Clarification for Child Care Programs Related to Gov. Wolf's Announcement and Other Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates

Dear early care and education supporters,
Yesterday Gov. Wolf ordered all “non-life sustaining businesses” in Pennsylvania to close their physical locations to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

The Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) issued a clarification that this order does not apply to:
  • child care centers operating with an approved waiver,
  • child care centers that submitted a waiver,
  • group child care homes operating in a residence and
  • family child care homes.
All of these child care providers may continue to operate. 

OCDEL also issued information yesterday about the waiver of temporary closure process which you can find below. In case you didn’t see it, we are also sharing some important information NAEYC released on the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the child care industry and recommendations they’ve put forth to government leaders this week.

Please know that we are here for you. We encourage you to continue to send your questions, thoughts and experiences with us. We will keep providing answers when we have them, lift up questions for our state government leaders when we don’t and advocate for you as legislative and administrative action is considered to help Pennsylvanians through this crisis. PennAEYC and our advocacy partners are developing a series of recommendations to help early care and education programs and professionals through this unprecedented time and your input to date is helping to shape those proposals!

As we receive new information we’ll be sure to share it!

We hope you are all healthy and safe!
The PennAEYC Team 

OCDEL Issues Guidance on Waiver of Temporary Closure

OCDEL issued the following directives:

  • If your child care facility has submitted an Exemption of Directive to Temporarily Close to the Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL), please continue to operate until you receive directive to cease operations from OCDEL.
  • If you have submitted an Exemption of Directive to Temporarily Close, do not resubmit the form multiple times.
  • If you are considering submission of an Exemption of Directive to Temporarily Close, please complete the form in its entirety. 
  • All submissions of an Exemption of Directive to Temporarily Close must be submitted to RA-PWDRACERT@PA.GOV. There is no need to CC Certification staff directly.
  • Responses to a request for Exemption of Directive to Temporarily Close will be returned directly to the contact information on the form.

Previously, OCDEL noted that the email subject line should read, “Waiver Request (insert county name)”.

NAEYC Issues Recommendations on Child Care and Data Related to COVID-19
NAEYC issued an important statement regarding the pandemic this week. The document includes steps state leaders can take to help the child care industry weather this unprecedented time and also emphasizes the importance of quality child care for essential personnel that we all are relying upon to keep us safe and healthy. In addition, NAEYC also issued some initial results of a survey of child care programs nationwide. It clearly demonstrates how the child care crisis is made even substantially worse by the COVID-19 pandemic. This will impact Pennsylvania and our country’s ability to recover as child care and the early learning continuum are critical to getting us all back on our feet once it is over.

Previous OCDEL Announcements and Information

Provisional Hire Waiver Application
OCDEL asks that if you plan to submit a provisional hire waiver please do so by sending an email to the RA account  RA-PWDRACERT@PA.GOV  and not through postal mail or fax as Commonwealth employees who work in Dauphin County and the Capitol Complex will not be working in the office beginning March 16, 2020 and extending for a period of 14 days.

*OCDEL has noted that documents will be updated and re-released on a recurring basis as new information becomes available. 

Key Resources
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  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.