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The State of North Carolina is urging all families who can keep their children at home, with a responsible adult, to do so.
Emergency and first responders and critical workers needing referrals to child care programs that are open and operating for children ages birth to twelve should call the statewide toll–free number listed below for assistance:
(Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.)
Callers to be served include:
- Emergency and first responders
- Hospital staff
- Nursing and adult group home staff
- Frontline health care providers
- Child care program staff
- Food service staff
- Families of children who are homeless, receiving child welfare services, and/or in unstable or unsafe living arrangements
- Others who are working to keep North Carolinians safe and healthy
Resources for North Carolina Child Care Providers During COVID-19
COVID-19 HEALTH GUIDELINES
As the COVID-19 situation continues to develop, NCDHHS is working to ensure that all providers have guidance to keep their staff, families, and children safe and healthy.
For providers who remain open to serve children of essential workers, the expectations are:
- Follow the Interim Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Health Guidance for Child Care Settings and the meet the requirements in the COVID-19 Emergency Child Care Provider Application Form to minimize the risk of exposure to both the staff and the children in their care.
- Post this sign (available in English and Spanish) with screening criteria at the entrance of your facility.
- Review the webinars about health and safety that DCDEE hosted on April 2 and 3, 2020. The webinar is available for listening, as is the presentation.
If your facility plans to reopen during the health emergency, complete the COVID-19 Emergency Child Care Provider Application Form. To apply, you must attest that you can meet the Interim Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Health Guidance for Child Care Settings and additional operational expectations. If you have not completed the form and received approval to remain open, you must close your facility. To reopen, you must complete the application and attest to meeting the guidelines at least two business days prior to the planned reopening, and receive approval from DCDEE.
VACANCY AND CLOSURE REPORTING
In order to assist in connecting families to available care for children, please complete the daily COVID-19 Child Care Provider Survey by 11:59pm each day to provide information on your service status, attendance, and additional capacity at your facility. Your responses will be provided to the child care hotline being operated by the North Carolina Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) network.
CHILD CARE HOTLINE
Through a new toll-free hotline, 1-888-600-1685, the Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) Network is connecting families to available care options based on the daily vacancy reporting that is provided in the daily COVID-19 Child Care Provider Survey. The hotline is available from 8:00am to 5:00pm, Monday through Friday. The system is prioritizing referrals for essential workers, which includes emergency and first responders, hospital staff, front-line healthcare providers, nursing and adult group home staff, child care program staff, food service staff, and others working to keep communities safe and healthy throughout the COVID-19 outbreak. Child care for children who are receiving child welfare services, homeless, or in unstable or unsafe living arrangements are also a priority.
PROVIDER PORTAL FOR EMERGENCY SUBSIDY PROGRAM
DCDEE launched a Provider Portal for the Emergency Child Care Subsidy Program to be used by providers who are accepting enrollment of and serving new children of essential workers.
The expectations are:
- Log into the Provider Portal. (The Provider Portal for COVID-19 Emergency Child Care Subsidy Program Job Aid provides instructions on how to log into the system).
- Add children’s information (name and date of birth) into the Provider Portal as you receive completed COVID-19 Parent Application for Financial Assistance for Emergency Child Care forms (The Provider Portal for COVID-19 Emergency Child Care Subsidy Program Job Aid has instructions for how to do this).
- Please keep paper copies of the Parent Applications that you receive from enrolling parents.
- Manually track attendance for children and employees until this is available in the Provider Portal. DCDEE will provide guidance later this month when the Portal is ready for attendance to be entered.
COVID-19 CHILD CARE PAYMENT POLICY
The COVID-19 Child Care Payment Policy provides detailed information about policy changes related to:
- Subsidized Child Care program payments
- NC Pre-K Program payments
- Emergency Child Care Subsidy program payments
- Bonus payments to child care teachers and staff providing services during the COVID-19 outbreak.
- Please check What’s New – Coronavirus Information for Child Care on the DCDEE website and the DHHS COVID-19 Child Care guidance on a regular basis for new resources and guidance.
- DCDEE has developed CHILD CARE FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQS) FOR PROVIDERS. This will be updated regularly.
- Recordings of and materials from the child care provider calls from March 30 and 31, 2020, are now available. On these dates, NCDHHS held a series of calls for child care providers, during which NCDHHS Deputy Secretary Susan Gale Perry and DCDEE Interim Director Kristi Snuggs explained available guidance and resources, and answered participant questions. For those who were unable to attend, a recording of these calls is available on the website along with the PowerPoint slides and transcript.
FURTHER QUESTIONS OR HELP
- For general questions and application questions, contact your DCDEE child care consultant.
- For questions about health guidance and needs, contact your child care health consultant.
- For questions about the Provider Portal for Emergency Child Care Subsidy Program, contact the NC FAST Provider Help Desk at 919-813-5460.
- For questions about the Subsidized Child Care Program or the Emergency Child Care Subsidy Program, contact DCDEE at 1-800-859-0829 or 919-814-6380.
- For questions about NC Pre-K, contact DCDEE Early Education Branch at 919-814-6345.
- For help or resources, such as food or diapers, or troubleshooting other problems, contact your local Smart Start partnership.