asks childcare providers to prioritize the needs of children of essential workers to the maximum extent possible, but does not prohibit service to the children of non-essential workers.

The state has created a COVID-19 information page for providers, including a Frequently Asked Questions Document containing specific guidance.
CURRENT POLICIES

>> Licensing
Temporarily closed providers should notify their licensor of the date they will reopen.

Providers can request an increase in licensed capacity, while adhering to the public health guidance related to group sizes. Providers will be asked to describe how their requested change in capacity will:
- Accomodate the need for additional child care in their community.
- Not negatively impact the health and safety of children in their care.
- Ensure the adequate supervision of children.

Providers whose license is expiring soon may request an extension due to the public health emergency. Providers should email their licensor or email childcarelicensing@mt.gov.

DPHHS has suspended on-site inspections, unless there is an emergency need. Child Care Licensing will conduct "video-conference-based facility reviews" as needed for consultation, training, and technical assistance.

DPHHS is temporarily moving to name-based background checks and is temporarily waiving FBI fingerprint requirements.

Annual training requirements have not changed. Requirements have been revised to allow for online CPR and First Aid training.

>> Subsidy Program
Effective June 1, 2020, Best Beginnings Scholarship will pay open providers the full authorized amount for a child who is in attendance at least 85% of the time.

>> Guidance
DPHHS released recommended health and safety guidance for providers operating during the pandemic (pages 6-9). (Updated July 10.)


TIMELINE

>> Licensing
See above.

>> Subsidy Program
During the months of March, April, and May, Best Beginnings Scholarship paid open providers based on enrollment ("100% of the approved authorization amount"), regardless of attendance.

Effective June 1, 2020, Best Beginnings Scholarship will pay full authorized amounts for a child who is in attendance at least 85% of the time.

>> Guidance
On July 10, DPHHS released "FAQs for Child Care Providers." In addition to answering questions around licensing and the subsidy program, this document also includes recommended health and safety guidance for providers operating during the pandemic (pages 6-9).
$10,113,887

On May 6, 2020 Governor Steve Bullock announced, Montana’s CARES Act CCDBG funding will: 1) provide support for existing childcare providers, 2) assistance for low-income families participating in the Best Beginnings Scholarship Program, and 3) will fund emergency temporary childcare for essential workers.

Application information and other guidance on these programs can be found on the DPHHS COVID-19 information site for child care providers.


1) Support for existing child care providers
Approximately half of the funding will provide assistance to existing licensed and registered childcare providers. Funding can be used to continue paying staff or go toward increasing sanitation and other measures to operate safely.

Providers will receive one-time grants. Providers will be able to apply for this assistance through their local Child Care Resource and Referral agencies. Award amounts are as follows:
- Family programs: $3,000 maximum (up to 6 children)
- Group programs: $5,000 maximum (7-12 children)
- Center programs: $8,000 maximum (13 or more children)


2) Best Beginnings Child Care Scholarship
About 30 percent of the funding will benefit low-income and at-risk children through Best Beginnings scholarships. DPHHS will continue paying for Best Beginnings child care through the scholarships even if the child is not in attendance during the statewide emergency. These scholarships will allow families to resume care when they can return to work, and keep childcare providers open long term. DPHHS will reimburse childcare facilities that are temporarily closed once they reopen.

3) Support for temporary emergency (non-licensed) child care
The remaining 20 percent of the funding will be available to support temporary childcare needs. For example, this funding can help health care facilities establish temporary emergency childcare for their employees.

DPHHS will provide supports in the following areas: Child and Adult Care Food Program, professional development, background checks, and financial support."This funding is for the sole purpose of temporary child care strategies to support emergency, medical, and essential personnel during the emergency period only."

DPHHS estimates approximately 20 programs across the state will be awarded one-time grants. Award amounts are as follows:
- Programs serving fewer than 10 children per day: $23,000 maximum
- Programs serving between 11 and 24 children per day: $55,000 maximum
- Programs serving more than 24 children per day: $90,000 maximum


10 or fewer children

Provision of School-Aged Child Care:

On August 11, 2020, Governor Bullock announced he will direct $50 million to increase childcare options for Montana families and bolster the state’s childcare infrastructure in response to COVID-19. Funding will be allocated as follows: $30 million in grants to maintain and expand childcare for school-age children during out of school time, $10 million for families with special circumstances requiring in-home care, $8 million for supplemental payments to all licensed and registered childcare facilities to maintain and expand childcare slots, and $2 million for CCR&R agencies for administration and outreach.

Resource Links:

MT DPHHS COVID-19 Information for Child Care Providers

Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services COVID-19 Resources

MT DPHHS FAQs for Child Care Providers, updated July 10

MT DPHHS Suggested Checklist for Child Care Facilities during COVID-19
Nebraska

Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services
OPTION TO REMAIN OPEN

Closure History:

Recommended Guidance
Family Child Care Homes I and II: As much as possible, all care should be limited to 10.
School Age Only Child Care: As much as possible, all care should be limited to 10 children in care.
For larger programs, group size can be 10 children per classroom.

Child Care Centers: As much as possible, all care should be limited to 10 children in care. For larger centers, group size can be 10 children per classroom.

Preschool: As much as possible, all care should be limited to 10 children in care. For larger preschools, group size can be 10 children per classroom.

According to an April 24, 2020 press release from the Office of Governor Pete Ricketts, effective May 4th, child care facilities in 10 of the state’s 19 regional health districts will be permitted to serve up to 15 children per classroom – with all other state provisions, statutes, and regulations (including child-to-staff ratios) still applying.

This guidance pertains to the following regional health districts: Douglas County Health Dept., Sarpy/Cass Dept. of Health, East Central District Health Four Corners Health Dept., Loup Basin Public Health Dept., North Central District Health Dept., Northeast Nebraska Public Health Dept., Panhandle Public Health District, Southeast District Health Dept., Southwest Nebraska Public Health District.

For districts other than those listed above, child care providers will remain restricted to 10 children per room/space.
CURRENT POLICIES

>> Emergency Centers
Executive Order 20-08 allows school district, faith-based, or community partners to establish temporary child care programs. Temporary child care programs can continue up to 30 days after the state's emergency declaration has ended.

>> Subsidy Program
Open providers will be reimbursed based on enrollment, not attendance.

Providers must, "Continue to bill in-line with the child's regular attendance schedule and current child care subsidy authorization." If a subsidized child unenrolls, providers are not required to hold that slot for another subsidized child.

The state will not pay subsidies (or absences) to closed providers.

Families can use their child care subsidy for care in their own home. An in-home provider may be a family, friend, or neighbor. (Note: persons who live in the same home as the child are not eligible providers, except if the child has special needs).

The above policies are in effect until 30 days after the lifting of the COVID-19 state of emergency.

>> Guidance
On May 29, DHHS released updated guidance /a> allowing 15 or fewer children per room.


TIMELINE

>> Emergency Centers
On March 26, Gov. Ricketts signed Executive Order 20-08, waiving requirements regarding the Child Care Licensing Act and
allowing school district, faith-based, or community partners to establish temporary child care programs. This policy is in effect up to 30 days after the state's emergency declaration has ended.

>> Subsidy Program
On April 15, 2020, Governor Ricketts issued Executive Order 20-18, which waives several state statutes, allowing child care providers to be reimbursed for care that's not being provided due to non-attendance during COVID-19. DHHS is allowing licensed child care subsidy providers that remain open to bill for times when subsidized children are absent from care during the emergency declaration.

Starting April 15, open providers can bill the state for days when a child is absent. Providers must, "Continue to bill in-line with the child's regular attendance schedule and current child care subsidy authorization." If a subsidized child unenrolls, providers are not required to hold that slot for another subsidized child. The state will not pay subsidies (or absences) to closed providers.

Executive Order 20-18 allows families to use their child care subsidy for care in their own home. An in-home provider may be a family, friend, or neighbor (persons who live in the same home as the child are not eligible providers, except if the child has special needs).

The above policies are in effect until 30 days after the lifting of the COVID-19 state of emergency.

Parents who lose their job will maintain their current child care subsidy authorization for up to three months while they search for a new job.

>> Guidance
On April 15, Gov. Ricketts signed Executive Order 20-18 limiting child care facilities to ten children per room. On May 29, DHHS released updated guidance /a> allowing 15 or fewer children per room.
$20,077,074

Nebraska will use its CARES Act CCDBG funds to support the following initiatives (Announced June 2.):

1) Child Care Relief Fund
The relief fund will offer grants of $1,000 to support providers. NE DHHS released the application on April 8 and over 1,000 applications have been received. The Nebraska Children and Families Foundation and the Nebraska Early Childhood Collaborative have used private dollars to fund around 800 applications. NE DHHS will use CARES Act funding to fulfill the remaining applications.

2) Child Care Provider Stabilization Grant Funds
The stabilization grant funds will support open providers that have lost income because they are operating during the crisis at reduced capacity. Eligible providers must be open and operating at least 30 days prior to application. Family-based and home-based care are eligible for a one-time grant of $3,500. Centers are eligible for a one-time grant of $5,500. Funding can only be used on allowable expenses.

3) Incentive to Reopen Child Care Programs Grant
The incentive grant will support closed providers. Priority will be given to providers that commit to reopening within 30 days, participate in state quality improvement initiatives, and service low-income children or children of essential workers. Family-based and home-based care are eligible for a one-time grant of $2,000. Centers are eligible for a one-time grant of $3,000. A provider cannot be eligible for both the stabilization grant and this grant.

4) Nebraska Child Care Referral Network Website
The state created a new Child Care Referral Network website to help families find child care during the crisis. The searchable database connects families with providers that have open child care slots in their area. NE DHHS will use CARES Act funding to improve the data collection process and technology platform to sustsain the network and build it into the existing Nebraska child care resource and referral system.

5) Afterschool and Summer Learning for School Age Children
DHHS is looking to use CARES Act funding for future collaboration between DHHS and the Nebraska Children and Families Foundation's "Beyond School Bells" initiative. Discussions about potential initiatives that will support new and innovative afterschool summer programs and school age child care are underway, as the normal planned summer programs may not take place.

15 or fewer children


Resource Links:

NE DHHS COVID-19 Guidance Documents

NE DHHS COVID-19 Child Care Subsidy FAQs, updated May 19

NE DHHS COVID-19 Child Care Licensing FAQs, updated May 7
Nevada

Nevada Department of Health and Human Services
OPTION TO REMAIN OPEN

Nevada Department of Health and Human Services: "The Governor's Office has declared that licensed child care is an essential service for the children of first responders, hospital staff and others who will be needed throughout this crisis. The State of Nevada's Child Care and Development Program (CCDP) is determined to support the Governor in his efforts, and we'll do everything we can to keep child care businesses open because they are critical."
CURRENT POLICIES

>> Emergency Centers
DHHS created an expedited registry of emergency child care providers. Providers must complete the Nevada Emergency Child Care Registration Form to register a temporary child care facility. No pre-inspections are required at this time.

>> Licensing
Child care providers are designated as essential service providers during the COVID-19 crisis if they meet the following criteria:

- Completed their Emergency Child Care Registry form.

- Providing services to Emergency Workers and Essential Service Workers.

- Provide a plan to prevent spread of infectious disease (including COVID-19).

>> Subsidy Program
Effective March 16, the Nevada Child Care and Development Program (CCDP) issued the following policy changes:

- Any licensed provider or privately owned Out of School Time (OST) provider that is closed due to COVID-19 will continue to receive subsidy payments based on the previous month’s enrollment. If a child that is enrolled in one of these programs enrolls in another program due to the closure, subsidy will be paid to both providers (as long as the second provider is also eligible for subsidy) through the term of the quarantine or for up to 30 days, whichever is less.

- All children participating in the subsidy program will not be subject to termination based on number of absent days until further notice.

- Any 12-month redetermination that is due between March 16, 2020 and June 1, 2020 will automatically be renewed for an additional 12 months. Families do not need to submit any renewal documents.

- CCDP will waive the copay and the waitlist on a case-by-case basis.

>> Guidance
The Nevada Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) released guidance for providers operating child care centers during the health crisis. (Updated March 17.)


TIMELINE

>> Licensing
Child care providers are designated as essential service providers during the COVID-19 crisis if they meet the following criteria:

- Completed their Emergency Child Care Registry form.

- Providing services to Emergency Workers and Essential Service Workers.

- Provide a plan to prevent spread of infectious disease (including COVID-19).

>> Emergency Centers
DHHS created an expedited registry of emergency child care providers. Providers must complete the Nevada Emergency Child Care Registration Form to register a temporary child care facility. No pre-inspections are required at this time.

>> Subsidy Program
As of March 16, the Nevada Child Care and Development Program (CCDP) issued several policy changes to support families and child care providers (listed above).

>> Guidance
On March 17, Gov. Steve Sisolak launched Nevada's Health Response to COVID-19 Risk Mitigation Initiative. The initiative identified child care centers as an essential service and provided additional guidance for providers operating child care centers during the health crisis.
$32,926,105

The Nevada Child Care and Development Program (CCDP) will use Cares Act CCDBG funding to support providers by implementing temporary payment policies (see column "Emergency Child Care Provisions"). These policies include: payment based on enrollment, waiving parent co-pays as needed, waiving attendance requirements, and continuing to pay closed providers. The state is also making Cares Act CCDBG funds available to providers that were not receiving CCDP funds prior to the public health emergency. CCDP is committing $8.4 million of Cares Act CCDBG funds to subsidy payments for providers.

Additionally, CCDP has developed and implemented the "NV CARES Act Grant Program" to support providers. Providers apply based on their individual need, as determined by their full capacity (not subsidy slots), and operating costs (e.g., payroll, rent, and utilities). The application will be released shortly and is due on May 29. The state is using the remaining CARES Act CCDBG funds (about $24 million) to fund these grants to providers.
No COVID-specific group size guidance identified


Resource Links:

NV DHHS Child Care Resources for COVID-19

NV DHHS Child Care Subsidy Program
New Hampshire

New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services
OPTION TO REMAIN OPEN (CENTERS PERMITTED TO REOPEN EFFECTIVE MAY 18 IF COMPLYING WITH NEWLY RELEASED HEALTH AND SAFETY GUIDANCE)

On May 18, 2020, Governor Chris Sununu released guidelines outlining health and safety requirements for child care facilities wishing to reopen. This guidance includes the wearing of masks by all staff and parents dropping off kids, frequent supervised handwashing, and limiting of group size.
CURRENT POLICIES

>> Subsidy Program
Effective July 6, providers can begin to charge families a cost share and/or co-pay.

The state will pay 50% of family cost share from July 6 to August 30, 2020.

>> Guidance
the Governor's Economic Reopening Taskforce has issued reopening guidance for child care centers. (Updated June 15.)

Provisions include:

- Providers must screen staff for symptoms before each shift and must provide staff with training around sanitation best practices.

- Providers are encouraged to wear face coverings, close communal spaces, not co-mingle groups, increase time outside, and stagger pick-up/drop-off.


TIMELINE

>> Emergency Centers
On March 31, the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) began accepting applications from providers seeking designation as emergency child care programs during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In partnership with the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation (NHCF) and child care stakeholders, DHHS has committed $4 million in federal funding to establish the Emergency Child Care Collaborative, a public-private partnership that will ensure a robust system of emergency child care for essential workers.

Emergency Child Care Programs will be eligible to apply for incentive payments, including funding to support pay differentials for staff, child care costs for child care professionals, and other operating costs.

As of April 27, the Emergency Child Care Collaborative included 243 open programs and 62 temporarily closed programs, serving approximately 5,000 children weekly.

On May 11, DHHS released an updated application for the Emergency Child Care Program (ECCP). The application deadline for the ECCP designation has been extended to June 9 at 12:00 PM.

>> Subsidy Program
On June 25, DHS announced that providers can begin to charge families a cost share and/or co-pay, effective July 6.

The state paid 100% of family cost share until July 5. The state will pay 50% of family cost share from July 6 to August 30, 2020. (Announced June 25.)

>> Resource (for parents)
DHHS partnered with Child Care Aware of New Hampshire to create an interactive map of child care providers that have been designated as Emergency Child Care Programs (ECCP). The map is updated daily.

>> Resources (for providers)
On May 28, DHHS hosted a webinar on "Getting the Information and Resources You Need for Child Care Recovery and Stabilization." The webinar was recorded and posted on Child Care Aware of NH's website, nh.childcareaware.org.

Additionally, DHHS partnered with Child Care Aware of New Hampshire to create Emergency Child Care Telephone Lines. Providers can use these phone lines to update their program information regarding closures, reopenings, and available slots. Parents can also use these lines to find child care.

>> Research Survey (for providers)
Beginning May 22, the Yale Child Study Center is asking child care providers nationwide to complete a confidential survey (12-20 minutes) about COVID-19 exposure potential and symptoms. Survey results will be used to "estimate the amount of COVID-19 spread that may happen when child care programs are reopened."

>> Guidance
On May 22, the Governor's Economic Reopening Taskforce has issued reopening guidance for child care centers. This guidance was updated on June 15. Providers must screen staff for symptoms before each shift and must provide staff with training around sanitation best practices. Providers are encouraged to wear face coverings, close communal spaces, not comingle groups, increase time outside, and stagger pick-up/drop-off.
$6,999,268

For providers (grants):
Governor Chris Sununu has allocated an initial $20 million (and another $5 million in reserve) in emergency funding from the CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Fund to provide financial support to child care programs. The NH Child Care Recovery and Stabilization Program (CCRSP) will provide funding to eligible child care programs to assist in recovery and stabilization. Funds must be used by December 30, 2020.

