COVID-19 Update:
New Guidance and Resources & Overview of Federal Stimulus 

Dear early care and education supporters,

We’ve included information for you on the stimulus package Congress passed, information OCDEL released this week and a webinar opportunity about the financial impact of COVID-19.
 
If you haven’t yet, we also ask you to advocate with us and ask Gov. Wolf and the General Assembly to include child care in a stimulus package to ensure availability of programs for essential workers now and for all families when they return to work at the end of the crisis!


Please let us know how we can continue to help you and we’ll continue to share key updates!

Stay healthy and safe!

The PennAEYC Team 


Federal Government Passes Stimulus Package 
While advocates will continue to fight for more in future stimulus packages, Congress passed an economic stimulus package this week, which President Trump is expected to sign shortly. Most of interest to the early care and education community are:
  • $3.5 billion in grants to states through the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) Program for immediate assistance to child care providers to prevent them from going out of business and to otherwise support child care for families, including for healthcare workers, first responders, and others playing critical roles during this crisis. Pennsylvania is expected to receive $102 million according to CLASP estimates. PennAEYC is currently working to further determine the restrictions surrounding those funds.
  • $750 million for grants to all Head Start programs to help them respond to coronavirus-related needs of children and families, including making up for lost learning time.
  • Both for-profit and non-profit child care businesses with less than 500 employees will be eligible to apply for small business loans of up to $10 million, of which 8 weeks of monthly payroll, mortgage/rent, and utility payments will be eligible for forgiveness. More guidance will be coming on this and other provisions of the bill.
 
OCDEL Issues New COVID-19 Guidance
 
Health & Safety Procedures OCDEL issued guidance this week for child care providers caring for children of essential personnel with the aim of protecting the children in care, as well as program staff. 
 
Clarification of Guidance on Closures – OCDEL issued an announcement focused on
clarifying closure guidance to date. As a reminder, on March 19, 2020 Gov. Wolf announced the closure of all businesses that are not life-sustaining. The list of life-sustaining businesses/non-life-sustaining businesses can be found  here  . Until such time as Gov. Wolf lifts the order, child care programs in Pennsylvania must remain closed unless they meet one of the following criteria:
  • A Family Child Care Home;
  • A Group Child Care Home operating in a residence;
  • A Child Care Center or Group Child Care Home operating outside a residence that has received Waiver to provide care for children of employees of life-sustaining businesses from OCDEL; or,
  • A part-day school age program that has received a waiver to remain open from the Department of Community and Economic Development, available here
 
PACCA Webinar – Financial Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic with Tom Copeland
Our friends at PACCA are offering a free and informative presentation by national trainer, author and advocate Tom Copeland! This webinar, which will focus on family and group child care homes and small centers, will help answer your questions and (on how to) cope with the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Some of the issues discussed will include:
  • Eligibility for unemployment compensation
  • Emerging news about the federal stimulus package
  • Excluding sick children
  • Staying open vs Closing temporarily

Tom Copeland is a licensed attorney who has presented hundreds of business workshops for child care providers across the county for almost 40 years. A recognized leader in the field, he was director of Redleaf National Institute for 15 years, and has written nine books on the business of family child care. The webinar will be on Tuesday, March 31 from 1-3pm. Register here . PennAEYC will be watching so please join us!

PennAEYC COVID-19 Webpage
PennAEYC has developed a COVID-19 page on our website with links to our previous e-messages and to OCDEL announcements and guidance. There are also links to NAEYC and other online resources.

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  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.