COVID-19 Updates for Child Care Providers

For up-to-date information please visit the COVID-19 child care site or contact the Office of Early Learning.

This is a list of best practices resources to assist Child Care Professionals Professionals Resources (Online Professional Learning and Health and Safety) 11.13.20 and some for Families Family Resources (At-Home Activities Phone Apps How to Talk to Children and Community Resources) 11.13.20.  Some are specifically about COVID-19 and others are resources that can be used now and at any time.

COVID-19 and Child Care is a constantly changing situation in Delaware.  You can read the most recent information.  Read more about the many changes and important information that came out on different dates on the following COVID-19 page.

July  19, 2021

7/19/21: Clarification of OCCL Revised Guidance

To All Licensed Child Care Providers,

The Revised Guidance sent to providers on July 12, 2021, contained one sentence that was misplaced.  This caused confusion among some providers.  Please see the correction show attached.  The moved text is now shown in red.

FINAL Revised Guidance –as of July 19 2021-FINAL

We regret any confusion this may have caused.

The Office of Child Care Licensing.

 

7/12/21: Updated Guidance

To All Licensed Child Care Providers,

Governor Carney’s State of Emergency Executive Order will be lifted as of July 13, 2021.  This means OCCL is issuing changes to previous child care guidance that was in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

REQUIREMENTS

This means that the following regulations are again in place:

  1. New staff must be fingerprinted for a Delaware SBI and FBI check before the start of employment. The fingerprint verification form must be provided to the employer before working with children.   Appointments to be fingerprinted are required at all locations except on Wednesdays in Dover when individuals from child care may walk in.  Contact the fingerprinting facility for details and appointments.
  2. New applications for licensure and renewal applications must again be notarized if submitted after July 13, 2021.
  3. The skills demonstration is required for any new or renewed CPR certification earned after July 13, 2021.
  4. Screen time activities require written parent/guardian permission and are limited to one hour or less per day, unless a special event occurs. Children younger than two years are prohibited from participating in screen time activities. Assistive technology is not included in screen time restrictions.

 

USE OF INTERNS IN CENTERS

OCCL is temporarily granting a variance to all child care centers on the possible use of interns (center regulations 24K and 87D) at least until December 31, 2021.  This global variance will be reassessed in the fall to determine if regulation change is needed or if the variance will end on December 31st.   Providers will be informed in advance of this date.

How interns will be used in an individual child care center is the decision of each facility until December 31. 2021.  A licensed child care center may follow the current DELACARE Regulations regarding the use of Early Childhood or School-Age Interns or may follow the modified requirements shown below. 

Until December 31, 2021, center staff may be alone with children after meeting these requirements:

  • Is qualified as at least an early childhood or school-age intern by Delaware First;
  • Is at least 18 years old;
  • Has been determined eligible by the Criminal History Unit after completion of a comprehensive background check; and
  • Has at least one month of employment at the current center and has been oriented to the policies and procedures of that center and DELACARE Regulations.

It is recommended that centers place their more experienced staff with the younger children they serve.

 

MASK WEARING 

Beginning July 13, 2021, face coverings over the nose and mouth are no longer required but are strongly recommended for unvaccinated individuals, such as those in early childhood education settings. OCCL will not monitor this requirement any longer.  However, each individual facility may choose to require masks to be worn in their child care facility to protect unvaccinated individuals.

 

OPTIONAL RECOMMENDATIONS

For the health and safety of staff and children in your care, the following practices are strongly recommended but are no longer required: 

  1. Health screenings of children and adults entering your facility is no longer required. Unless they are ill, families may enter the child care facility at any time while their child is in care.  See DELACARE Regulations 23 (centers) and 13T (family/large family).
  2. Play dough and clay may be shared among different children. (DELACARE Regulations require handwashing after using shared clay/dough.)
  3. Staff and children do not have to wash hands upon entering and leaving a classroom but this practice is encouraged. You must comply with hand washing requirements in DELACARE Regulations (regulation 59 in centers or 38 in family/large family homes).
  4. Social distancing between adults and children is recommended when possible but not required.  Masks are still required when travelling on a bus or in a car with others not in your immediate family.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will provide updates as needed at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/schools-childcare/index.html. Please follow their guidance regarding COVID-19 recommendations.

As always, contact your licensing specialist with any questions.

The Department of Education

 

My Child DE is a user-friendly website that brings together resources to help families, providers and other caretakers make informed choices for the children of Delaware. The goal of My Child DE is to help these groups feel welcome, informed and empowered to engage, learn and take the next steps needed to support children.