COVID-19 Updates for Child Care Providers

3/22/20

Dear Child Care Providers,

We wanted to inform you of Governor John Carney’s recent modification to his State of Emergency declaration. Governor Carney has issued a Stay-at-Home Order that goes into effect 8 a.m. on Tuesday, March 24.

Under Governor Carney’s recent order, child care is considered an essential service and not ordered to close. That means child care providers can remain open, if they choose, during this time.

We have seen how the coronavirus has upended our way of life here in Delaware, and changes come every single day. Child care providers have been a constant, vital resource in making sure that our response to the coronavirus here in Delaware is robust.

We thank you for all of your efforts to keep children and staff safe. To that end, we wanted to send you information and guidance on the steps to take to protect child care settings. Please see the Child Care – Essential Business Guidelines_3 22 20 for information.

During this time, we also want to make sure providers and the public have the most up-to-date information on child care. The state is working to create a webpage to list resources for child care providers as well as share information for the public on open and available child care options. We will let you know once that webpage is live, and how you can go about submitting information on your child care center or home.

In the coming days, if you have specific questions for the Delaware Division of Public Health on cleaning and sanitizing your child care operation, please contact Jamie Mack at jamie.mack@delaware.gov.

We thank you for your time, dedication and patience as we move through this ever-changing time. Please feel free to reach out with any questions.

3/19/20 Governor Carney Signs Executive Order on Child Care

Delaware Governor John Carney

Governor Carney Signs Executive Order on Child Care

Order will allow flexibility to provide child care options for Delaware families, health care workers                                                                                                   

WILMINGTON, Del. – Governor John Carney on Thursday signed Executive Order #38, which will allow the State of Delaware and providers flexibility to provide child care options for Delaware families and health care workers due to the coronavirus (COVID-19).

Read Governor Carney’s Executive Order #38.

“The coronavirus is taking a serious toll across our state, on families who are losing income, and child care providers who care for our youngest Delawareans every day,” said Governor Carney. “This Executive Order will help make sure Delawareans have access to child care over the long run, especially those health care workers who we need on the front lines of our state’s response. Every Delawarean should take this situation seriously. Our goal is to limit spread of the virus, and prevent a spike in cases that our health care system cannot handle. Don’t go out in public unnecessarily. Wash your hands and disinfect surfaces frequently. Stay home if you feel sick, even if you have mild symptoms. We’ll get through this. I want to also take this opportunity to thank our child care workers. We could not take on this challenge without you.”

Governor Carney’s Executive Order #38 gives the Secretary of the Department of Services for Children, Youth and their Families (DSCYF) the ability to suspend or modify provisions of the state’s childcare rules, regulations and statutes – as long as changes will not endanger the safety or welfare of a child. Under the Executive Order, DSCYF may work with existing providers to designate emergency childcare sites for children of health care workers, emergency medical staff, law enforcement, and other essential personnel. This change in regulatory process will last only as long as Governor Carney’s State of Emergency declaration remains in place.

Governor Carney, DSCYF Secretary Josette Manning, Department of Health and Social Services Secretary (DHSS) Kara Odom Walker, and Department of Education (DOE) Secretary Susan Bunting, also sent a letter to providers with further guidance on questions relating to Purchase of Care and health best practices.

Delawareans with questions about COVID-19 or their exposure risk can call the Division of Public Health’s Coronavirus Call Center at 1-866-408-1899, or 711 for people who are hearing impaired, from 8:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Delawareans can also email DPHCall@delaware.gov 

For the latest on Delaware’s response, visit de.gov/coronavirus.

3/18/20 Division of Social Services COVID-19 Update for Purchase of Care Providers  

Dear POC Providers,

The Purchase of Care team understands the questions and concerns that many providers have voiced regarding COVID-19, the state of emergency and POC policies. Several meetings with senior management have taken place to discuss the impact of this pandemic on our POC families and providers. Although senior management will need to make the final decisions, we have recommended several options to address the needs of POC families and the potential financial strain on providers as a result of this unprecedented situation.

Please note that DSS will pay providers if a facility/location closure is mandated by the Governor because of health and safety or planning reasons.

Please also be advised that per current POC policy those parents who lose their jobs are entitled to 3 additional months of uninterrupted child care in order to search for employment.

Parents who are teleworking and have an active childcare authorization can continue to utilize child care at their discretion.

We do ask that if you have additional questions and concerns that you continue to reach out as this is an ever-changing situation and we would like to respond to and consider all of them.

Thank you for your patience while we work to develop more specific guidance and concrete information for you. Until then, be well!

Additional COVID-19 Information

COVID-19 Public Health Response Operations

Hello Colleagues

Please find the “Interim Guidance for Administrators of US Childcare Programs and K-12 Schools to Plan, Prepare, and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)” click here.

Schools should continue to collaborate, share information, and review plans with local health officials to help protect the whole school community, including those with special health needs. School plans should be designed to minimize disruption to teaching and learning and protect students and staff from social stigma and discrimination. Plans can build on everyday practices (e.g., encouraging hand hygiene, monitoring absenteeism, communicating routinely) that include strategies for before, during, and after a possible outbreak.

Thank you!

State Coordination Task Force (SCTF)

Center for Preparedness and Response (CPR)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
1600 Clifton Road, NE, MS H21-5, Atlanta, GA 30349-4027

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.