Step 1: Prequalification: To be eligible for recovery and stabilization funding, providers must apply to be a designated Emergency Child Care Program (ECCP) on or before June 9, 2020. If your program has not yet been designated as an ECCP, you can complete the brief ECCP application.

Step 2: Application for Funding: The CCRSP application will be available on June 4, 2020 on the Child Care Aware of NH website. Applications are due by June 11, 2020. Submitting the required information does not guarantee that a program will receive CCRSP funds. Eligibility criteria will be based on several factors, including (but not limited to): lost revenues due to COVID-19; receipt of other financial support (e.g., the Paycheck Protection Program, Child Care Development Funds, ECCP Incentive Payments, etc.); and the program’s sustainability plan when CCRSP funding ends.

Notification of funding will be around July 3. If you have not been notified, please do not email the ECCP mailbox to ask about your program's status until Monday, July 7. If you have any questions after you receive your notification letter, you may email eccp@dhhsnh.gov.


Other CARES Act funding:

For families (internet access): The state will allocate $50 million of CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) to address the need for internet connectivity. The Connecting New Hampshire – Emergency Broadband Expansion Program will address connectivity challenges for students participating in remote learning. The Governor’s Office of Emergency Relief and Recovery (GOFERR) will provide the allocated $50 million in “flex funds” to the Office of Strategic Initiatives (OSI) as they work collaboratively with the Department of Education (DOE) and the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to develop the program criteria.

Projects that have already commenced the field construction/build process will not be eligible for this program. Planned and permitted projects that have not commenced construction may be eligible. Projects related to existing rural broadband expansion commitments or other existing contractual commitments will also be excluded from consideration. (Announced June 18.)
Recommended limit of 10 or fewer, including staff.

Provision of School-Aged Child Care:

On September 3, 2020, Governor Sununu ordered that parents and/or legal guardians have alternative options to allow their children to participate in temporary remote instruction in accordance with their school district's plan for the 2020-2021 academic year, there is hereby established a remote learning center verification program. A remote learning center shall be defined as any person, corporation, partnership, voluntary association or other organization, either established for profit or otherwise, which provides a space for children in kindergarten through grade 12 to participate in remote instruction through a public or private elementary or secondary school system or institution of higher learning. This order applies to remote learning centers only and does not replace a childcare program's responsibility to obtain licensure if providing services requiring a license under RSA 170-E.

Resource Links:

NH Child Care Aware COVID-19 Daily Updates

NH Child Care Recovery and Stabilization Program (CCRSP) Grant Information

NH COVID-19 Child Care Guidance (from the Governor's Economic Reopening Taskforce), updated June 15

NH Child Care COVID-19 Related Emergency Policies Update, released June 25
New Jersey

New Jersey Department of Children and Families
OPTION TO REMAIN OPEN (REOPENED JUNE 15, 2020 WITH LIMITED GROUP SIZES AND ENHANCED HEALTH AND SAFETY GUIDANCE.)

Closure History:

On March 25, 2020, Governor Murphy issued an Executive Order directing that child care providers requesting permission to stay open or resume operations on or after April 1, 2020, must submit an application to the New Jersey Department of Children and Families to become certified as an Emergency Child Care Provider.

These Emergency Centers will provide child care services exclusively to "essential persons" during the current school closure period, and will follow all applicable emergency child care standards established by the Department of Children and Families.

Family child care programs do not fall under the Executive Order and can continue to operate.

On May 29, Governor Murphy issued an Executive Order rescinding his original closure order effective at 6am on June 15, 2020.
CURRENT POLICIES

>> Emergency Centers
Effective June 15, Executive Order 149 ended earlier emergency child care provisions and permitted all chid care facilities to resume operations.

>> Guidance
DCF released mandatory health and safety guidelines for reopening child care centers. (Updated June 17.)

DCF has created a checklist for providers. to ensure that they are meeting all health and safety requirements.

For examples of how this guidance applies to different situations, please see DCF's FAQs on Executive Order #149 and Child Care Centers.

The NJ Department of Health (DOH) published additional public health recommendations for reopening child care. These recommendations do not supersede requirements set forth by DCF. (Updated June 16.)


TIMELINE

>> Emergency Centers
On March 25, NJ Department of Children and Families (DCF) released mandatory health and safety guidance for providers operating as Emergency Child Care Centers.

Effective April 1, under Executive Order 110, DCF required any open providers to complete the Application for Continued Operation Child Care Services During Public Health Emergency. This policy ended on June 15, 2020 (with Executive Order 149).

>> Subsidized Care for Essential Workers
Effective April 1, under Executive Order 110, the state supported child care costs for essential workers through the Emergency Child Care Assistance Program (ECCAP).

On April 28, this program was extended through the end of May, 2020. On May 29, ECCAP was extended through June 30, 2020. Applications will no longer be accepted after June 1, 2020.

>> Subsidy Program
On May 29, DHS announced that it would continue paying providers based on enrollment, not attendance, through the end of June. Payments will continue to be made based on the provider's March subsidy enrollment.

>> Guidance
On May 29, DCF released mandatory health and safety guidelines for reopening child care centers. This guidance was updated on June 17.

The updated guidance addresses group size, health screenings, social distancing, visitors, hygiene and sanitation, attendance logs, signage, and reporting exposure. DCF has created a checklist for providers. to ensure that they are meeting all health and safety requirements. For examples of how this guidance applies to different situations, please see DCF's FAQs on Executive Order #149 and Child Care Centers.

On June 16, the NJ Department of Health (DOH) published additional public health recommendations for reopening child care. These recommendations do not supersede requirements set forth by DCF. The guidance addresses planning, communicating with families, reporting exposure, and closures.
$63,058,005

For essential workers: Emergency Child Care Assistance Program
New Jersey launched an Emergency Child Care Assistance Program (ECCAP) to provide no-cost or reduced-cost child care for essential workers. To participate, essential workers must register with the Department of Human Services county-based Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies. [NOTE: Essential workers who are normally eligible for the Child Care Subsidy Program must enroll in ECCAP to continue receiving child care services.]

The state will continue funding this program through the end of May. Essential workers needing child care can register here. (In correspondence with The Hunt Institute, the New Jersey Department of Human Services confirmed that the program is funded by CARES Act CCDBG funds.)

On May 29, DHS announced that ECCAP will continue through the end of June, when the program will end. Applications will no longer be accepted after June 1.


For providers: Health & Safety Preparedness Grants
NJ DHS Division of Family (DFD) is making grants available to support child care licensed centers and summer camps. Funds will help providers purchase items they need to meet the new health and safety guidelines. Items can include, but are not limited to, PPE (masks and gloves), thermometers, cleaning products and deep cleaning services.

Grants are available to licensed centers and summer camps. Child care providers must comply with State and Local government new health and safety guidance. This grant is subject to an application review process and may require a site visit. Providers who have received funding for these same services from any other source, such as CARES Act, or school districts are not eligible for this grant. (In correspondence with The Hunt Institute, the New Jersey Department of Human Services confirmed that grants are funded by CARES Act CCDBG funds.)
10 or fewer, not including staff. Groups should include the same children and staff each day, to the greatest extent possible. Combining or mixing of groups is prohibited.

Groups must be separated from each other by at least 10 feet in all directions OR by walls/partitions. Physical partitions must be above the eye level of the children who use the area.

Provisions for School-Aged Child Care:

On August 28, 2020, Governor Murphy announced plans to dedicate $250 million in funding from the federal Coronavirus Relief Fund, which will provide additional support to children and their families. The state will provide childcare subsidies during the school day for school-age children (ages 5 to 13 years old) through the end of calendar year 2020 for children in families with incomes up to 200 percent of the federal poverty level who meet program criteria. In addition, a new $150 million program will provide childcare support to families not eligible for the state Child Care Subsidy Program but need childcare for school aged children (ages 5 to 13 years old) through the end of calendar year 2020 for families with annual incomes below $75,000.

Resource Links:

NJ DCF COVID-19 Information Page for Child Care Providers

NJ DCF Checklist for COVID-19 Child Care Health & Safety Requirements, released June 17

NJ DOH COVID-19 Guidance for Reopening Child Care, released June 16

NJ DCF FAQS on Executive Order #149 and Child Care, released June 18
New Mexico

New Mexico Children, Youth and Families Department
OPTION TO REMAIN OPEN

According to the New Mexico Department of Health:

“Child care facilities necessary to provide services to workers employed by essential businesses and nonprofit entities may continue to operate. Child care services are also available to serve families with young children when the parents are involved with protective services, behavioral health and/or juvenile justice services. Child care facilities that remain open must employ heightened cleaning and distancing requirements; guidance will be released shortly. Babysitters may travel to homes to care for the children of parents working in essential sectors.”
CURRENT POLICIES

>> Licensing
On March 18, New Mexico's Children, Youth, and Families Department (CYFD) and the Early Childhood Education and Care Department (ECECD) made several temporary changes to the state's early childhood policies:

- The state will temporarily register family, friend and neighbor (FFN) providers who may be eligible to receive child care assistance funding. Temporary FFN providers will be required to complete a background check, as will all family members over the age of 18 living in their home. Temporary FFN providers will also be required to complete a three hour online health and safety training and an online CPR training.

- The Department of Public Safety is partnering with CYFD to provide expedited background checks so that child care centers can hire new, temporary employees at child care centers during this the emergency health declaration. New temporary staff will have to complete the online health and safety training at www.newmexicokids.org and the state will accept an online CPR certification.

- Beginning on Monday, March 16, Early Childhood Education and Care Department Secretary Elizabeth Groginsky will host daily calls with child care providers. (Providers who are not already receiving the invitation can email matt.bieber@state.nm.us to be added.) Providers may also call the child care Resource and Referral line at 1-800-691-9067 or e-mail questions or concerns to child.care@state.nm.us. Frequent updates will be provided on www.newmexico.gov.

>> Health Insurance (for staff)

>> Subsidized Care for Essential Workers

>> Subsidy Program
Providers will receive subsidy payments based on enrollment, not attendance, even if the provider is temporariy closed.

For providers that remain open during the emergency, the state will pay an additional $250 per child for all children enrolled in the subsidy program.

Families who choose to keep their children home during the emergency will not lose their CYFD benefits.

If a child care center closes and a family needs services, they may transfer their child care benefits to an alternative CYFD-approved provider. The state will continue paying subsidies to both providers.

CYFD will cover parent co-pays through the health emergency. Co-pays will be automatically waived. Providers must not charge parents a co-pay.

>> Guidance
the state released updated health and safety guidance for child care providers. The guidance addresses hygiene and sanitation, pick-up/drop-off procedures, daily health screenings, face coverings, communcations, and reporting potential exposure. (Updated July 6.)

Providers are also required to adhere to the Required COVID-Safe Practices for All Employers in All Together New Mexico COVID Safe Practices for Individuals and Employers, found on page 9. (Updated July 31.)


TIMELINE

>> Licensing
On March 18, New Mexico's Children, Youth, and Families Department (CYFD) and the Early Childhood Education and Care Department (ECECD) made several temporary changes to the state's early childhood policies (see above).

>> Health Insurance (for staff)
On March 18, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced that the state will pay the cost of health insurance premiums for uninsured child care staff who test positive for COVID-19. Staff (and their immediate household members) who are not eligible for other coverage will be able to enroll in the New Mexico Medical Insurance Pool (NMMIP), the state's high-risk pool, and receive comprehensive health care coverage until they recover. This new rule applies to all child care staff who test positive, along with their immediate household members, regardless of income or immigration status.

>> Subsidized Care for Essential Workers
On March 18, Gov. Grisham instructed the Early Childhood Education and Care Department, Children, Youth, and Families Department, and Department of Public Safety to work with child care providers and ensure that child care services are available to first responders, health care professionals, and other essential workers, with no income eligibility threshold.

>> Subsidy Program
On March 18, the state announced that providers will receive subsidy payments based on enrollment, not attendance, even if the provider is temporariy closed. Payment to closed providers ensures that programs will be able to re-open once the crisis is over.

For providers that remain open during the public health emergency, the state will pay an additional $250 per child for all children enrolled in the subsidy program.

Families who choose to keep their children home during the emergency will not lose their CYFD benefits.

If a child care center closes and families need services, they may transfer their child care benefits to an alternative CYFD-approved provider — and the state will continue paying subsidies to both providers.

CYFD will cover parent co-pays through the health emergency. Co-pays will be automatically waived. Providers must not charge parents a co-pay.

>> Guidance
On July 6, the state released updated health and safety guidance for child care providers. The guidance addresses hygiene and sanitation, pick-up/drop-off procedures, daily health screenings, face coverings, communcations, and reporting potential exposure. This earlier version of this guidance was updated on June 10.

In addition to the guidance, providers are required to adhere to the Required COVID-Safe Practices for All Employers in All Together New Mexico COVID Safe Practices for Individuals and Employers, found on page 9. (Updated July 31.)
$29,442,748

INCENTIVE PAY:

On May 1, 2020, The New Mexico Early Childhood Education and Care Department (ECECD) announced that it will use a portion of NM’s federal CARES Act stimulus funding to offer incentive pay to early childhood professionals who are working in centers that remain open during the public health emergency.

Full-time early childhood workers will be eligible for $700 per month in pay for each month worked from April - June. Part-time early childhood workers will be eligible for $350 per month for each month worked during the same period. Applications for staff, directors and administrators at registered and licensed facilities will be available during the week of May 4.

The incentive pay program is part of a larger statewide effort to coordinate economic recovery efforts. Funds will be administered by ECECD through a partnership with the Region 9 Education Cooperative.

Note: Incentive pay will not affect Medicaid eligibility for current recipients during the public health emergency - but it could affect new Medicaid applicants. For questions about SNAP eligibility, early childhood professionals are encouraged to check with their Human Services Department (HSD) Eligibility Specialist.

CHILD CARE STABILIZATION AND RECOVERY GRANT PROGRAM:

ECECD also announced that it will make nearly $12 million in grants to assist licensed child care providers who have been impacted by the health emergency. ECECD is partnering with the New Mexico Economic Development Department (EDD) to administer these grants in collaboration with CARES Act funding for small businesses. Doing so will help providers access multiple funding opportunities in a streamlined fashion.

These grants serve two purposes: to prevent providers from going out of business, and to support child care for families, including for healthcare workers, first responders, and others playing critical roles during this crisis.

Tiered grant awards will provide immediate relief and support to eligible child care providers across New Mexico. The grants will cover lost income resulting from closure, response and recovery operation costs (including enhanced cleaning and sanitation), and other expenses. Grants will range from $2,000 to $34,500 and will depend on setting (e.g, licensed home or center), size, quality level, and percentage of children on child care subsidy. ECECD will also continue to prioritize programs that serve infants and toddlers - and to focus on quality improvement across the board. Registered homes are not eligible for these grants, but they can apply for incentive pay.

The incentive pay program and the child care stabilization and recovery grants programs are just two of the ways that ECECD has sought to support early childhood educators, providers, families, and children throughout the crisis. Throughout the public health emergency, the department will use more than $14 million in CARES Act funding to provide free child care assistance contracts to first responders, health care workers, and other essential personnel - and to offer differentials to providers who have stayed open to serve other essential workers. ECECD has also waived child care copays for parents across the state.

In addition, ECECD continues to partner with DOH to offer up-to-date health and safety guidance to early childhood providers - as well as to distribute personal protective equipment (PPE) to every corner of the state.
Varies by age group.

Infants (6 weeks to 24 months): 10 or fewer.
Toddlers (24 - 36 months): 16 or fewer.
Age 3: 20 or fewer.
Age 4: 20 or fewer.
School age: 20 or fewer.

Note: Five Star programs must continue to follow the Five Star FOCUS-Tiered Quality Rating and Improvement System (TQRIS) group size and ration to maintain their Five Star status.


Resource Links:

NM COVID-19 Resources for Child Care

NM Health and Safety Guidance for Child Care Providers, updated July 6

NM COVID-19 FAQs for Child Care Providers

COVID-19 Response Webinar Series: Economic Recovery for Child Care Facilities, recorded May 12
New York

New York State Office of Children and Family Services
OPTION TO REMAIN OPEN (NEW YORK STATE)

On March , Governor Cuomo issued an Executive Order establishing work restrictions throughout the state, effective March 21, 2020. This order exempts essential businesses, which include child care.

New York Office of Children and Family Services guidance to child care providers (March 21, 2020):

"The Governor's most recent Executive Order, EO 202.7, as well as the associated Guidance issued by the Empire State Development Corporation, sets forth in-person work restrictions, effective as of March 21, 2020 at 8 pm, and until further notice.

These restrictions require all businesses and nonprofit entities to utilize telecommuting and work from home procedures to the extent possible.

Please remember that an essential business is exempt from the restrictions mentioned above.

Essential business includes congregate care facilities operated, licensed or certified by the Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) including programs for youth in foster care and detention, run away and homeless youth programs, domestic violence programs, child care programs and adult care facilities."

