Recommendations for Early Care and Education Providers from OCDEL and Other Resources Related to Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Dear early learning supporters,

This message includes a number of resources we hope are helpful to you. Several announcements were issued from our state government this evening that we wanted to share, along with other resources we wanted to provide. As you all know, things are developing by the hour. We are working hard to ensure accurate and helpful information is provided to you. Please know that we recognize many of your questions will remain unanswered even after reading this information. Along with our advocacy partners, we are doing our best to share your questions with our government leaders and then provide new guidance as we receive it.

Please continue to be in touch and let us know how we can help you. Most importantly our hope is that you all stay healthy and safe.

The PennAEYC Team 


Guidance from the Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL)
In response to growing concerns about the spread of COVID-19 and its potential impact on the delivery of services to children and families the Department of Human Services, Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) has developed the following operational recommendations for services. Please note that documents will be updated and re-released on a recurring basis as new information becomes available. We encourage you to read these documents in full:


Announcement ELRC-20 #03 states that if the Pennsylvania Department of Health (PA DOH) advises or mandates child care facilities close as a result of COVID-19 in a target community, county or statewide, Child Care Works (CCW) agreements will be paid based on the active CCW enrollments at their child care facilities at the time the closure is ordered. This payment will continue through the end of April 2020.  

If the PA DOH orders child care facilities to close, the Early Learning Resource Center (ELRC) should not suspend children due to the closing of the facility but allow all children who are enrolled in CCW at the time of the closing to remain enrolled. ELRCs may not enroll a child with a new provider under any circumstances. The enrollment must stay with the closed provider. 

OCDEL recognizes that families will also be impacted by changes to their own work schedule and income, during child care closures related to COVID-19. Child care providers will not collect the family co-pays for CCW for the period of the closure.

In consultation with DOH, the Department of Human Services and the Governor’s Office, these payment practices may be extended to support child care providers’ return to full operating capacity.

Please note: Only Delaware and Montgomery County child care centers and group child care homes operating in commercial spaces are required to close at this time.

Key Resources
We continue to monitor information from the  Pennsylvania Department of Health  and the  U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention . Guidance developed by PA DHS will be centrally located on  this page , which will be updated as additional guidance becomes available. We encourage you to continue to consult these resources for updates on COVID-19, information on staying healthy, and updates on the situation in Pennsylvania.
 
We also encourage you to visit  www.sharedsourcepa.org  for helpful resources that you can use with families and staff to reduce the level of anxiety, communicate what is known to be most appropriate health, hygiene and safety practices, as well as interim guidance for child care businesses.

Child Care Aware Webinar for Providers – March 17
Finally, NAEYC shared that Child Care Aware of America is  sharing resources  and holding a  webinar for child care providers  on Tuesday, March 17 at 2 p.m.