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).docx-3 and some for Families Family Resources (At-Home Activities Phone Apps How to Talk to Children and Community Resources).docx-3.  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.

June 30, 2020

6/30/20 

Minutes from July 18 Early Childhood Provider Call

6.30.20_ECE Provider Call 6 Minutes

 

6/26/20:  Provider Call Information

Dear Early Learning Provider,

Please join us for the next Early Childhood Provider Call on Wednesday, July 18, 2020 at 1:30 pm.

The participant dial in number is:  888-218-0223.  There is no need for a passcode as this will place the caller directly onto the conference line.  They may dial in as early as 25 minutes prior to the scheduled call.

The conference will have a Q&A Session.  All participants will be muted during the Q&A Session.

Participant Q&A Instructions:

Press *1 to ask a question

Press # to remove the question from the question queue

Thank You,

The Department of Education

6/25/20: Child Care Providers – Phase 3 Information

Dear Child Care Provider,

Your commitment to Delaware families has remained steadfast during these very uncertain times. We know you have been faced with many challenges, but you continually rise to the occasion.

As we continue through the summer, we wanted to share information related to Phase 3 of Delaware’s reopening. There is no target start date for Phase 3 at this time, but we wanted to provide you with the information so you can plan. We will keep you updated on when Phase 3 will begin.

In terms of Phase 3 details, child care continues to remain open to all families. While telework is still encouraged, and families are encouraged to keep children at home, care is available to anyone seeking it. Child care providers wishing to operate during Phase 3 must follow DELACARE Regulations and the additional requirements developed by the Office of Child Care Licensing (OCCL) and Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH). The updated Phase 3 requirements are below and will be available online at: https://coronavirus.delaware.gov/child-care/.

6.25.20_Phase 3 Requirements 6.25.20

As with previous emails, we wanted to break out some of the main details of the OCCL and DPH requirements to help you plan for your facility and your families. The requirements for Phase 3 remain largely unchanged from what was required during Phase 2. However in Phase 3, additional outside contractors will be allowed during child care hours. Please read the attached Phase 3 requirements for details. For example, group sizes still may not exceed 15 children (not including staff, and it is strongly encouraged that the same children and staff make up one group from day to day. If a facility seeks a maximum group size above 15, they must apply for a variance from OCCL explaining the reason for needing a larger group size and their plan to reduce the risk of spreading the virus.

Additionally, we wanted to share information regarding Enhanced Reimbursement and POC payments to providers for the months of July and August.

Payment information for the month of July:

  • Purchase of Care:
    • Child care programs open as of July 6 will receive purchase of care reimbursement (POC) based on enrollment.
    • Child care programs that open after July 6 will receive POC reimbursement based on actual attendance.
    • The Division of Social Services will pay parent copays for the month of July.
  • Enhanced Reimbursement:
    • Child care programs that are open as of July 1, will receive the previously established enhanced reimbursement rate for an open facility (formerly referred to as essential).  Programs must be open for the entire month of July in order to receive these funds from the state.

Payment information for the month of August:

  • Purchase of Care:
    • Beginning in August, all child care programs will receive purchase of care reimbursement based on attendance and parents will be responsible for copays.
  • Enhanced Reimbursement:
    • Program details for August have not yet been decided.

We will continue to share information during this time. Thank you for all you do for our children and families. If you have any questions about the requirements for Phase 3, please reach out to your Licensing Specialist.

Sincerely,

The Office of Child Care Licensing

 

6/22/20: Questions from Providers

Read the most up-to-date information from the Office of Child Care Licensing and the Delaware Institute for Excellence in Early Childhood.

6.22.20_1_DSCYF_Questions from Providers- 06-22-2020

Thank you and have a nice day.

 

6/22/20: Pool Use Clarification

To All Child Care Providers,

On the sixth early childhood provider call last Thursday (June 18) a question was asked about using public pools. Information supplied by Jamie Mack of the Division of Public Health (DPH) regarding use of public pools is shown below.  Please contact DPH with any questions on this subject.

The Office of Child Care Licensing

Information from Jamie Mack, Chief Health Systems Protection, DPH

Here is the latest pool guidance:  https://coronavirus.delaware.gov/wp-content/uploads/sites/177/2020/06/Public-and-Community-Swimming-Pools-Phase-2.pdf

 

6/18/20: Phase 2 Message/Attachment

Dear Child Care Provider,

Thank you for sharing your feedback with us about the child care requirements for Phase 2. As you know, these requirements have been put in place based on the recommendations from public health experts to combat the spread of COVID-19. While we know that providing care during this time may be challenging compared to before the public health crisis began, we have listened to your feedback and have made the following modifications to DELACARE regulations to allow greater flexibility for staffing in child care centers:

  • Staff with a valid intern qualifications certificate issued by Delaware First who are at least 18 years of age, have at least one year of experience at the child care facility at which they are currently working, and have been determined eligible as a result of their comprehensive background check by the Criminal History Unit, may be alone with children ages three years and older. Documentation of age, experience, and eligibility must be on site in the employee’s file. However, staff qualifications for those working with infants and toddlers remain the same as required by DELACARE Regulations for Early Care and Education and School-Age Centers. Aides may not be alone with children at any time.
  • A new staff member must have a scheduled fingerprinting appointment with Delaware State Police before the start of employment. This information shall be placed in the employee’s file. The staff member with a fingerprinting appointment may begin work while being supervised at all times by a person who has completed the background check process and been determined eligible and qualified at least as an early childhood assistant teacher or school-age site assistant. No staff member may be alone with children until after DSCYF’s Criminal History Unit reviews the comprehensive background check and determines their eligibility.

If you have any questions about these regulation modifications, please contact your licensing specialist.

Phase 2 Child Care Requirements revised 6.18.20

THE OFFICE OF CHILD CARE LICENSING

 

 

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.