NEW YORK CITY (ONLY):
On April 3, 2020, the New York City Board of Health issued an order closing city child care providers until such time as public schools reopen. The order permits for the provision of emergency care to essential staff. According to the order:

"The Board of Health hereby orders, except as described herein, all school-based instructional programs for children ages three through five, and all center-based child care programs and family shelter-based drop-off child supervision programs serving children ages birth to five and operating with a permit issued by the Department, to close and cease operations before Monday, April 6, 2020, and remain so closed as described in this Order; and

FURTHER, this Order shall not apply to any education and child care programs operated by or on behalf of the Department of Education for children of healthcare workers, first responders and other essential government employees, provided that such programs may also be offered to children of other essential workers and other high-need groups including but not limited to students in temporary housing, space permitting, at the discretion of the Department of Education."
UPDATED: For providers (mandatory guidance): New York State Department of Health published new mandatory health and safety guidance for child care and day camp providers. The guidance addresses employer plans, physical distancing, cleaning and sanitation, program activities, PPE, health screenings, reporting potential exposure, and creating a communications plan.

The guidance includes the following:

- Providers must supply staff with face coverings, at no cost to staff.

- Group size of 15 or fewer children, not including staff, unless regulatory group size applies (e.g., toddlers, infants).

- Young children are not required to wear face coverings. Children under age 2 are prohibited from wearing face coverings.

- Providers are required to conduct daily health screenings that include, at minimum, a questionnaire. Providers must review questionnaires each day and "maintain a record of that review." The health screening may also include daily temperature checks. Providers are prohibited from keeping records of employee health or temperature data.

- Providers "must conspicuously post copmleted safety plans on site for employees." A reopening safety plan template is available on the state's website.
(Announced June 8; Updated June 26.)
$163,636,242

On April 23, 2020, Governor Cuomo announced that New York State will provide child care scholarships to essential workers. Essential workers include first responders such as health care providers, pharmaceutical staff, law enforcement, firefighters, food delivery workers, grocery store employees and others who are needed to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Child care costs will be covered with $30 million in federal CARES Act funding for essential staff whose income is less than 300 percent of the federal poverty level - or $78,600 for a family of four - and will be paid at market rate for each region statewide. Essential workers can use the funding to pay for their existing care arrangement. If an essential worker needs child care, they can contact their local child care resource and referral agency to find openings.

The Governor also announced the CARES funding will also be used to purchase supplies for child care providers statewide who remain open, including masks, gloves, diapers, baby wipes, baby formula and food. Child care resource and referral agencies will receive grants totaling approximately $600 per provider. Providers looking for supplies should contact their local child care resource and referral agency.


UPDATE: For providers (grants): New York will provide $65 million to child care providers through the New York Forward Child Care Expansion and Incentive program. (Note: The program wil lbe funded through CARES Act funds, though it is not immediately clear if those are CARES Act CCDBG funds.) The grant program includes:

- $20 million to support reopening and expansion of capacity. Can be used for materials to support a more socially distant model, and 2) expenses associated with reopening and expansion (e.g., partitions, short term rental of space, etc.).
- $45 million to pay for 50% of the cost of a newly opened classroom (maximum grant amount of $6,000) as an incentivize to open the classroom. The temporary funds will phase out over the second and third months as more parents bring their children back into childcare.

Eligible providers must have either been closed as of June 15 and have a plan to reopen within two weeks of applying, or must be currently operating below their licensed capacity and would like to expand. The grants will be pro-rated as programs reach capacity. Providers must submit a detailed plan for use of funds and must remain open at least through the end of the year. The maximum awards for the $20 million in Reopening and Restructuring Incentives depend on the size of the provider and range from $300 to $1,600 one-time grants. Child care programs may apply to OCFS through July 15. (Announced June 23.)
15 or fewer children, not including staff. Providers should maintain stable groups, to the greatest extent possible. Provders should develop a staffing plan that does not require staff to "float" between different classrooms or groups, unless such rotation is necessary due to unfroseen circumstances (e.g., staff absence).

Provisions for School-Aged Child Care:

Interim COVID-19 Guidance for Child Care and Day Camp Programs, updated June 26
On September 10, 2020, Governor Cuomo announced $88.6 million in federal CARES Act funding is available to assist childcare providers with reopening or restructuring their physical plans to meet new social distancing requirements. Funds will be allocated as follows: $20 million will support childcare scholarships for children of essential workers, $20 million is available for rental assistance for school-based childcare programs that have been displaced by the pandemic, $20 million will support grants for closed childcare programs to reopen or restructure under new guidelines for social distancing, and $28.6 million will provide grants for child care providers to pay for half of the cost (up to $6,000) to open a new classroom.


Resource Links:

NY Child Care Services Coronavirus Updates
North Carolina

North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services

UPDATE: NCDHHS has released updated guidance for child care providers, including some required actions. (Announced June 4.)
OPTION TO REMAIN OPEN (REOPENED EFFECTIVE MAY 8, 2020)

CLOSURE HISTORY:

On March 25, 2020, the NC Department of Health and Human Services issued guidance informing providers that child care centers wishing to remain in (or resume) operation after April 1, 2020 will need to be approved as Emergency Child Care Providers through the submission of an application detailing the health, screening, safety and operational requirements for the provision of emergency child care to critical workers.

As indicated at right, NC DHHS is also providing financial assistance for child care facilities and critical workers, including bonus pay for staff.

On March 27, 2020, Governor Cooper issued an Executive Order requiring North Carolinians to stay at home for 30 days with limited exceptions. Child care is identified as an essential human service operation in the order and thus not required to close beyond the limitations described above.

On May 5, 2020, Governor Cooper announced that the state will enter Phase 1 of its reopening plan effective at 5pm on Friday, May 8. This phase includes the reopening of child care for working parents and those seeking employment.
CURRENT POLICIES

>> Subsidy Program
Beginning in June, the Division of Child Development and Early Education (DCDEE) will only make subsidy payments to open providers, still based on February 2020 enrollment. DCDEE will cover the cost of parent co-pays for open providers. Providers may not collect parent co-pays for these months.

Open providers should record actual attendance for subsidized children who are attending their facility. Open providers should record Not Scheduled for subsidized children who are not attending. Closed providers should not record any attendance.

Recertifications of eligibilty for Subsidized Child Care due in March, April, or June will be extended for 12 months. For example, recertifications due in April 2020 will not have to be completed until April 2021.

>> Pre-K Program
DCDEE will pay all NC Pre-K providers, regardless if they are open or closed, fully through the remainder of the program year.

Payments will be based on March enrollment. DCDEE will pay all NC Pre-K contractors their full program administrative rates. NC Pre-K programs should use these funds to ensure that teachers (Leads and TAs) receive their normal compensation for a full week of work. See more information below.

>> Guidance
NCDHHS guidance for child care centers. (Updated June 26.) All required actions are stated in Executive Order 141 or in existing child care rules.

Under the updated guidance, providers are required to:

- Post NCDHHS door signageat all entrances to the facility.

- Conduct a daily health screening. Deny entry to anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19, has specific symptoms, or has recently had close contact with a person with COVID-19.

- Report potential or confirmed COVID-19 exposure to the local health department.

- Adhere to specific guidelines for allowing a child or staff member to return to the facility after illness.

- Follow NCDHHS Environmental Health Section guidance for cleaning and disinfecting.


TIMELINE
For providers (financial support): NC DHHS is making several forms of financial assistance available (during at least April and May) for child care facilities, critical staff, and families. These include bonus pay, hold harmless payments for subsidy and NC PreK (equal, at minimum, to the amounts received in February 2020), and new financial assistance for families.

>> Incentive Pay (for staff)
On April 3, NC DHHS announced that the state will offer bonus payments to all child care employees working on-site for April and May 2020. DCDEE will pay bonus payments directly to providers, providers will then pay staff bonus payment at regular employee pay periods. Bonus payments are available for both center-based and home-based providers.

Monthly bonus payments are as follows:
- Teaching staff, full-time: $950 per teacher
- Teaching staff, part-time: $475 per teacher
- Non-teaching, full-time: $525 per staff
- Non-teaching, part-time: $263 per staff

Providers were required to submit employee attendance each month. If employees are absent from work for more than 10 days during the month, the bonus payment was prorated using a daily rate. This program ended on May 31.

>> Emergency Centers
Beginning April 1, the Emergency Child Care Subsidy program offered no-cost child care for essential workers. Eligible families must be essential workers and have a household income below 300% of the federal poverty level (e.g., $78,600 for a family of four). The program does not have parent co-pays.

Providers may not enroll childen after May 8, but will receive emergency subsidy payments through the end of May. All licensed facilities, regardless of star rating and regardless of participation in the Subsidized Child Care Program, were eligible to accept families using emergency subsidy payments. The program ended on May 31, 2020.

>> Subsidy Program
On April 3, NC DHHS issued COVID-19 child care payment policies pertaining to licensed or regulated providers for April and May 2020.

Updated on July 21, this document applies to 1) Subsidized Child Care program payments, 2) NC Pre-K Program payments 3) Emergency Child Care Subsidy program payments, and 4) bonus payments to staff providing services during the COVID-19 outbreak.

From March through May, DCDEE made subsidy payments to all providers (both open and closed) based on enrollment from February 2020. DCDEE paid parent co-pays to all providers for April and May. Providers may not collect parent co-pays for these months.

Beginning in June, DCDEE will only make subsidy payments to open providers, still based on February 2020 enrollment. DCDEE will cover the cost of parent co-pays for open providers. Providers may not collect parent co-pays for these months.

Open providers should record actual attendance for subsidized children who are attending their facility. Open providers should record Not Scheduled for subsidized children who are not attending. Closed providers should not record any attendance.

Recertifications of eligibilty for Subsidized Child Care due in March, April, or June will be extended for 12 months. For example, recertifications due in April 2020 will not have to be completed until April 2021.

>> Pre-K Program
Beginning in April, DCDEE will pay all NC Pre-K providers, regardless if they are open or closed, fully through the remainder of the program year. Payments will be based on March enrollment. DCDEE will pay all NC Pre-K contractors their full program administrative rates.

NC Pre-K programs should use these funds to ensure that teachers (Leads and TAs) receive their customary compensation for a full week of work.

Contractors should not enter monthly attendance data unless the classroom(s) is physically serving children at the NC Pre-K facility. Actual attendance data is being requested to track the number of children served and average number of service days provided across the state. Attendance data will not be used for reimbursement purposes.

Rate increases for teachers receiving their licenses will be honored. This includes any retroactive payments that may be requested for previous months of service.

>> Resource (for staff)
NC is offering mental health supports for child care teachers.

>> Resource (for providers): NCDHHS has created door signs for child care facilities. The sign includes important health information and must be posted on the front door of all child care facilities. Both English and Spanish versions are available. (Updated June 16.)

>> Resource (for providers)
(reopening toolkit): NCDHHS has created the ChildCareStrongNC Public Health Toolkit to support licensed providers in making informed decisiosn about COVID-19 and minimizing the risk to children and staff. The toolkit aligns to the Interim Guidance for Child Care Settings, updated on June 15. (Announced June 24.)

>> Guidance
On March 23, NCDHHS has shared guidance for child care centers. Updated on June 26, the guidance includes both recommended and mandatory actions.

On August 3, NCDHHS released updated health and safety guidance for reopening NC Pre-K programs.
$118,135,976

According to a report from the North Carolina Early Education Coalition:

“The North Carolina Division of Child Development and Early Education (DCDEE) will provide operational grants to licensed child care facilities that are open for all or part of April, May, and June. The operational grants will help providers cover monthly fixed operating costs during these three months of the COVID-19 crisis, recognizing that revenues from parent fees are significantly lower as non-essential workers have kept their children home with them.

Child care programs that were open in April or reopen in May or June will receive operational grants. In April, DCDEE required providers to submit an Emergency Child Care Provider application to remain open, as well as complete a COVID-19 Child Care Provider Survey to report whether they were open or closed. Child care programs will receive operational grants for April if they were approved as an emergency child care provider and indicated they were open on the daily provider survey.

Child care centers will receive between $500 and $30,000 per month. Family child care homes will receive between $359 and $2,500 per month. The amount of the individual grants will vary based on the following factors:

- Total number of children served prior to COVID-19: Programs serving more children will receive larger grants.

- Star rating: Programs with a higher star rating will receive larger grants because of the higher cost to meet higher standards.

- Infant toddler enrollment: Programs serving infants and toddlers will receive larger grants to account for higher staffing and fixed costs associated with caring for infants and toddlers.

- Serving subsidy children: Programs that have served subsidy children in the past 12 months will receive larger grants than programs that do not serve families and children receiving child care subsidy. Federal Child Care Development Funds are intended to increase access to quality care for families and children with low incomes. However, because of the unique challenges programs are facing as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, all programs will receive some level of grant support.

- Subsidy density (the percentage of children enrolled who receive child care subsidy): Because DCDEE is continuing to stabilize child care subsidy monthly payments to child care providers based on February enrollment, programs that have higher percentages of children on subsidy are getting more of their typical monthly revenue covered than programs that have lower percentages of children on subsidy and rely more heavily on private fees from parents. Therefore, programs with lower percentages of children on subsidy will receive larger grants.

[Programs do not need to apply.] DCDEE will issue the operational grants for April based on whether child care facilities were open and based on the individual facility's characteristics. For programs that are reopening in May, DCDEE will issue operational grants to programs that are reopening.
$118,135,976

According to a report from the North Carolina Early Education Coalition:

“The North Carolina Division of Child Development and Early Education (DCDEE) will provide operational grants to licensed child care facilities that are open for all or part of April, May, and June. The operational grants will help providers cover monthly fixed operating costs during these three months of the COVID-19 crisis, recognizing that revenues from parent fees are significantly lower as non-essential workers have kept their children home with them.

Child care programs that were open in April or reopen in May or June will receive operational grants. In April, DCDEE required providers to submit an Emergency Child Care Provider application to remain open, as well as complete a COVID-19 Child Care Provider Survey to report whether they were open or closed. Child care programs will receive operational grants for April if they were approved as an emergency child care provider and indicated they were open on the daily provider survey.

Child care centers will receive between $500 and $30,000 per month. Family child care homes will receive between $359 and $2,500 per month. The amount of the individual grants will vary based on the following factors:

- Total number of children served prior to COVID-19: Programs serving more children will receive larger grants.

- Star rating: Programs with a higher star rating will receive larger grants because of the higher cost to meet higher standards.

- Infant toddler enrollment: Programs serving infants and toddlers will receive larger grants to account for higher staffing and fixed costs associated with caring for infants and toddlers.

- Serving subsidy children: Programs that have served subsidy children in the past 12 months will receive larger grants than programs that do not serve families and children receiving child care subsidy. Federal Child Care Development Funds are intended to increase access to quality care for families and children with low incomes. However, because of the unique challenges programs are facing as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, all programs will receive some level of grant support.

- Subsidy density (the percentage of children enrolled who receive child care subsidy): Because DCDEE is continuing to stabilize child care subsidy monthly payments to child care providers based on February enrollment, programs that have higher percentages of children on subsidy are getting more of their typical monthly revenue covered than programs that have lower percentages of children on subsidy and rely more heavily on private fees from parents. Therefore, programs with lower percentages of children on subsidy will receive larger grants.

[Programs do not need to apply.] DCDEE will issue the operational grants for April based on whether child care facilities were open and based on the individual facility's characteristics. For programs that are reopening in May, DCDEE will issue operational grants to programs that are reopening.
Returned to normal group size, effective May 11.

Provisions for School-Aged Child Care:

On September 4, 2020, Governor Cooper amended House Bill 1105 to allow greater flexibility in childcare licensing requirements and authorize community-based organizations to provide care for school-age children at a remote learning facility, provided the community-based organization is registered with the Department through a process consistent with the registration process the Department uses for licensed child care facilities. Limitations regarding the maximum amount of screen time for children three years of age and older shall not apply to this provision of care. This exemption includes arrangements between a group of parents to provide for the instructional needs of their children, provided the arrangement occurs in the home of one of the cooperative participants.

Resource Links:
Reopening Guidance on Regulatory Flexibility for Child Care

NCDHHS Updated COVID-19 Child Care Payment Policies

NCDHHS Coronavirus Information for Child Care

NCDHHS ChildCareStrongNC Public Health Toolkit, updated June 26

NCDHHS Interim Guidance for Child Care Settings, updated June 26

NCDHHS COVID-19 Child Care Response Webinar, conducted May 14




North Dakota

North Dakota Department of Human Services
OPTION TO REMAIN OPEN

On March 26, 2020, the ND Department of Human Services issued Modified Operating Practices for Child Care, which include a new maximum group size of 10 (to include both children and adults), health screenings for employees and children (ask the parent/guardian) upon entering the facility each day, the suspension of "family style dining," and more.
CURRENT POLICIES

>> Subsidy Program
The temporary policy allowing providers to bill the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) for extended absences (more than 40 in one month) ended on June 30, 2020.

>> Supplemental Funding
The Child Care Emergency Operating Grant (CEOG) program has been extended through August 14, 2020.

Effective July 4, the CEOG payment rate per child will be halved. The updated CEOG rate guide can be found here.

>> Guidance
Updated health and safety guidance for child care providers addresses transportation, meal prep, hygiene and sanitation, and face coverings. The guidance does limit group size. Masks are not required for staff or children. (Updated August 3.)


TIMELINE

>> Subsidy Program
On March 31, North Dakota Department of Human Services (DHS) released FAQs for Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) billing practices during COVID-19.

