You're here for Delaware's children and families.
We're here for YOU!
Dear Members of the Early Care and Education Community of Delaware:

This is the longest spring I can ever remember. Still, as we turn to summer, and our state begins the process of "reopening," we at the DIEEC want to do whatever we can to assist and support you as you continue to heroically provide services and programming that the working families of Delaware so desperately need.  

Winston Churchill once said, "Healthy citizens are the greatest asset any country can have."  It is clear to all of us here at the DIEEC that providing a healthy and safe early childhood education program(ECE) is a patriotic act of the highest order, it always has been, and it will always remain so. 

I know that the members of the ECE Community are ready to put in the hard work necessary to keep all children and families safe – your own families and children, your staff, and the children and families you serve. But as you are engaged in this work, please remember that you need to keep yourself healthy – both physically and mentally. Even in the midst of all that you must do each day, take time for yourself, to calm and destress. As they say on airplanes, put on your oxygen mask before helping others – this is great advice and reminds us to make self-care a priority, you must care for yourself so that you can continue to care for others. Those of us at the DIEEC believe that early childhood educators are "essential personnel," along with first responders and health care.

I n this newsletter, our goal is to bring you some resources that might help you meet the challenges you are facing; we hope it is helpful.  
What we know about the virus and the overall situation continues to evolve rapidly as the state responds to the pandemic to ensure the safety and health of its constituents. The following is the most updated information impacting your operations.

Today, June 1 begins Phase 1 of the governor's plan to ease Delaware into reopening. This step comes more than two months after the stay-at-home-order was enacted to slow the spread of COVID-19.

During Phase 1, open child care programs must continue to be designated as Emergency Child Care Sites (ECCS) in order to be open and serving children and families. Child care programs that are closed are allowed to reopen to provide care to essential personnel and/or open businesses whose staff cannot work from home and do not have alternate care options. 

By way of background, operating as an ECCS has been an option for programs since March 30, when the governor modified the original State of Emergency Declaration to permit child care programs to apply to open as emergency child care sites. 

An emergency child care site must meet these  requirements   that build on existing DELACARE regulations and address the face-covering criteria, smaller group sizes, and cleaning protocols, among other topics.

Additionally, parents/guardians will need to provide their child care program with the certification form signed by their employer, confirming they work for an essential or reopened business, cannot work from home, and do not have access to other child care. You can find a copy of this certification form by clicking on this link .

F or early childhood education programs (centers and homes), enhanced reimbursement will continue to be available.

Programs who would like to open as ECCS should contact their licensing specialist. 

Delaware continues to update information related to child care at
Cultivating Hope
by Patricia Lynch

Psychologists define resilience as the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, and other significant sources of stress. These include family and relationship problems, serious health issues, or workplace, and financial stressors. One, some, or perhaps even all of these adversities may have touched a family during this pandemic.

Resilience involves "bouncing back" from these difficult experiences and also can include far-reaching personal growth. As we navigate our new course, we need to have confidence that we are life-long learners, creative thinkers, problem solvers, and passionate professionals who, when faced with adversity, will rise exuding strength, compassion, and grit.

The landscape of the early care and education field may differ from previous times. Still, our ability to learn, lead, and empower in this new world will surely exemplify hope for the children, families, staff, and communities.

Safety and health are always at the forefront of your operations. Now, as you manage through COVID-19, implementing safety and health practices requires exceptional vigilance. And, yes, it can be overwhelming.  

If you are an emergency child care site or considering reopening as one, we want to provide you with a breakdown of the expectations for keeping you, your staff, and children of essential workers and their families safe and healthy.

First, as a baseline, you must continue to adhere to existing DELACARE regulations enforced by the Office of Child Care Licensing (OCCL). Additionally, there are new requirements and guidelines as a part of the State of Emergency, its modifications, and Executive Order 38.

It’s safe to say that, although there are incredibly helpful pieces of information being shared right now, it is easy to feel overwhelmed by all of the resources. This current, oversaturated climate of articles, websites, interviews, data charts, and more can leave us with an unclear map of where to go next or where to begin.

Hoping to make that path clearer, we have collected and organized some resources that quickly break down what’s important to know right now, from financial support to self-care.

DIEEC PD continues to develop and offer various virtual and live training options for the upcoming weeks. We are committed to your professional growth and development, and we have intentionally created content that helps you care for and educate young children during these uncertain times.

Check out the virtual training sessions planned for the beginning of June. We hope they spark your interest. Keep in mind the virtual platform is self-paced and instructor-facilitated

       Play: The Role of Play in Any Setting
       Preschool Math Ideas Hiding in Plain Sight

Delaware Health and Social Services Supports Child Care Reopening

The Division of Social Services (DSS), the agency that administers the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF)/ Purchase of Care program, received a $9.7 million increase to the CCDF program through the CARES Act due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. 
DSS intentionally planned from the time the state of emergency was declared, how it would address the impact and aftermath of the state of emergency on our childcare infrastructure. 

To proactively assist providers in reopening, the increase was used to provide support to:
  • providers that remained open as emergency childcare sites;
  • providers that chose to close and pay their staff;
  • providers that closed and chose not to pay their staff.

Specifically, the funds were used to reimburse emergency child care sites based on their authorizations rather than their actual attendance. Providers are reimbursed for all children authorized to their sites regardless of whether or not each authorized child attends. Those that closed are reimbursed based on their February enrollment.

In May the state paid $2.65 million to 287 closed providers. Also, the state continues to waive parent co-pays and is assuming this expense as well to ensure that providers continue to receive their monthly budgeted revenue. The state is currently spending an additional $2 million dollars per month on childcare.

And finally, the Division held its first meeting on child care reopening earlier this month. It will continue to work with our early care and education partners to strategically assess the needs of those programs that are open and those that are currently closed as we reopen the state.

Delaware Institute for Excellence in Early Childhood
Delaware Stars for Early Success, website:
DIEEC Professional Development, website:
Main: (302) 831-3239 | Fax: (302) 831-4223