Effective April 1, providers who accept a Childcare Emergency Operating Grant (CEOG) may bill CCAP for extended absences, capped at $50 per child per month. For children who are absent less than 40 hours in a month, the $50 cap does not apply and regular rates can be billed. Providers may continue billing CCAP during COVID-19 related closures.

The payment practices described above apply for April, May, and June 2020.

Note: Providers that are not participating in CEOG are not subject to the $50 cap for absences. Non-CEOG providers can temporarily bill CCAP for more than 40 absent hours. This policy is in effect from March through June, 2020.

>> Supplemental Funding
Beginning March 30, North Dakota will be offering Childcare Emergency Operating Grant (CEOG) to childcare providers. This grant will be available to all licensed providers.

Providers who accept the grant must agree to prioritize children of essential workers and must cap at $50/month the fees they charge families to hold a spot during an extended absence.

If a provider opts out of the CEOG program, they will not be required to prioritize essential workers or to modify absence policies. Non-CEOG providers will still be required to follow modified operating practices.

Providers who choose to close are not eligible to receive a CEOG payment. Providers who are required to close due to a COVID-19-related directive from the Deptartment of Health are still eligible to receieve a CEOG payment during the period of mandated closure.

On June 19, DHS announced that the CEOG program is extended through August 14, 2020.

Effective July 4, the CEOG payment rate per child will be halved. The updated CEOG rate guide can be found here.

>> Guidance
On April 1, DHS released modified operating practices for child care providers.

On May 12, DHS issued changes to the modified operating practices, effective June 1. Changes included updated screening questions, guidance for off-site actvities, and increasing the maximum group size to 15. Square footage requirements did not change (minimum of 35 square feet per child). All providers are required to follow these modified operating standards, even if the have opted out of the CEOG program.

On August 3, DHS issued updated health and safety guidance for child care providers. The updated guidance addresses transportation, meal prep, hygiene and sanitation, face coverings. The updated guidance does not include a group size limitation.
$6,037,905

On August 6, 2020, the North Dakota Emergency Commission approved the Department of Human Services’ request for an additional $12 million in remaining CARES Act funding to again extend the state’s Child Care Emergency Operating Grant program, pending approval from the Legislature’s Budget Section. This latest extension request will support the childcare infrastructure in the state’s recovering economy through December 2020, bringing the state’s investment in supporting working parents and stabilizing the childcare industry to $40.8 million. The application process, eligibility criteria, payment request process and payment rates will remain unchanged, and the modified operating guidelines related to 15-person limits on group sizes, screening, cleaning, and other guidance will continue.
Returned to normal group size.


Resource Links:

ND Department of Human Services COVID-19 Child Care Provider Resources

ND DHS Child Care COVID-19 FAQs, released July 20

ND DHS Child Care Emergency Operating Grant (CEOG) Overview, updated July 4

ND DHS Child Care Providers Modified Operating Practices During COVID-19, updated July 1

ND DHS Child Care Screening and Attendance/Exclusion, updated June 8
Ohio

Ohio Department of Job and Family Services
OPTION TO REMAIN OPEN (REOPENED MAY 31, 2020 WITH REDUCED GROUP SIZES)

CLOSURE HISTORY:

Ohio Governor DeWine has ordered that effective Thursday, March 26, 2020, all child care centers remaining in operation will need to do so under a temporary pandemic child care license. The state will limit the number of children in each room to six. Providers are also expected to keep children of parents with the same employer together and limit parent interaction at drop-off and pickup.

DeWine had indicated that this step was forthcoming, tweeting the following on March 15, 2020:

"I've tried to signal that daycares will eventually be closed. But our healthcare systems need to be staffed. You'll start to see healthcare facilities creating their own daycares. I'm pleading with parents, if you have children in daycare and can keep them home, please do it. To close daycares overnight won't work, but it's coming."

On Tuesday, March 17, the state issued a Public Health Order establishing a framework for the creation of Temporary Pandemic Child Care facilities.

On May 14, 2020, Governor DeWine tweeted that: “Beginning Sunday, May 31st childcare providers in #Ohio will be able to re-open, with reduced numbers of children in each classroom and intensified cleaning and handwashing practices.”

On May 29, 2020, Ohio issued a Public Health Order permitting the reopening of child care facilities on May 31, 2020 and outlining health and safety restrictions, including classroom group size limits of 6 (infants and toddlers) to 9 (preschoolers and school aged children).
CURRENT POLICIES

>> Emergency Centers
Effective May 31, all providers licensed as a Temporary Pandemic Child Care program resumed operating under their regular child care license.

Temporary Pandemic Child Care programs without a regular child care license ceased operations on June 9, 2020.

>> Subsidy Program
Publicly Funded Child Care (PFCC) closure payments ended on May 31, 2020.

Effective May 31, subsidy payment rates have returned to the pre-pandemic payment rates.

Effective May 31, providers can only bill for "pandemic days" when the local or state health department requires the program to close as a result of COVID-19. Providers can bill for up to 21 pandemic days each state fiscal year. (The state fiscal year began July 1, 2020.)

>> Guidance
The Department of Health (DOH) released updated health and safety guidance for providers in the Responsible Restart Ohio Child Care document. The updated guidance includes both mandatory and recommended actions. (Updated July 30.)

Requirements include:

- Conduct daily health screenings before any child/staff enters the facility.

- Face coverings are required for all staff and for all children in 3rd grade and above.

- Immediately send home any child/staff who has symptoms of COVID-19. Individuals sent home may not return until they have been symptom free for 24 hours without the use of medication.

- If any staff/children test positive for COVID-19, they must complete isolation procedures in coordination with the local health department prior to returning to the program.


TIMELINE

>> Subsidy Program
Publicly Funded Child Care (PFCC) closure payments ended on May 31, 2020. The last PFCC closure payment was issued on June 5, 2020 for the week of May 24, 2020.

Effective May 31 (when child care reopened), providers can only bill for "pandemic days" when the local or state health department requires the program to close as a result of COVID-19. Providers who chose to remain closed after May 31 cannot bill for pandemic days.

Effective May 31, subsidy payment rates have returned to the pre-pandemic payment rates.

>> Emergency Centers
Effective March 25, all child care providers were required to close unless they have a Temporary Pandemic Child Care License issued by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (JFS). Enrollment in Temporary Pandemic Child Care was open only to children of essential workers.

Providers can apply for a Temporary Pandemic Child Care license. These programs will operate until April 30, with the potential to extend and adjust as needed.

Temporary Pandemic Child Care providers must adhere to the following:
- There should be no more than six children in a class.
- Ratios must be kept at one teacher to no more than six children.
- Children whose parents are employed by the same entity should be kept together whenever possible.
- The same teachers and children in each room should be maintained whenever possible.
- There should be limited use of shared space or mixing of groups.
- If shared space is used, a rigorous cleaning schedule must be in place.
- Parent interaction should be limited at drop off and pick up.

Effective May 31, all providers licensed as a Temporary Pandemic Child Care program will resume operating under their regular child care license. If a Temporary Pandemic Child Care program has been issued a regular license since March 25, the provider will operate under the regular license beginning on May 31, 2020.

Temporary Pandemic Child Care programs without a regular child care license must cease operations on June 9, 2020.

>> Resource (for providers)
More information on new rules and best practices: Ohio DJFS Transitional Pandemic Child Care Toolkit.

>> Guidance
On May 26, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (JFS) issued guidance on ratio and group size for child care providers reopening on May 31. For infants and toddlers, groups were limited to 6 or fewer children. For preschool and school-age children, groups were limited to 9 or fewer. On June 2, JFS shared information on how providers could use room dividers to accomodate smaller groups.

On June 16, JFS released updated health and safety guidance for providers. The guidance included both mandatory and recommended practices and addressed handwashing, sanitation, health screenings, exclusion, and reporting potential exposure. Group size did not increase from the May 26 guidance. JFS issued separate guidance documents for center-based and home-based providers. JFS isseud separate guidance documents for center-based and home-based providers.

On July 30, the Department of Health (DOH) released the most recent health and safety guidance for providers in the updated Responsible Restart Ohio Child Care document. The updated guidance includes both mandatory and recommended actions.
$117,440,585

On May 14, 2020, Governor Mike Dewine tweeted that:

“We know that Ohio’s childcare providers will need assistance as they reopen. Ohio is utilizing more than $60 million in federal #CARESAct funding to provide reopening grants to all of Ohio’s childcare providers. This includes family childcare, childcare centers, and both publicly-funded and private providers. All are eligible for this grant program. More information will be posted on the [Ohio Department of Job and Family Services] website soon.”


Ohio will use its CARES Act CCDBG funds to offer Pandemic Support Payments to both center-based and home-based child care providers:

1) For center-based providers (grants): Ohio DJFS has created a $60 million grant program (with two subgrants) to support providers as they reopen and implement new health and safety guidance. Applications must be submitted through the OCCRRA dashboard by June 21. Payment processing will begin the wek of June 22. DJFS will use data collected during June to establish the payment structure for July and any additional payments. A new application will be required to receieve a July payment. Please email questions to pandemicsupportgrant@occrra.org. More information can be found in Child Care Center Letter 25 and 27. (Announced May 28.)

The state is offering two subgrant programs center-based providers in June:

- Monthly COVID-19 Payment. These payments are intended to cover some costs of classroom dividers, cleaning supplies, PPE, temporary sinks, thermometer,s and other expenses. Grant amounts will be based on the program's quality rating and licensed capacity. Licensed centers will be eligible for this monthly payment.

- Child Care Center Ratio Support. In addition to the COVID-19 Payment, providers can also apply for a Ratio Support Payment. This payment is intended to support providers struggling due to reduced child-to-staff ratios. These payments are intended to provide assistance in covering the cost of COVID-19 classroom dividers, cleaning supplies, personal protective equipment (PPE), personnel working in reopened classrooms, temporary sinks, thermometers, and other expenses. Grant amounts will be based on the enrollment of both private-pay and subsidized children. Enrolled children must have been served at lesat one day prior to reporting and the program must reopen on or before June 14 to recieve payment.

2) For home-based providers (grants): The state will also offer the COVID-19 Payment grant program to support home-based providers as they reopen and implement new guidance. Grant amounts for family child care programs will be based off the program's quality rating. Grant amounts for day camps and in-home aides will be a flat monthly rate. Applications must be submitted through the OCCRRA dashboard by June 21. Payment processing will begin the week of June 8.

DJFS will use data collected during June to establish the payment structure for July and any additional payments. A new application will be required to receieve a July payment. Please email questions to pandemicsupportgrant@occrra.org. More information can be found in Family Child Care Letters 20 and 22. (Announced May 28.)
Effective August 9, return to normal group sizes and ratios.


Provisions for School-Aged Child Care:

On August 24, 2020, Governor DeWine announced a new program to ensure that students learning remotely have a safe place to go during the normal school day if their parents must go to work. Childcare providers licensed by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) and the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) may provide care for school-age children who are learning remotely during the school day. The Temporary Pandemic School-Age Child Care license will also allow organizations such as churches, recreation centers, and businesses to apply for a temporary license to provide care to children during the school day.


Resource Links:

OH JFS COVID-19 Information for Child Care Providers

OH DOH Responsible Restart Ohio Child Care, udpated July 30

Pandemic Support Payments for Child Care Centers, see letters 25 and 27

Pandemic Support Payments for Home-Based Care, see letters 20 and 22

OCCRRA COVID-10 Transitional Pandemic Support Payments Grant Guidance
Oklahoma

Oklahoma Department of Human Services
OPTION TO REMAIN OPEN

ODHS guidance to OK child care providers: "At this time, child care providers will remain a critical function in the state to address demands from health care workers, front line responders, grocer employees and other critical industries."
CURRENT POLICIES

>> Subsidy Program
Families with child care subsidy renewals due May 1 and June 1 were given an additional 6 months of eligibility.

>> Supplemental Funding
OKDHS will award providers one-time Child Care Quality and Sustainability Payments. Providers are not be required to submit an application. Payments will be disbursed to licensed providers automatically based on their Star rating and active status by September 15, 2020. (See column at right.)

>> Guidance
OKDHS released Reopening Guidance for Child Care Providers. The guidance addresses hygiene and sanitation, socilal distancing, reporting potential exposure, and returning children/staff after a positive case. The updated guidance does not include a group size restriction. (Announced June 17.)


TIMELINE

>> Subsidy Program
On April 24, OKDHS announced that the state would offer 60 days of subsidized child care to eligible families job searching due COVID-19-related unemployment. At the end of the 60 days, the family may submit additional information to be considered for additional assistance.

The 60 days of child care is guaranteed. If parents find a new job, their updated income will be considered for the third month (which may result in a co-pay or loss of eligibility). This policy went into effect on May 1, 2020.

In May, OKDHS announced that families with child care subsidy renewals due May 1 and June 1 were given an additional 6 months of eligibility.

On June 6, OKDHS shared that it would continue to approve school-age children (who normally qualify for the blended rate) for the weekly rate. To assist child care providers, school-age children who attend part-time will be reimbursed at a full time rate. There will not be any changes to absent day policies. Children must attend the minimum number of full time days in the month in order to receive absent day payments. (Part-time days paid at a full time rate do not count towards the minimum number days required for absent day payments.) Child care programs that have school age children completing online learning are eligible to claim payment for those times.

>> Supplemental Funding
See column at right, "CARES Act CCDBG Funding and Use."

>> Guidance
On March 17, OKDHS released its initial guidance for child care providers.

On March 20, OKDHS released additional guidance for providers. The expanded guidance addressed visitors, drop-off/pick-up, reporting potential exposure, and daily health screenings for staff/children.

On March 24, OKDHS announced a group size restriction for child care providers, limiting groups to 10 or fewer children. The group size limitation went into effect on March 25, 2020.

On June 17, OKDHS released Reopening Guidance for Child Care Providers. The updated guidance does not include a group size restriction.
$50,006,265

For parents (subsidized care): Beginning May 1, Oklahoma Human Services (OKDHS) will offer 60 days of subsidized child care to Oklahomans who are job searching due to the loss of employment during the COVID-19 crisis. The funding for this program was made possible by a $50 million block grant through the federal CARES Act. The fund will allow families seeking employment to receive up to 60 days of child care as they try to reenter the workforce. To participate in this program, families must 1) apply for child care benefits on www.OKDHSLive.org, and 2) provide their final paystub. Eligible families will be approved for full-time child care. Parents can send their children to any child care provider licensed and contracted with DHS to accept subsidies, and the money will be given directly to those providers. (Announced April 24.)


Other CARES Act Spending:

For providers (cleaning grants): OKDHS is allocating CARES Act funds to reimburse providers who have incurred extra cleaning, PPE, or other extraordinary expenses due to COVID-19. All licensed child care providers are eligible to apply (OKDHS subsidy contract not required). Eligible providers who have incurred these expenses during the time period of March 15 through June 30, should submit their funding opportunity form and upload required documentation at https://www.ourokdhs.org/s/applyforagrant. Applications are due by July 31. (Announced July 21.)


For open providers (sustainability grants): Gov. Kevin Stitt announced that the state will award approximately $9.6 million in CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Funds (CRF) to more than 2,200 child care providers across Oklahoma. OK Department of Human Services (OKDHS) will award one-time grants as Child Care Quality and Sustainability Payments to providers who have remained open since March 15, 2020.

Awards will be based on provider type (home-based vs. center-based) and OKDHS quality rating. Award amounts will be between $500 to $10,000. Providers will not be required to submit an application. Payments will be disbursed to providers automatically by September 15, 2020. (Announced July 30.)


For providers (technology grants): OKDHS is pleased to offer technology grants to school-aged childcare providers. These technology grants will promote equity for children who lack access to technology outside of school, but also to be prepared for distance learning in the event that there is an interruption in the upcoming school year due to a potential rise in impact of COVID-19 in the fall/winter.

Eligibility criteria include, but are not limited to:

- This grant is a ‘reimbursement grant’ that requires documentation of the actual expenses associated with the purchased technology. Instructions for the documentation process will be provided upon awarding of the grant.

- Funding is limited to school aged childcare providers who are both licensed by the State of Oklahoma and accept childcare subsidy.

- Maximum grant amounts are based on licensed capacity of each center:
< 25 = $1000
25 - 100 = $2000
> 100 = $3000

- Funding cannot be used for ongoing needs such as monthly internet expenses.

- Providers will be required to enroll children in the state's online learning platform (as it becomes available) and work with students towards academic achievement during the summer and/or if there is a school recess.
Returned to normal group size.


Resource Links:

OKDHS COVID-19 Resource Page

OKDHS COVID-19 Reopening Guidance for Child Care, released June 17

OKDHS Newsroom
Oregon

Oregon Department of Education
PHASED REOPENING IN PROCESS (ESSENTIAL STAFF REMAIN PRIORITIZED WITH GROUP SIZE RESTRICTIONS IN PLACE, BUT PROVIDERS MAY ALSO SERVE FAMILIES PERMITTED TO RETURN TO WORK AS PART OF THE STATE’S PHASED REOPENING)

CLOSURE HISTORY:

On March 23, 2020, Governor Brown issued Executive Order 20-12. The order requires child care providers - licensed and recorded programs - to close unless they are providing emergency child care. The statewide child care closure takes effect Wednesday, March 25. Providers wishing to provide emergency care must submit an application to the Oregon Department of Education's Early Learning Division by Friday, March 27.

According to the Executive Order, emergency providers will be required to meet two criteria: "A. Childcare must be carried out in maximum stable groups of 10 or fewer children ("stable means the same 10 or fewer children are in the same group each day), and in a classroom that cannot be accessed by children outside the stable group; and B. Facilities must prioritize the child care needs of first responders, emergency workers, healthcare professionals, followed by critical operations staff and essential personnel, consistent with guidance provided by the Oregon Department of Education, early learning division."

On April 23, 2020, Governor Brown announced that she will indefinitely extend orders to keep daycares in Oregon closed, unless facilities are approved as emergency childcare services.

On May 7, 2020, Governor Brown announced details of Phase 1of the state’s reopening, which will begin in May 15, 2020 and include child care businesses.

According to guidance released on May 13, 2020 by the Oregon Health Authority and Oregon Department of Educaton’s Early Learning Division (effective May 15), licensed child care and recorded programs will still require approval to operate as Emergency Care providers as the state enters its next phase of reopening. Additionally providers must follow the adjusted health and safety framework developed by the state and Early Learning Division.
CURRENT POLICIES

>> Emergency Centers
Providers offering emergency child care must follow specific requirements released by ELD, in partnership with Oregon Health Authority. Emergency care providers must limit group sizes to 10 or fewer children and must maintain stable groups. Providers may serve new families during the emergency care period.

>> Licensing
The Oregon Department of Education Early Learning Division (ELD) has released a summary of temporary rule changes for each provider type:
- Certified Centers
- Certified Family Care
- Registered Family Care

All temporary rules will expire when the state of emergency is lifted. On June 30, Gov. Kate Brown extended the state of emergency though September 4, 2020.

>> Guidance
On May 14, ELD and DOH released health and safety guidance for child care providers. The guidance included required provisions around hygiene and sanitation, recordkeeping, daily health screenings, face coverings, and day-to-day operations. The guidance recommended, but did not require, that staff wear face coverings.

ELD released proposed revisions to COVID-19 health and safety guidelines for child care. The draft guidance includes both mandatory and recommended provisions. The final guidance will be released by August 14, 2020. (Announced July 23.)

Highlights from the proposed changes:

- Group size limitations increase (16 or fewer for Certified Family providers; 20 or fewer for Certified Center providers; 30 or fewer for school-age providers).

- All staff must wear a face covering at all times. Require disposable masks and face shields be worn only once.

- Require children in kindergarten and older to wear a face covering.

- Exclusion period following resolution of a cough/fever was changed from 72 to 24 hours.

- During transportation, ensure stable groups and maintain at least 3 feet of distance between children.

- Providers must create a COVID-19 Health and Safety plan for each facility. ELD will provide an optional template.


TIMELINE

>> Emergency Centers
On March 24, the Oregon Department of Education's Early Learning Division (ELD) announced that, pursuant to Executive Order 20-12, providers wishing to remain open wererequired to submit an application operate as emergency child care programs. The state wide child care closure took effect on March 25. Providers' applications to remain open were due on March 27.

Providers offering emergency child care must follow specific requirements released by ELD, in partnership with Oregon Health Authority. Emergency care providers must limit group sizes to 10 or fewer children and must maintain stable groups. Providers may serve new families during the emergency care period.

>> Licensing
On March 18, ELD announced emergency temporary rules to support child care providers. These rule changes included extensions for training and license renewals, an emergency background check process, and an expedited process for establishing a new emergency child care facility. Group size was limited to 10 or fewer children. The temporary rules went into effect immediately (on March 18) and will expire when the emergency declaration is lifted

The temporary rules were updated on March 24 to include clarifying language and additional health and safety guidance.

On April 24, ELD modified the temporary rules. The updated rules now required providers to maintain stable groups and prioritize enrollment for essential workers (these provisions were recommended in earlier versions). Group size did not change.

The temporary rules were updated again on June 2 to include new health and safety guidance for child care providers.

>> Subsidy Program
On March 16, ELD announced the following temporary changes to child care benefits:

- Family co-pays have been reduced to $0.00. If a family has already paid their co-pay, please work with them on reimbursement. This policy is in effect for March and April.

- The income limit has increased for initial eligibility and now is the same as the ongoing and exit amount limits (approximately 250% of FPL).

- The absent day policy has expanded and child care providers can bill ERDC for up to one full month for children scheduled to be in care but are unable to attend due to the COVID-19 crisis. This also applies to families receiving child care assistance through the TANF JOBS program.

- ERDC has implemented emergency billing for temporarily closed facilities. Licensed providers (RFM, CFM, CNT provider types) and license-exempt centers (NQC and QEC provider types) can bill in the event of temporary shutdown. Providers must remain in approved listing status to receive payment. Initial guidance suggests this is for up to 14 days.

>> Guidance
On May 14, ELD and DOH released health and safety guidance for child care providers. The guidance included required provisions around hygiene and sanitation, recordkeeping, daily health screenings, face coverings, and day-to-day operations. The guidance recommended, but did not require, that staff wear face coverings.

On July 23, ELD released a discussion draft with proposed revisions to COVID-19 health and safety guidelines for child care.
$38,595,401

According to the Oregon Department of Education, Early Learning Division’s website, the state “is inviting applications from eligible child care providers to receive grant funding for the COVID-19 crisis." This is a non-competitive grant opportunity limited to those open and providing Emergency Child Care.

The Emergency Child Care grant program uses resources allocated to Oregon through the federal CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act, intended to support COVID-19 response and other Child Care and Development Block Grant funds. More funding opportunities will be available at a later date.

Estimated grant amounts will vary based on the size and type of provider, as follows:

- Regulated Subsidy and ERDC Relative Care: $900

- Registered Family: $2,880

- Certified Family: $5,400

- Certified Center and Recorded Program: $6,000 per classroom (limit three)

Of the state’s $38.6 million in CARES Act CCDBG funding, $7 million is being used for changes to support Employment Related Day Care benefits and $8 million for this Emergency Child Care Grant (Phase 1). Plans for the remaining $23.6 million are still being developed to ensure maximum impact for Oregon families.

UPDATE: The Oregon Early Learning Division will accept applications for Phase 2 of the Emergency Child Care Grant beginning on June 22. Applications for Phase 2 are due July 10. Applicants can send questions to ECCgrants@state.or.us. Responses will be updated every Tuesday and Thursday. (Announced June 8.)

10 or fewer children, 8 or fewer children under 24 months

Guidance released May 13, 2020 allows for additional flexibility on cohorting. Providers must ensure care in stable groups of 10 children; however, a program may allow some families to “swap” slots between days. For example – Child A attends Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Child B attends Tuesday and Thursday. However, there may not be more than 12 children in a stable group and no more than 10 may attend at any given time.

Provision of School-Aged Child Care:
On August 14, 2020, the Early Learning Division of the Oregon Department of Education updated guidelines for childcare and early education operations during COVID-19. Surveys and small group input sessions with providers, school districts, and key partners in addition to the Healthy Early Learners Council, (convened by Governor Brown and made up of providers, parents, public health experts and other community leaders) provided feedback for guideline development. Key updates include increased use of PPE (childcare staff and children in grades Kindergarten and up are required to wear face coverings), increases in group size allowances within childcare program based on county phase for preschool and school-aged children, requirements to ensure parents are informed and provided information in a manner they can understand, and facilities’ provision of a written Health and Safety Plan.

Resource Links:

OR ELD COVID-19 Resources for Providers

Emergency Child Care Grant, Application Information

OR ELD Proposed Revisions to Health & Safety Guidelines for ECE Providers during COVID-19, draft released July 23

OR ELD Child Care Provider Relief Guide
Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania Department of Human Services
PHASED REOPENING UNDERWAY (REOPENING ALLOWED IN DESIGNATED COUNTIES)

CLOSURE HISTORY:

On March 19, 2020, Governor Wolf issued an Executive Order ordering the closure of all "non-life sustaining businesses" in PA. Child care centers were not identified as life sustaining according to an accompanying list and therefore closed.

On the evening of March 19, 2020, child care providers received an email from the commonwealth's Office of Child Development and Early Learning stating that "certified child care centers (3270) and group child care homes (3280) operating outside a residence shall cease operations effective midnight."

A waiver process has been established for businesses who wish to remain open.

On May 1, 2020, Governor Wolf announced the reopening of 24 counties in the northwest and north-central regions of the state [effective May 8, 2020], moving them from red to yellow [risk assessments]. Concurrently, child care providers in these counties were allowed to reopen on the condition that they adhere to guidance from the state.

On May 8, 2020, Governor Wolf designated an additional 13 counties which will transition from red to yellow risk assessments – allowing providers in these counties to reopen on May 15.
CURRENT POLICIES

>> Licensing
Beginning May 28, DHS will resume annual license renewal inspections.

>> Subsidy Program
The following policies will resume on September 1, 2020:

- Absences will be tracked and counted towards the 40 days of absences for all children.

- Children’s enrollment after five days of absence will be suspended until the child returns to care.

- All Adverse Action notices will be sent to families per policy. ELRCs will begin to send Adverse Action notices that have been held due to revised COVID-19 policy.

- Dual enrollments, the practice implemented under COVID-19 to support both a closed provider and families who needed care will end. Children will be enrolled only with the provider where the child attends.

- Collection of family co-pays will resume.

>> Guidance
OCDEL released updated health and safety guidance for child care providers. The guidance includes mostly recommended (not required) actions around reopening, day-to-day operations, face coverings, and reporting exposure. (updated July 8.)

- Staff and children age 2 and older are required to wear a face covering, with some exceptions.

- Confirmed cases of COVID-19 (for staff, children, or household members) must be immediately reported to the provider's Certification Representative or the appropriate regional office.

- Confirmed cases should also be reported to the Department of Health at 1-877-724-3258.


TIMELINE

>> Licensing
On April 16, DHS announced that the state will not conduct any annual licensing inspections until after the emergency declaration is lifted. Inspections will continue for the purpose of investigating incidents and complaints during this time period.

Beginning May 28, DHS resumed annual license renewal inspections in alignment with the Governor's plan to reopen the state.

>> Subsidy Program
Effective March 13, all Child Care Works (CCW) payments to providers were based on enrollment, not attendance. Payments were made regardless of program operation or reason for closure. Child absences would not count toward the annual 40-day limit. Open providers were permitted to collect parent co-pays for children are actually in care. This policy extended through August 31, 2020.

Effective September 1, 2020, CCW payments will return to payment practices and policies based on attendance and invoicing for all children, regardless of when the child was enrolled with the provider.

Additionally, policies temporarily suspended due to COVID-19 will resume on September 1, 2020:

- Absences will be tracked and counted towards the 40 days of absences for all children.

- Children’s enrollment after five days of absence will be suspended until the child returns to care.

- All Adverse Action notices will be sent to families per policy. ELRCs will begin to send Adverse Action notices that have been held due to revised COVID-19 policy.

- Dual enrollments, the practice implemented under COVID-19 to support both a closed provider and families who needed care will end. Children will be enrolled only with the provider where the child attends.

- Collection of family co-pays will resume.

>> Resource (for parents)
On May 26, OCDEL published FAQs for families in need of child care. Workers who need child care should use www.findchildcare.pa.gov.

>> Guidance
On May 8, the Office of Child Deveopment and Early Learning (OCDEL) shared reopening guidance for providers.

On June 23, OCDEL released updated health and safety guidance for child care providers. This guidance was updated on July 8. The guidance includes mostly recommended (not required) actions around reopening, day-to-day operations, face coverings, and reporting exposure.
$106,397,624

On May 20, 2020, Governor Tom Wolf announced an initial distribution of $51 million of funding from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding to support child care providers around Pennsylvania. Distributed in partnership with the General Assembly, this initial funding will reach nearly 7,000 child care centers.

Pennsylvania received $106 million in funding to support child care providers through the CARES Act that will be distributed to providers in two waves.

The first wave of $51 million will be distributed to all eligible, licensed child care providers and is designed to help providers preparing to reopen as counties move to the yellow phase.

The remaining funding will be allocated following the completion of a study by the Department of Human Resources (DHS) Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) and Penn State Harrisburg’s Institute of State and Regional Affairs assessing the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Pennsylvania’s child care providers.

Funds will be distributed to eligible, certified child care providers through regional Early Learning Resource Centers (ELRCs). OCDEL determined eligibility for funding and amount of award based on the type and size of provider, number of active enrollments in Child Care Works (CCW) subsidized child care, child care capacity, and licensure status.

A base payment is set by licensure type and capacity and providers can receive additional funding for CCW enrollments and if they operate in a county determined to have moderate or acute capacity issues.

Twenty-seven counties in Pennsylvania can be considered moderate or acute child care deserts based on capacity of licensed child care providers compared to projections from census data on the number of children needing care. Providers suspended for a tax lien, welfare fraud or providers whose licenses have been revoked or not renewed were disqualified from receiving CARES funding.

Details on funding amounts by provider type and distributions by county can be accessed here.
No COVID-specific group size guidance identified

Provision of School-Aged Child Care:

On August 28, 2020, Governor Wolf announced his plan to distribute more than $117 million in CARES Act funding to child care providers across Pennsylvania – the third of three distributions to sustain an industry that builds healthy foundations for our children, facilitates employment and economic opportunity for working parents, and is the keystone for every other aspect of our economy. The third round of CARES funding will be distributed to 6,893 providers.

On September 9, 2020, Department of Human Services Secretary Teresa Miller announced the temporary suspension of some regulatory policies on school-age childcare during traditional school hours for children who are distance learning. Families may create collectives – or learning pods – of other trusted families in their community who can depend on each other for supervised childcare during school hours without needing a licensed childcare certification. Pods can serve a group of no more than 12 of the same school-age children who may move between various parents’ oversight and homes on remote learning days. Additionally, DHS has temporarily suspended the 90-day limit on non-licensed part-day school-age programs so that they can operate throughout the school year and provide the care and supervision that families need for their children.


Resource Links:

PA Department of Health Coronavirus Resource Page

PA DHS OCDEL COVID-19 Provider Resources

PA DHS Interim Guidance for CHild Care Facilities, updated July 8

PA Department of Health Coronavirus Child Care FAQs, updated July 9
Rhode Island

Rhode Island Department of Human Services
OPTION TO REMAIN OPEN (REOPENED JUNE 1, 2020 UNDER NEW EMERGENCY CHILD CARE REGULATIONS, WHICH INCLUDE GROUP SIZE LIMITS.)

CLOSURE HISTORY:

On March 29, Gov. Raimondo announced via Twitter that the state is suspending all child care licenses for a one week period until April 4, 2020, after which the state will evaluate the status of child care from week to week.

On April 3, 2020, the Governor tweeted twice more, explaining that child care would remain closed throughout the month of April, noting:

"Unfortunately, today I have to announce that we will be continuing to suspend child care licenses through the month of April. I know how hard this is, and I know how many families rely on our child care facilities, including those on the frontlines of this crisis."

She continued:

"I've been optimistic that we could find a temporary solution, but we've been unable to find a way to make this safe. I cannot put our kids, our child care workers, and our families at risk. We're not giving up, though. We're working to come up with a solution."

On Friday, May 1, 2020 Governor Raimondo announced that the State will extend its mandated closure of child care sites, family and center, through May 31, 2020 and the Department of Human Services (DHS) will continue its suspension of all child care licenses issued through that date.

Rhode Island has authorized child care programs to reopen as of June 1, 2020 under new, emergency child care licensing regulations. All Child Care Center/Family Child Care providers must complete a COVID-19 Child Care Plan in advance of reopening, to demonstrate compliance to these new regulations.
CURRENT POLICIES

>> Licensing
Effective June 1, Rhode Island has authorized child care programs to reopen under new emergency child care licensing regulations.

All providers must develop and submit a COVID-19 plan to the DHS Child Care Licensing team. The plan needs to be approved by DHS to begin operating. COVID-19 plans should be sent to DHS.childcarelicensing@dhs.ri.gov.

>> Subsidy Program
From June 1 through August 28, updated payment policies are in effect:
- Subsidy payment based on enrollment
- Temporary rate enhancement
- Closed providers will not receive payment

Providers participating in the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) are still expected to submit renewal applications in a timely fashion. Extensions will be granted on a case-by-case basis.

Families are responsible for paying their co-pay when child care facilities re-open on June 1.

Families particpating in CCAP must recertify eligibility in order to maintain their benefits.

>> Guidance
Updated health and safety guidance for providers during Phase III amends group size limitations for center-based and group-family-based providers. All adults are required to wear face masks inside the facility. (Updated June 24.)

All versions of Phase II and Phase III Reopening RI child care health and safety guidance can be found here.


TIMELINE

>> Licensing
Effective June 1, Rhode Island has authorized child care programs to reopen under new emergency child care licensing regulations.

By May 22, all providers must submit a at DHS.childcarelicensing@dhs.ri.gov. Providers' plans must be approved before reopening on June 1. Providers must post their COVID-19 plan and their DHS approval letter in their facility. DHS recorded a webinar with additional guidance and emailed the link to all providers.

>> Subsidy Program
cEffective April 1, DHS continued paying subsidies to providers based on enrollment, not attendance. DHS also waived the allowable absence policy and waived family copays. This policy ended on May 31.

From June 1 through August 28, updated payment policies are in effect:
- Subsidy payment based on enrollment
- Temporary rate enhancement
- Closed providers will not receive payment

Providers participating in the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) are still expected to submit renewal applications in a timely fashion. Extensions will be granted on a case-by-case basis.

Families are responsible for paying their co-pay when child care facilities re-open on June 1.

Families particpating in CCAP must recertify eligibility in order to maintain their benefits.

>> Financial Support (for staff)
On March 15, the state announced that, "Any day care employee or other Rhode Island worker impacted by a business closure can apply for Temporary Disability Insurance (TDI), Temporary Caregiver Insurance (TCI), or Unemployment Insurance (UI). DLT is waiving the seven-day minimum amount of time that claimants must be out of work to qualify for these benefits as a result of COVID-19. Visit the DLT website for information."

>> Resource (for providers)
DHS has developed webinars, FAQs, and toolkits to support providers in reopening.

>> Guidance
On May 12, DHS released FAQs for providers around the state's child care reopening plan. DHS will not provide new licenses for providers reopening under the emergency regulations.

On June 24, DHS released updated guidelines for child care providers during Phase III of reopening. The updated guidance amends group size limitations for center-based and group-family-based providers. All adults are required to wear face masks inside the facility.

Phase II and Phase III Reopening RI child care health and safety guidance can be found here.
$8,165,854

Rhode Island will use CARES Act CCDBG funding to continue CCAP payment during the crisis. This funding will be used for both the current CCAP payment policy (through May 31) and the updated policy (June 1 - August 28).

CCAP payment policy through May 31 includes: subsidies based on enrollment, waive allowable absence policy, waive family copays.

CCAP payment policy for June 1 – August 28 includes: subsidies based on enrollment, temporary rate enhancement, closed providers do not receive payment.

Information on reopening plan, deadlines, FAQ, and payment.

Resources for providers to begin reopening.
Center-based providers can seek DHS approval to increase their capacity.
- 20 or fewer children, in stable groups (preschool and school-age).
- Resume licensed capacity, in stable groups (infant and toddler).

Group family providers will notify DHS Licensing if/when they resume pre-COVID licensed capacity, serving (max) 12 children.

Family providers can resume pre-COVID licensed capacity. (No more than 20 individuals in the home at the same time, including children, providers, assistants, and household members.)


Resource Links:

Reopening RI: Child Care and Youth Activities, Guidance & Resources

Reopening RI: Phase III Guidelines for Child Care, released June 24

RI DHS Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) Resources

RI Dept. of Health COVID-19 Child Care Information

RI DHS Child Care Licensing & Regulations Updates
South Carolina

South Carolina Department of Social Services
OPTION TO REMAIN OPEN

Guidance from the SC Department of Social Services:

"We understand that you may have concerns about how the virus may impact your child care centers, and many of you have contacted us in the last 24 hours asking for guidance on whether to continue operations. At this time it remains your decision as a provider on whether to remain open." (DSS reports that 25% of licensed child care providers are closed as of March 22, 2020.)
CURRENT POLICIES
On September 9, 2020, the Department of Health and Environmental Control updated the interim COVID-19 guidance for childcare providers for management of suspect and confirmed COVID-19 cases. This guidance is intended for childcare facilities to plan their response to known or possible cases of COVID-19 as well as known contacts. The update details the criteria for return after experiencing symptoms, procedures for quarantine when developing symptoms after exposure to a close contact COVID-19 case, reporting cases and close contacts, and procedures related to cases within a classroom.
On August 4, 2020, the Department of Health and Environmental Control updated the interim COVID-19 guidance for childcare providers for management of suspect and confirmed COVID-19 cases. This guidance is intended for childcare facilities to plan their response to known or possible cases of COVID-19 as well as known contacts. The update details symptoms of children and staff that should trigger an automatic exclusion from the facility and evaluation for COVID-19.

>> Licensing
If your facility has plans to close, please contact Child Care Licensing at 1-888-825-7174 or centralofficechildcare.dss.sc.gov. If you are a licensed center and would like to expand your capacity (to serve foster children, children of DSS staff and First Responders, or displaced children), please contact Child Care Licensing at 1-888-825-7174, or email centralofficechildcare@dss.sc.gov.

If you are a licensed child care center and would like to expand your capacity to serve foster children, children of DSS staff and First Responders or displaced children, please contact Child Care Licensing by phone,1-888-825-7174, or by email, centralofficechildcare@dss.sc.gov.

>> Emergency Centers
Effective August 1, 2020, applications will be available at scchildcare.org for organizations interested in providing school time care, e-learning care, virtual learning care, and/or extended school time care due to schools not providing in-classroom instruction. The Department of Social Services (DSS) must grant approval for a “Certificate of Temporary Operation" in lieu of full licensure.

Certificates will only be granted to organizations that operate in school districts that are not providing five days of in-classroom instruction as an option available to all children. A Certificate of Temporary Operation will be granted for a maximum of 90 days and may be extended up to four times at the discretion of the Department.

Certificates of Temporary Operation will be subject to the following conditions:

- Available for organizations serving school-aged children only (five years of age and older). All other age groups must be licensed unless otherwise exempted under state law. If you plan to care for children under 5, you must sign up for Orientation to apply for a License to Operate a Child Care facility.

- Limited to organizations with a commercial space to care for children. No jump houses or trampoline parks will be allowed. No residences will be allowed.

>> Subsidy Program
On March 16, SC Child Care Voucher program announced the following temporary policy changes:

- SC Voucher will continue subsidy payments, from March 16 through August 30. Providers should use the absence code FCL on their Service Voucher Log (SVL). Subsidy payments will continue for providers that had to close as a result of COVID-19.

- SC Voucher program will not drop children after ten consecutive absences, from March 16 through August 30.

- If a subsidized child is absent between March 16 and August 30, the provider should use the absence code HAZ on their Service Voucher Log (SVL). This code will allow for excused absences for the child.

- School-aged children's half-time vouchers will be changed to full-time vouchers, from March 16 through August 30. Providers should call the SC Voucher program at 1-800-262-4416 to ensure all services for school-aged children are changed to full-time.

>> Supplemental Funding


>> Guidance
DSS shared reopening guidelines for child care providers. The voluntary guidance is based on CDC guildelines and addresses drop-off/pick-up procedures, external visitors, hygiene and sanitation, diapering procedures, and face coverings. (Announced May 14.)


TIMELINE

>> Licensing
See information above.

>> Emergency Centers
Effective August 1, 2020, applications will be available at scchildcare.org for organizations interested in providing school time care, e-learning care, virtual learning care, and/or extended school time care due to schools not providing in-classroom instruction. The Department of Social Services (DSS) must grant approval for a “Certificate of Temporary Operation" in lieu of full licensure. See more information above.

>> Subsidy Program
On March 16, SC Child Care Voucher program announced temporary policy changes to support providers.

From March 16 through August 30, the state will continue subsidy payments to both open and closed providers. During this period, SC Voucher program will not drop children after ten consecutive absences. Additionally, school-aged children will now receive full-time vouchers

>> Guidance
On May 14, the Department of Social Services (DSS) released reopening guidelines for child care providers. The voluntary guidance was based on CDC guildelines and addresses drop-off/pick-up procedures, external visitors, hygiene and sanitation, diapering procedures, and face coverings.

The DSS website also references the CDC Supplemental Guide for Child Care and links to several other CDC resources.
$63,641,788

For essential workers (subsidized care): As part of the CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security) funding, DSS is offering child care assistance for parents who have been deemed essential staff and are required to report to work during the COVID-19 Pandemic. In order to qualify, you must be currently working at an essential business or government agency, you must need child care so you may continue to work, and you must complete a child care application. You do not have to meet any income guidelines for this time-limited program.

On May 4, 2020, the Department of Social Services announced that “due to limited CARES Act funding, DSS will no longer accept applications for COVID-19 child care assistance, effective 5:00 PM on May 8, 2020.”


For providers (cleaning grants): South Carolina is also offering one-time cleaning grants, available to licensed or registered child care providers. (License-exempt providers enrolled in the ABC Quality program and not operating in a school building are also eligible.) The purpose of this grant is to allow providers to clean and sanitize their child care facility which may allow them to reopen; or to continue to purchase additional cleaning supplies or services necessary to keep the center or child care home safe and sanitary. To apply, providers should complete the application and email to to COVID19cleangrant@dss.sc.gov.

For providers (operating grants): South Carolina Department of Social Services is offering CARES Act Emergency Operating Grants for Child Care Providers. The one-time grants are intended to help child care providers that have had to close or have lost revenue due to low enrollments due to COVID-19. Grant amounts will be based on program type (center-based or home-based) and number of children served. Awards will range from $5,000 to $15,000. Please email any questions to DECEGrants@dss.sc.gov or call 1-800-763-2223. (In correspondence with The Hunt Institute, the SC Department of Social Services confirmed that grants are funded by CARES Act CCDBG funds.) (Announced May 20.)
No COVID-specific group size guidance identified.


Resource Links:

SC Child Care COVID-19 News & Announcements

SC Child Care Voucher Policy Updates: COVID-19 Emergency, updated May 1

SC Dept. of Social Services Reopening Guidelines for Child Care Providers, announced May 14

SC Dept. of Health and Environmental Control COVID-29 Guidance for Child Care Providers, updated June 25
South Dakota

South Dakota Department of Social Services
OPTION TO REMAIN OPEN

Press release from the SD Department of Social Services:

"Childcare facilities are a vital link to supporting working families," Governor Noem said. "It is crucial that this system be prepared to handle the demands of the COVID-19 pandemic situation so families, especially medical and emergency personnel, can continue working while their children are cared for and kept safe. I am asking my Department of Social Services to work closely with childcare providers across the state to institute commonsense practices to assist families in need, while also safeguarding the health of all South Dakotans."
CURRENT POLICIES

>> Licensing
SD Department of Social Services Child Care FAQ:

"South Dakota Codified Law (SDCL) 26-6-15.1 allows, in addition to the number of children a
program is registered or licensed for, the following numbers of children at the facility because of family
emergency or special circumstance:
(1) Family day care homes--no more than two additional children;
(2) Group family day care homes--no more than three additional children; and
(3) Day care centers--no more than 20 percent of the center's licensed capacity.

Any additional children in care are to be included in the staff-to-child ratios.
The Division of Child Care Services (CCS) considers this COVID-19 situation as a special circumstance and therefore programs can have additional children in care as indicated in the state law above, until schools are open for business again."

>> Subsidy Program
While schools are closed, parents participating in the subsidized care program can request additional hours of child care for school-aged children. Parents must submit the request in writing and include 1) parent name, 2) child name, 3) provider name and provider ID number, and 4) a statement requesting additional hours of school-aged care. Requests can be emailed to CCS@state.sd.us

>> Guidance
The SD Department of Social Services (DSS) shared guidelines for providers remaining open during the pandemic. The guidelines encourage providers to adapt their operations to "align with the Department of HEalth and/or Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommendations." (Released March 25.)


TIMELINE

>> Licensing
Under state law, providers can care for additional children (beyond their licensed capacity) during an emergency. Family-based and group-based providers can care for 2 or 3 additional children, respectively. Center-based providers can care for up to 20% of the center's licensed capacity. Additional children must be included in the staff-to-child ratios. Providers can care for additional children until schools re-open.

>> Subsidy Program
While schools are closed, parents participating in the subsidized care program can request additional hours of child care for school-aged children. Parents must submit the request in writing and include 1) parent name, 2) child name, 3) provider name and provider ID number, and 4) a statement requesting additional hours of school-aged care. Requests can be emailed to CCS@state.sd.us

>> Guidance
On Mach 25, SD Department of Social Services (DSS) shared guidelines for providers remaining open during the pandemic. The guidelines encourage providers to adapt their operations to "align with the Department of HEalth and/or Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommendations."

$9,020,707

South Dakota will use CARES Act CCDBG funding to offer financial support to providers. According to the press release, "The benefit is meant to be passed on to families while helping providers meet expenses at the same time." Payments to providers will be based on "program size, efforts made to assist families, and account for children absent from program attendance." Providers will receive an email from the Department of Social Services with the application and have 30 days to apply. (Announced May 19.)

UPDATE: Applications for Response Funding for Child Care grants must be submitted by June 22, 2020. Eligible providers will recieve a one-time payment within 30 days of submitting an application. Providers that are closed, are charging families full rates to hold a slot, or are not paying staff salaries are not eligible to apply. Grant amounts will vary based on the number of children, the type of program, and the actions taken to implement COVID-19 guidelines.

On August 18, 2020, the Department of Social Services announced that it has awarded more than $3 million to childcare providers so far in response to the COVID-19 pandemic as part of ongoing efforts to support South Dakota families. The Department will be examining additional ways to utilize the remaining funds to support childcare providers and the families that rely on them. In addition to the grant awards, DSS has assisted childcare providers with regulatory flexibility, pandemic-related guidance, and technical assistance to keep facilities operating while ensuring health and safety for families and staff.
No COVID-specific group size guidance identified

Resource Links:

Guidance to Child Care Providers from the SD Department of Social Services

Child Care and COVID-19 FAQ

DSS Child Care COVID-19 Resources Page
Tennessee

Tennessee Department of Human Services
OPTION TO REMAIN OPEN

Governor Lee's message to child care providers: "We are encouraging child care facilities to remain open to continue to meet growing needs in their communities. Each facility will decide whether to remain open based on the needs in their own community."
CURRENT POLICIES

As of September 11, 2020, DHS Child Care Services Daily Updates included new timelines for submitting grant applications. The category of Operational Costs Support has been extended through September 30, 2020, allowing providers to apply for costs associated with operating under the unique circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic Child Care Payment Assistance program is extended through December 31, 2020. This category of care has no income limits and is designed to serve children 6 weeks to age 13 in TDHS licensed or DOE approved care settings. The Child Care Certificate Program will continue to waive all parent co-pay fees and will continue to reimburse at the maximum reimbursement rates based on the child’s care level for all pay periods through December 31, 2020.


>> Licensing
The state began scheduling annual re-evaluation virtual visits the week of July 27, 2020. The visits will be conducted using a hybrid model of desk audit and virtual visit.

>> Emergency Centers
TDHS is partnering with the YMCA and the Boys & Girls Clubs in Tennessee to establish free child care for school-aged children of essential workers. This partnership will establish a network of temporary/emergency child care locations across the state. Essential employees with school aged children who need care will be able to register at these locations and access care at no charge during the COVID-19 state of emergency. See column at right, "CARES Act CCDBG Funding and Use."

>> Subsidy Program
TDHS will continue paying both open and closed providers based on enrollment, not attendance, through the end of June 2020.

Beginning July through the end of August 2020, TDHS will make subsidy payments based on enrollment only to open providers. Pproviders that remain closed after June 2020 will not longer recieve reimbursement for children enrolled in the subsidy program. Parent co-pays are waived through the end of August 2020.

TDHS issued guidance for providers regarding payment policies for school-age children enrolled in subsidized care. TNDHS also shared FAQs on caring for school-age children.

>> Guidance
On May 15, DHS issued updated health and safety guidance for providers. The guidance addresses screening, group size, pick-up/drop-off protocols, and face masks. Providers should require staff and older children to wear face coverings, when feasible. Providers must also follow CDC guidance.


TIMELINE

>> Licensing
Gov. Lee has directed the Department of Human Services to relax the regulatory burden on child care centers. To support these efforts, the administration is providing $10 million in COVID-19 emergency response and recovery grants to support existing child care facilities that are facing greater needs.

In July, TNDHS announced that the state would begin scheduling annual re-evaluation virtual visits the week of July 27, 2020. The annual re-evaluation visit will be conducted using a hybrid model of desk audit and virtual visit.

>> Emergency Centers
TDHS is partnering with the YMCA and the Boys & Girls Clubs in Tennessee to establish free child care for school-aged children of essential workers. This partnership will establish a network of temporary/emergency child care locations across the state. Essential employees with school aged children who need care will be able to register at these locations and access care at no charge during the COVID-19 state of emergency. See column at right, "CARES Act CCDBG Funding and Use."

>> Subsidy Program
Beginning in March, the Tennessee Department of Human Services (TDHS) paid providers based on enrollment, not attendance. Both open and closed providers received the payment. TDHS later extended the payment policy, so the state continued paying both open and closed providers based on enrollment through the end of June 2020. \

Beginning July through the end of August 2020, TDHS will make subsidy payments based on enrollment only to providers that are open. Any providers that remain closed after June 2020 will not longer recieve reimbursement for children enrolled in the subsidy program. Parent co-pays are waived through the end of August 2020.

TDHS extended eligibility timeframes for three months for all families enrolled in the Child Care Certificate Program and have expiring certificates for the period of March through May. For example, if your 12-month eligibility period ended March 31, 2020, your eligibility has been extended until June 30, 2020. For those expiring in April, eligibility has been extended through July. For those expiring in May, eligibility has been extended through August.

As of May 18, TDHS is still recruiting providers to participate in the state's subsidized child care program (known as the Child Care Certificate Program, or the Child Care Payment Assistance Program). Providers will be reimbursed based on enrollment (not attendance) and reimbursement rates have increased. Interested providers should submit their contact information to ChildCare.Certificate.DHS@tn.gov.

In July, TDHS issued guidance to update providers on payment policies for school-age children enrolled in subsidized care. TNDHS offered additional FAQs on caring for school-age children.

>> Guidance
On April 30, the TN Department of Human Services (DHS) released guidance for child care providers. The guidance recommended providers limit group size to 10 or fewer children per classroom.

On May 15, DHS issued updated health and safety guidance for providers. The guidance addresses screening, group size, pick-up/drop-off protocols, and face masks. Providers should require staff and older children to wear face coverings, when feasible. Providers must also follow CDC guidance.
$82,385,260

For essential workers (subsidized care): On April 17, 2020, The Tennessee Department of Human Services announced the COVID-19 Essential Employee Child Care Payment Assistance Program, a new category of child care payment assistance to support families that are working in essential workforce positions. Essential employees are defined as:

- Employees of a healthcare entity
- Law Enforcement
- First Responders (EMS, Fire Departments)
- Corrections Officers
- Military
- Activated National Guard
- Human and Social Services Workers
- Postal Workers
- Transportation
- Restaurant
- Grocery Workers

The program has no income limits and is designed to serve children 6 weeks to age 13 in licensed care settings. This is a time-limited program for the period of April 15 – June 15 to meet an immediate need for the essential workforce.

This child care payment assistance program is in addition to a network of temporary/emergency care
locations that will be available through the YMCA and Boys & Girls Clubs for essential workers with
school-aged children.

According to a May 17, 2020, media account, the TN Department of Human Services will give essential workers the option to send their children to a Boys and Girls Club or YMCA program for free this summer via The COVID-19 Essential Employee Child Care Payment Assistance Program.

Officials said grocery store workers, health care workers, first responders, postal workers and transportation workers are among those who can apply.


For providers (grants): TN Department of Human Services is partnering with The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee to make $18 million in new assistance available to help providers that were impacted by the COVID-19 emergency and the March 3 tornado disaster. The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee will be administering the grants in collaboration with TDHS. Grants will be awarded to both closed and open providers. Licensed child care agencies are encouraged to learn about grant opportunities and to apply online by visiting www.childcaretennessee.com. As of June 18th, the funds allocated to these stabilization grants have increased from $18 million to $53 million. (In correspondence with The Hunt Institute, the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee confirmed that grants are funded by CARES Act CCDBG funds and noted the increase in allocated funds.)

These grants are available to support with eligible expenditures, including but not limited to:

- Lost Income resulting from closing due to the disaster/emergency. Grant awards will be based on the itemized lost operating income for the period of closure.
- Response and Recovery Operations Costs that occur as a result of the disaster/emergency such as cleaning, utility repair, inspections, or substitute staffing and, for agencies remaining open, support for operating expenses impacted by factors such as declining attendance and family needs.
- Equipment, Materials and Supplies that were lost or compromised as a result of the disaster/emergency such as area rugs, soft toys like stuffed animals, books, curriculum, learning tools and displays, damaged cabinets and shelving, supplies, and playground surfacing and equipment.
- Consultants and Coaches that are needed specifically related to disaster/emergency impacts such as helping children, caregivers, or staff through recovery, grief, anxiety, stress, or trauma.
(Announced March 24.)
Providers are encouraged to limit class sizes to 10 students.


Resource Links:

TN DHS Child Care Providers COVID-19 Daily Update

TN DHS COVID-19 Information for Child Care Providers

TN DHS Guidance for Child Care Providers, updated April 30
Texas

Texas Health and Human Services
OPTION TO REMAIN OPEN (PRIOR RESTRICTION TO ESSENTIAL STAFF LIFTED ON MAY 18, 2020)

CLOSURE HISTORY:

According to guidance from the Texas Department of Health and Human Services, child care operations “are encouraged to remain open to serve essential service employees and children receiving protective daycare services authorized by the Department of Family & Protective Services.” However, the Department advises that service provision should be limited to this audience at this time.

On May 18, 2020, Governor Abbott issued an Executive Order moving Texas immediately into Phase Two of its planned reopening. The order allows for the reopening of child care facilities, previously limited to essential staff and a small number of other high risk children, to the general public.
Based on state law, federal guidance, and Governor Abbott's disaster declaration, the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) is updating requirements for day care operations to assist them in protecting children in their care from COVID-19. A March 16, 2020 summary of changes can be found here.

Additional TX Workforce Commission Guidance to Child Care Providers:

Many families and child care programs that participate in the Texas Workforce Commission's (TWC) subsidized child care program have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. On Tuesday, March 17, 2020, TWC's three-member Commission approved the following actions to mitigate the impact:

For providers (payments): Effective March 1, 2020, children may accrue absences without impacting ongoing eligibility for services or provider reimbursements. TWC will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation and make a future determination on when this absence policy will conclude. Providers will continue to be paid, if children are absent, or if the provider is temporarily closed due to COVID-19.

For providers (co-pays): Workforce development boards are authorized to make supplemental payments to child care programs to cover lost parent share of cost payments. TWC will issue further guidance on calculating supplemental payments.

TWC will be issuing additional guidance to local Workforce Solutions staff shortly to address the following issues:
- Interruptions in parents' ongoing participation in work, education, or training
- Child care eligibility redeterminations
- Continued payments to child care programs
- Texas Rising Star processes

For parents (resource): In April, Texas Workforce launched a new website dedicated to helping frontline workers to find available child care.

UPDATE: Mandatory guidance: Gov. Greg Abbott directed the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) to enact emergency rules that provide strict health and safety guidance for child care centers in Texas. This announcement comes more than a week after previous child care rules were made optional. (Announced June 23.)

The new mandatory guidance has been posted on HHSC's website. Under the new rules, providers must:
- Ensure staff take the Special Considerations for Infection Control during COVID-19 training through the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension.
- Screen all adults and children according to CDC guidance before allowing entry to the facility, including temperature checks.
- Complete drop-off/pick-up procedures outside.
- Require children or staff to change clothing if any secretions get on a child's clothes/bib or staff's clothes. Children may not share clothes.
- Require staff to wash a child's hands and their own hands before changing a diaper.
- Not allow children to share machine washable cloth toys.
(Updated June 25.)

On August 20, 2020, the Texas Workforce Commission approved an additional $106.4 million of CARES Act childcare funding to be distributed to Boards, including an additional $53.8 million for ongoing payment of 25% enhanced reimbursement rates for child care providers, $19.3 million for higher direct care costs in FY2020, and $33.3 million for higher direct care costs in FY2021. This will continue the previously authorized enhanced reimbursement rate, to provide funding in the current year (FY20) to address higher costs of childcare already realized, and to increase the amount of funds available to the Boards next year (FY21) in order to serve more children.
$371,663,374

(DISCUSSION DOCUMENT): At its May 5, 2020 meeting, Texas Workforce Commissioners received a discussion paper titled “COVID-19 Child Care Stabilization Grants for Closed Providers” which suggested the possibility of establishing a CARES Act funded Child Care Stabilization Grant to replace TWC’s “current policy of paying closed child care providers based on the number of referrals.” While not yet finalized, this document sheds light on Texas’ potential approach to using CCDBG funds provided under the CARES Act.

Stabilization Grants:
Effective June 1, 2020, TWC will implement new Stabilization Grants for closed providers (homes or centers) participating in the subsidy program. These Stabilization Grants will replace the current payments. More details on this Commission action are available by viewing the commission-approved discussion paper – Child Care COVID-19 Stabilization Grants.

The Stabilization Grants are designed to help defray some expenses being incurred by closed providers of varying size. Grants will be based on the provider’s licensed capacity and the 75th percentile of the average local market rate for child care.
Texas Rising Star certified providers will receive a 5% enhanced grant amount. Stabilization Grants will not exceed $10,000 (or $10,500 for TRS providers) and will be paid to eligible providers every month they cannot open for a period to be evaluated by the Commission. Applications are due by midnight, June 15.

Providers must meet eligibility requirements:
- Temporarily closed due to the COVID-19 global pandemic;
- Remained closed as of the 10th of the grant award month;
- Were previously serving subsidized children
- Plans to reopen no later than the beginning of school based on the local school calendar for the 2020-2021 academic year
- Not currently receiving the Small Business Association’s (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan

Providers will be required to apply for the SBA PPP loan, and if funded during the grant period, will no longer be eligible for the Stabilization Grant. Those providers who do not meet SBA’s PPP requirements are exempt from this requirement.
These grants are only for child care providers (homes or centers) who have ongoing fixed costs that they need help to pay. For example, child care providers who have donated space and no ongoing fixed costs (such as those operating an after-school program in a school) should not apply.

Providers receiving the grant will be required to maintain expenditure records that support how all funds were expended and funds not expended for allowable purposes must be returned.
Any provider that chooses to re-open can revert to the payment structure that is in place for open providers – which is based on paying a provider for all active referrals, plus any authorized enhanced reimbursement rates (currently set at 25%).
No COVID-specific group size guidance identified


Resource Links:

Texas HHSC COVID-19 Provider Information, News & Alerts

Texas HHSC Guidance to Child Care Providers Regarding COVID-19, March 16

Texas HHSC New Emergency Rules for Child Care Providers, updated June 25

Texas Workforce Commission Stabilization Grants for Child Care Providers
Utah

Utah Department of Workforce Services
OPTION TO REMAIN OPENFor providers (regulations): On March 16, the Utah Department of Workforce Services and Department of Health issued a joint FAQ describing regulatory updates in effect during the COVID-19 pandemic.

For providers (payments): Providers will receive subsidy payments based on enrollment (not attendance), even if children have stopped attending or if the provider is temporarily closed. Payment increases may be available for children increasing from part-time to full-time care. For any child that changes to full-time, please report the child's full name, case number, and a description of the changes in care to occ@utah.gov. The parent may also contact Workforce Services to change. If a provider has any questions about subsidy payments, they may contact the Office of Child Care Provider Helpline at occ@utah.gov or 1-866-435-7414, option 5 then 1. (Updated June 10.)

For providers (grants): In response to decreased capacity for child care, Utah’s COVID-19 taskforce has created the Child Care Operations Grant. The grant is available to licensed child care programs that are open and operating, providing grant funding to help programs pay rent, make payroll, purchase supplies, and meet enhanced health and safety requirements.

For providers (closure): If a provider decides to close, they are required to contact their licensor or Child Care Licensing at 1-888-287-3704 before making that decision.

$40,414,976

Utah’s COVID-19 Child Care Task Force, in partnership with the Utah Office of Child Care (OCC), created the Child Care Operations Grant program to support child care programs that remain open and the professional caregivers who are working through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Utilizing funding through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), OCC will provide these grants for child care providers statewide. The Child Care Operations Grant will provide child care business owners with the means to stay open and operating during the COVID-19 pandemic — despite low enrollment — to support Utah’s workforce who need child care.

Grants are available on a monthly basis beginning in April and will continue until Workforce Services determines the COVID-19 pandemic no longer limits child care programs from regular business operations.

Grant will be up to as much as 75% of the difference between the one month average of providers’ January 2020 and February 2020 monthly tuition income, and all Workforce Services-issued or obligated child care subsidy payments on the date the funding amount is calculated by OCC. Any compensation to programs participating in the One Utah Child Care system will also be deducted from the balance.

Eligible programs must:

Be Licensed in good standing from Child Care Licensing;

Be open, operating and providing child care each month during which a payment is issued;

Be in compliance with the Emergency Conditions for Child Care Order issued by Child Care Licensing on March 25, 2020; and

Not be operating under an Emergency Child Care License in the One Utah Child Care system.
Under the current (“Moderate Risk”) phase of the Utah Leads Together 2.0 Plan, groups must be restricted to groups of 20 unless a wall can physically separate each group

Resource Links:

Utah COVID-19 FAQ for Child Care Providers, updated June 10

Utah Dept. of Workforce Services COVID-19 Child Care Information

Utah Dept. of Health Child Care Licensing Updates
Vermont

Vermont Agency of Human Services
OPTION TO REMAIN OPEN (REOPENED JUNE 1, 2020 UNDER NEW HEALTH AND SAFETY GUIDELINES.)

CLOSURE HISTORY:

On March 17, Governor Scott issued an Executive Order which, in part, suspended the operation of child care for non-essential persons:

"Except as set forth below, all state regulated child care programs shall be closed no later than Wednesday, March 18, 2020 through April 6, 2020 ("Closure Period")." This closure period was subsequently extended to May 15, 2020.

On May 13, 2020, the Vermont Department of Health issued guidelines for child care programs reopening June 1, 2020.

Child Care programs reopened June 1, 2020.
Governor Scott's Executive Order establishes emergency care for essential staff as follows:

With respect to child care programs, the Secretary of the Agency of Human Services ("Human Services Secretary") shall oversee the implementation of this Directive and I hereby delegate to the Human Services Secretary such authority as may be necessary for this implementation in accordance with the below:

a. During the Closure Period, state-licensed child care programs are asked to provide care to, at a minimum, their own enrollees who are children of Essential Persons.

In providing this care, child care centers must practice hygiene and social distancing best practices as set forth by VDH.

b. State-licensed child care centers are encouraged to also provide extended care— before and after normal operating hours—to enrollees who are children of Essential Persons and to work with CDD to provide care for those not presently enrollees in
their facilities who are children of Essential Persons.

c. Our licensing office of CDD will work with licensed child care centers to use best judgment to waive to the fullest extent possible all relevant licensing rules in order to permit child care centers to serve children of Essential Persons during the Closure Period.

d. During the Closure Period, the State shall continue to provide current levels of tuition payments on behalf of eligible families to: (a) all child care programs serving CCFAP-eligible children; and (b) child care programs and schools providing services under Act 166 for pre-K students.

e. CDD shall have authority, using its best judgment, to waive to the fullest extent
possible all relevant licensing rules and regulations, including penalties, in order to permit licensed child care programs to serve children of Essential Persons during the Closure Period.

f. The Human Services Secretary shall develop options for additional per-child served funding to all child care centers that serve children of Essential Persons during the Closure Period.

8. To support child care centers in staying open, supporting their employees, and remaining in business during this emergency and afterward, all State Agencies shall collaborate and
align resources as directed by the Human Services Secretary, in consultation with the Governor, to support child care providers in accordance with this Directive.


On March 27, 2020, Governor Scott issued a supplemental order closing public schools for the remainder of the 19-20 school year and extending indefinitely the closure period for child care. Concurrently, the state announced new financial supports for providers during the extended closure period:


For providers (grants): The Department for Children and Families (DCF) will offer grants to child care providers through the Restart Stipend program. Providers must apply by May 22. The stipends are intended to help child care and summer day programs with additional expenses directly associated with COVID-19. The State has identified $6 million in funding for these stipends. Funds can be used to purchase PPE for staff, cleaning and disinfecting products, structural changes needed to accommodate smaller group sizes, and hiring additional staff needed because of smaller group sizes. Eligible providers must be open by July 6, 2020 (unless it would normally open for summer programming after July 6). (Announced May 20.)

For providers (guidance): Vermont has issued new health and safety guidance for child care providers and summer programs. The guidance will go into effect on June 1. Staff are required to wear face coverings. Face coverings are recommended for children age 2 and older, so long as children can put on, take off, and do not repeatedly touch the covering. The state has also created a daily health checklist for providers. (Updated May 28.)


UPDATE: For providers (mandatory guidance): Vermont Department of Health released updated health guidance for child care providers and school-age camps. The mandatory guidance includes the following:

- Facial coverings are required for all adults during drop-off and pick-up.
- Facial coverings are required for drivers when providers are transporting children.
- Facial coverings are required for children in all programs in schools, including pre-K and afterschool programs (as medically and developmentally appropriate).
- For family-based providers, adult household members must wear facial coverings when they are within 6 feet of children in care. Children household members should also wear facial coverings, when developmentally appropriate.
- Children and staff must have a daily health screening "at the first point of contact," including temperature check.

The updated guidance also includes extensive information around contact tracing and resources for providers to support the social-emotional well-being of children/staff.

Regarding contact tracing, providers must take attendance for every classroom, including all individuals who were in the room and noting who dropped-off or picked-up each child. Providers must also keep records of formal/informal family meetings and any persons that enter the building, including the names of people they came within 6 feet of and locations within the facility they visited.
(Updated July 13.)
$4,410,066

Vermont will use CCDBG CARES Act funds, along with other funding, to support the following programs:

1) Child Care Stabilization Program. During the extended closure period, beginning on April 6, 2020, the State of Vermont will over half of any regular tuition not paid to a child care program on behalf of a family . In order to receive these payments, child care programs must:

- Ensure slots are maintained for children of families who pay at least 50% of their regular tuition and/or co-pay;
- Pay all program staff full salary.
- Provide required information to the Child Development Division for the processing of payments.


2) Essential Persons Incentives and Tuition. Child care programs that provide emergency child care for the essential critical infrastructure workforce during the closure and extended closure period will receive an additional $125 supplemental payment per child per week during the emergency child care period. More information is available from the Child Development Division's guidance document.
Effective June 1, 2020, Children must be kept in small groups, not more than 25 individuals in a single
classroom or care area, including teachers. Classrooms and outside play areas divided
by gates or partial walls are considered 1 room and shall only serve 1 group of children
and staff members.


Provisions for School-Aged Child Care:

On August 7, 2020, Governor Scott announced the launch of the Operational Relief Grant (ORG) program includes $12 million in federal Coronavirus Relief Funding to help childcare programs offset pandemic-related expenses and losses. Eligible applicants include childcare and afterschool programs, summer day camps, parent child centers and agencies that serve as fiscal agents for local Children’s Integrated Services.
On August 18, 2020, Governor Scott announced measure to expand childcare to school-age children in family childcare homes. “Family childcare home” means a childcare facility which provides care on a regular basis in the caregiver's own residence for not more than 10 children at any one time. Of this number, up to six children may be provided care on a full-time basis and the remainder on a part-time basis (not including children who reside in residence of caregiver). Additionally, sites can be established in school buildings, recreational buildings, municipal buildings and summer camp buildings to leverage existing spaces that historically care for children in order to support the development of childcare facilities for school age children to receive childcare on remote learning days.

Resource Links:

Vermont Department for Children and Families COVID-19 Information for Child Care Providers

Vermont Dept. of Health COVID-19 Information for Schools, Child Care, and Summer

Health Guidance for Childcare and Summer Programs " target=_"blank">Health Guidance for Childcare and Summer Programs, updated May 28

VT Health & Safety Guidance for Childcare and Summer Programs FAQs, updated June 20

VT DCF Childcare and Afterschool Licensing COVID-19 FAQs, updated July 14

VT Health & Safety Guidance for Childcare and School Age Camps, updated July 13
Virginia

Virginia Department of Social Services
OPTION TO REMAIN OPEN.

VA Department of Social Services Guidance to Child Care Providers:

"For centers that remain open, we encourage you to adapt your service settings as much as possible to align with public health recommendations, which include social distancing. Please encourage your families to remain at home to care for their children if at all possible. For now, classroom child care settings should limit capacity to 10 individuals per room to include staff."
Under the authority of Executive Order 51 [which declares a state of emergency in VA], the Commissioner of Department of Social Services is waiving regulation 22VAC40-665-40.N which references the period of time for a redetermination of eligibility for the subsidy program.

Temporary modifications will be implemented this week to assist families and providers during this challenging period. Information on the following will be disseminated to both parents and providers participating in the [Virginia Child Care Subsidy Program]:

School age children currently designated for part-day care will be eligible for full-day care

The number of paid absence days will increase from 36 to 76 days for Level 2 (licensed). The same number will be available for Level 1 (unlicensed) providers.

Families due for eligibility redetermination in the near term will have their eligibility automatically extended for two months.

The requirement for a face-to-face interview for initial eligibility will be temporarily suspended.

Procedures for receipt of manual attendance will be streamlined to make it easier for providers to submit attendance.

For providers (guidance): Virginia has released health and safety guidance for Phase 2 of child care reopening. Additionally, the state has shared guidance for the phased reopening of PK-12 schools. PK-12 guidance reiterates that child care providers may operate in school facilities and are subject to all child care regulations. (Announced June 1; Updated June 9.)

UPDATE: For providers (guidance): Gov. Northam has announced updated health and safety guidance for Phase 3 of child care reopening. The updated guidelines do not change group size limitations from Phase 2. Providers should continue conducting daily health screenings, including temperature checks, before any adult/child enters the facility. (Announced June 25.)
$70,799,409

On April 15, 2020, Governor Ralph Northam announced the administration’s intended use of $70,799,409 in additional Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) funding provided through the federal CARES Act to further support the provision of child care for essential personnel.

According to a press release from the Governor’s Office, the funding will be used in the following ways:

- Provide incentive grants to child care providers that are open, from now through the end of June;

- Eliminate co-payments through June for low-income, working families who receive federal child care subsidy dollars;

- Prepare schools to act as emergency child care centers, where needed; and

- Provide additional funding for child care providers that participate in the federal subsidy program, but have had to close. This will help ensure they are ready to welcome children back as soon as this crisis has passed.


UPDATE: For providers (grants): Provides can now apply for the second round of incentive grants, called CARES II grants. These one-time grants will be provided using a similar process as the first round of CARES grants. Awards will be based on licensed capacity and the number of months the provider is open during the grant period (July, August, September). Providers will receive funding for each month they are open. Monthly grant amounts equal $100 multiplied by half of your licensed capacity. Grantees will receive a one-time payment covering all months they are open during the grant period.

Eligible providers must certify that they will provide care for children in July, August, and/or September and follow COVID-19 health and safety guidelines. Providers who were approved grantees from the first round of CARES grants will have a shorter application process. Please email any questions to ask4care@dss.virginia.gov. (Announced June 20.)
12 or fewer, including staff (children under 4). 22 or fewer, including staff (children ages 4 and above).

Groups may share the same physical space (e.g., classroom, gymnasium) so long as social distancing of six feet can be maintained and children do not mix between groups. Groups can play outside at the same time if social distancing of siz feet is maintained and children do not mix between groups. Maintain an overall limit of 50 people for all outdoor activities and recess.


Resource Links:

VA Department of Social Services Child Care Updates and Resources on COVID-19

VA DSS Child Care Phase III Reopening Guidelines, announced June 25

VA DSS Child CARES II Grant Information
Washington

Washington State Department of Children, Youth, and Families
OPTION TO REMAIN OPEN

“Governor Inslee designated child care businesses and workers as essential and exempt from the “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order. Child care providers are not under a mandate to stay open or to close.

We encourage child care facilities to continue serving their communities and to make their educated decisions based upon what information and recommendations are coming from the Washington State Department of Health (DOH).

Because child care providers are independent business owners, decisions such as a voluntary closure during a health outbreak are business decisions each facility makes on their own.”
For providers (licensing requirements): Governor Inslee issued an order temporarily suspending a variety of child care licensing requirements until April 25, 2020, having made the determination that enforcement of these requirements "will risk destabilizing the state's subsidized child care programs and prevent, hinder, or delay the response by the Department of Children, Youth, and Families to the COVID-19 pandemic State of Emergency." Suspended requirements include requiring federal fingerprint background checks before completing the licensing process, allowing workers to be more easily licensed to provide care to those who need it. (Announced March 26.)

For providers (recommended guidance): Washington Department of Health has released recommended health and safety guidance for child care providers. DCYF will host a webinar reviewing the updated guidance on Monday, June 30. (Announced June 23.) Highlights from the updated guidance include:
- Group sizes of 22 or fewer. This includes all children, youth and adults.
- Removes play structure restrictions.
- Adds guidance for cleaning outdoor areas.
- Updated resource section.
- Face covering requirements per the mandatory statewide order issued on June 23, which goes into effect June 26.

UPDATE: For providers (subsidy payments): Washington will continue paying providers based on enrollment (not attendance) through August 2020. Effective July 1, 2020, DCYF will no longer waive family co-payments. Providers will need to resume collecting co-payments in July. (Announced June 26.)

UPDATE: For parents (subsidized care): Effective July 1, 2020, families who apply or reapply for WCCC will need to meet eligibility requirements, including participation in an approved activity. This change does not impact families who applied prior to July 1. Families may reapply online at www.washingtonconnection.org or by calling the Child Care Subsidy Contact Center at 844-626-8687. Effective July 1, 2020, DCYF will no longer waive family co-payments. (Announced June 26.)

$58,657,107

On May 8, 2020, the Washington State Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF) announced that non-competitive grants would be made available “to any licensed child care provider in Washington State that is open on the date of the grant release and providing child care.”

A flat amount for each interested licensed provider will be based on capacity using DCYF’s WA Compass and MERIT data. Providers may apply to receive these one-time funds. Funding amounts will be based on licensed capacity:

- Small: 0-49

- Medium: 50-99

- Large: 100-150+

DCYF will disperse funds as follows:

- $6,500 to small and open providers

- $11,500 to medium and open providers

- $14,000 to large and open providers

Funds can be spent on facility or space rent, personnel, utilities, health and safety or cleaning supplies and food. The grant funding application period closes June 30 or upon the exhaustion of funds.
An online application will be available in DCYF’s licensed provider portal.
Recommended limit of 22 or fewer, including staff.


Resource Links:

WA Dept. of Children, Youth, and Families COVID-19 Agency Updates

WA Department of Health Guidance for Child Care, Youth Development, and Summer Day Camps, updated June 23

WA Child Care Providers COVID-19 Informational Webinar, recorded June 30

WA DCYF COVID-19 Child Care Licensing FAQs

WA DCYF Reopening Steps and Guidance for Child Care Providers, updated June 11
West Virginia

West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources
PHASED REOPENING IN PROCESS

On March 25, 2020, the WV Department of Health and Human Resources announced that “by Executive Order and by declaration of the Cabinet Secretary, of the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources, The State of West Virginia must cease providing care for children of parents working in jobs deemed non-essential.” The state encouraged child care providers to register as Critical Care Child Care sites for essential workers, noting that any person who meets the definition of an essential worker will qualify for child care assistance.

On May 4, 2020, West Virginia began Phase Two of its COVID-19 response, reopening:

- Small businesses with 10 or fewer employees

- Restaurants with takeaway service or outdoor dining

- Religious entities and funeral homes

- Barbershops, hair salons, nail salons, pet grooming and other professional services regulated by the West Virginia State Board of Barbers and Cosmetologists (via WVBBC.com)

During the week of May 11, the state is anticipated to enter Phase Three, reopening:

- Wellness centers operated by or with West Virginia Licensed Health Care providers

- Drive-in movie theaters

According to an explanation provided to The Hunt Institute by the WV Department of Health and Human Resources, child care is now available to both the children of essential staff and to the children of non-essential employees in businesses permitted to reopen under the state’s West Virginia Strong: The Comeback phased reopening plan. As additional employer categories reopen, these employees will likewise be permitted to access child care.

In an effort to better ensure the safety of child care sites, the state is requiring COVID-19 testing for all child care staff.
For emergency providers (required action): All interested licensed providers, as well as those agencies who wish to provide care on site to their employees of essential workers, must review and complete the health and safety checklist and submit the registration form and checklist cover page via email at ECEProviders@wv.gov. The checklist aligns with CDC guidance to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 at child care facilities. (Announced March 25.)

For providers (resources): Temporary Critical Child Care Provider Resources from the WV Department of Health and Human Resources

For providers (mandatory testing): Gov. Jim Justice announced that all child care staff must be tested for COVID-19. West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) has issued guidance to help child care providers and staff obtain COVID-19 testing as facilites begin to reopen. COVID-19 testing will be available at no cost, regardless if staff are insured. DHHR has released guidance for providers on how to obtain testing for staff. (Announced April 30.)

For providers (guidance): West Virginia released new health and safety guidance for providers. The guidance addresses cleaning, health screenings, drop-off/pick-up procedures, testing, and reporting potential exposure. (Announced May 9.)
$23,161,653No COVID-specific group size guidance identified


Resource Links:

WV DHHR Child Care Updates

WV DHHR COVID-19 Information for Child Care Programs and Public Schools, March 2020

WV DHHR Guidelines for COVID-19 Outbreaks in Childcare Facilities

WV DHHR Checklist for Child Care Providers Remaining Open During COVID-19




Wisconsin

Wisconsin Department of Children and Families
OPTION TO REMAIN OPEN WITH MODIFICATIONS

Per Wisconsin Department of Health Services Emergency Order #6:

"Child care settings may not operate with more than 10 staff present at a time and may not operate with more than 50 children at a time."

Governor Tony Evers has issued a set of frequently asked questions regarding child care restrictions under the state's ongoing Emergency Order.
On April 13, 2020, Governor Evers issued Executive Order 26, suspending certain administrative rules for the Department of Children and Families.

For providers (payment): Wisconsin Department of Children and Families (DCF) advises all providers to prepare to apply for CARES Act grant funds (the current proposal is under review by the Joint Committee on Finance). As such, DCF encourages providers to: 1) sign up with Fidelity National Information Services (FIS) to set up a payment account, 2) get access to the Child Care Provider Portal to manage their program information and receive funding notices, and 3) update staff and family information for your program. More information: DCF Child Care Information for Providers and Educators.

For parents (resource): DCF has created a web-based form to help essential workers find child care. After an essential worker fills out the form, DCF reaches out to help them find care. DCF has also created a searchable map to help parents find child care.

For providers (guidance): DCF has provided updated guidance, best practices, and FAQs aligning to the state's "Badger Bounce Back" reopening plan. Safe-at-home mandates and associated public health emergency orders are no longer in effect. Wisconsin is currently in Phase 0-1 of the reopening plan. Specific criteria must be met before morving into Phases 2 or 3. The updated guidance addresses visitors, health screenings, social distancing, drop-off/pick-up procedures, sanitation and hygiene, and reporting potential exposure.
$51,639,992

According to the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families (DCF) website, DCF is launching three separate child care payment programs via CARES Act CCDBG funding as outlined below. It has also published an associated Terms and Conditions document.

Payment Program 1: Funding to Care for Essential Workforce Families

This program is to support the costs of providing care for essential workforce families. Funds are to be used for paying staff, reimbursing families, or other allowable expenses.

Based on available funding, Program 1 is calculated with a base amount of $9,000 for licensed group and public school programs, and a base amount of $6,000 for licensed family, certified family, provisional certified family, in-home provisional certified, and in-home regular certified programs. Funding may be increased up to a maximum amount of $1,200 per child in full time care, or up to a maximum of $900 per child in part-time care. Additional increases may be available up to a maximum of $400 per child if the provider operated during nonstandard hours, or for those who served children with additional funding prioritization consideration. Payment Program 1 has a maximum payment amount of $100,000.


Payment Program 2: Incentive Pay

This program is to support the costs for providing incentive pay for child care providers and individual educators. Funds are required to be used to increase pay during the State of Emergency for current employees, providers, and individual educators.

Based on available funding, Program 2 is calculated at $5 per hour, up to 40 hours a week for each staff member listed for the funding period.


Payment Program 3: Support for Temporarily Closed Child Care Programs

This program is to support the costs of retaining staff and reopening child care programs as Wisconsin’s workforce returns to work. Funds are required to be used for reopening within 30 days of receiving funding. Funds are required to be used for paying staff, reimbursing families, or other allowable expenses.

Based on available funding, Program 3 is calculated at up to $1,000 for each full-time staff and up to $700 for each part-time staff, with an overall payment amount maximum of $10,000.

DCF has announced 3 associated application periods:

- Application Period 1 - May 18 - May 29, 2020

- Application Period 2 - June 8 - June 19, 2020

- Application Period 3 - June 29 - July 10, 2020
Returned to normal group size.


Provision of School-Aged Child Care:

On September 3, 2020, Governor Evers announced an additional $30 million of federal CARES Act dollars are being directed toward supporting early care and education providers. The additional funds will allow the Department of Children and Families (DCF) to conduct an additional round of Child Care Counts payments. The additional round will of funding will be distributed through two, new programs targeted at the current challenges early care and education providers are facing. One program is designed to support costs of maintaining/enhancing compliance status, quality level, and health/safety practice to provide safe, healthy and high-quality childcare opportunities. The other program will support costs associated with recruiting and retaining high-quality staff.


Resource Links:

Wisconsin Department of Health Services COVID-19 Information

Wisconsin COVID-19 Child Care Resources

WI "Badger Bounce Back" DCF Best Practices for Child Care

WI "Badger Bounce Back" DCF Best Practices for Child Care FAQs

WI Health and Safety Guidance, DCF Order #19 COVID-19 Child Care Resources
Wyoming

Wyoming Department of Family Services
OPTION TO OPEN (REOPENED APRIL 28, 2020), WITH GROUP SIZES LIMITED TO 10

CLOSURE HISTORY:

On March 19, 2020, Wyoming State Health Officer Alexia Harrist issued a Public Health Order closing many businesses, including schools and child care centers across the state.

The Order makes exceptions for providers serving essential personnel and limits group size to 10 people in any room.

On April 28, 2020, Harrist issued an updated Public Health Order allowing child care centers to reopen or (in the case of those providing emergency care) remain in operation on the condition that they restrict classroom groupings, separated by walls, to 10 or fewer (staff included). Providers must continue to prioritize service to the children of essential employees. Under the updated order, child care providers are held to enhanced health and sanitation practices and – to the extent possible – limiting the number of individuals entering facilities by utilizing drop-off and pick-up at the door.
For providers (emergency centers): The state's March 19, 2020 Public Health Order closing child care makes exceptions for providers serving essential staff.

For parents (resource): The Wyoming Department of Family Services has created a website to help essential workers find emergency child care. The website includes information on which child care centers are accepting new children and is updated daily.

For providers (resource): Wyoming has created a website to help providers find substitute staff. The website is password-protected and is only accessible by licensed child care centers.

For providers (guidance): The Department of Health has published recommended guidance on reopening child care facilities. The guidance addresses group size, hygiene and sanitation, health screenings, and face coverings. (Updated June 5.)
- Group size limited to 25 peoploe or fewer in a single room.
- Daily health screenings of children and staff. Symptomatic individuals should not be allowed to enter the facility.
- Outdoor pick-up/drop-off procedures are recommended.
- Staff and children should wear face coverings to the greatest extent practicable.
$4,166,167

In correspondence with The Hunt Institute, the Wyoming Department of Family Services confirmed that the state will use its CARES CCDBG funds as follows:

- $900K in child care assistance payments based on enrollment, rather than attendance, for March, April, and May, if needed.

- $1.5M in one-time payments to licensed child care centers, with payments varying by licensure type:

- Child Care Centers - $3,800 per provider;

- Family Child Care Centers - $1,500 per provider;

- Family Child Care Homes - $1,000 per provider; and,

- $1.7M available through an application-based grant system administered by Wyoming Kids First
10 or fewer, including staff


Resource Links:

Wyoming Department of Family Services COVID-19 Resources for Child Care

Wyoming Department of Health COVID-19 Guidance for Childcare Providers, updated June 5

Wyoming Child Care Reopening FAQs, updated June 8

Wyoming Reimagining Child Care and Education After COVID-19