Child Care Providers and Emergency Operations
If your program is open and offering care to children of essential workers, please use this link to let your CCR&R know.
If you missed yesterday’s COVID-19: Child Care Business Practices and Resources webinar, it will be posted to the Governor’s Office of Early Childhood Development site soon. Track updates here: https://www2.illinois.gov/sites/OECD/Pages/COVID-19.aspx
Parents & Guardians
The helpline will be available from 9:00 am – 3:00 pm to answer calls, but callers will be able to leave a message 24 hours. This line will *not* answer provider funding questions, CCAP eligibility, or forms questions. It is specifically to connect essential workers to child care.
Child Care Providers & Billing Certificates
Monthly billing certificates can be submitted via email to [email protected], mailed, or put in our drop box located outside of our building (4990 East State Street, Rockford IL). Due to COVID-19, clients are not required to sign the March certificates. However, providers must still sign and date the certificate. Licensed Centers, Licensed Homes and License-Exempt Centers must submit the COVID-19 Attendance Exemption Form in order to receive payment for all eligible days.
Effective immediately, YWCA Northwestern Illinois is taking the following precautions in response to COVID-19:
• All walk-in services are temporarily suspended until further notice. The drop box located to the right of the front doors will still be available for program applications and requested paperwork. Child Care applications or paperwork may also be emailed to: [email protected].
• All In-person services: home visiting, child care provider visits and provider training sessions are suspended until further notice. Home visiting will transition to virtual visits, you will be contacted by your Home Visitor for scheduling.
• As of today, staff members will still be available by phone. The main line will direct you: 815-968-9681.
Guidance for Child Care Centers, Child Care Homes, and Early Education Programs March 20, 2020
In response to the unprecedented public health emergency that Illinois is facing as a result of the spread of COVID-19, Governor Pritzker has mandated the following closures for child care centers, child care homes, and early education programs across the state:
• Effective March 21, 2020 all child care centers licensed by the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS), as well as legally license-exempt centers outside of schools.
• Effective March 21, 2020 all child care homes licensed by DCFS.
• Early education programs in public and private schools are required to remain closed while the K-12 schools are closed. This mandate covers any early childhood program for children ages birth through five located in public schools or in private schools.
The State is mindful that child care is a critical emergency service that is necessary for the children of essential workers currently required to work to maintain the health, safety, and welfare of the residents of Illinois.
Emergency Child Care Homes
Effective March 21, 2020 and for as long as the public health emergency continues, child care homes may serve up to six children as a legally license-exempt home. No application or registration is required. Providers must follow appropriate health practices. Providers who are in a higher risk group for COVID19, such as those over age 60 or with a pre-existing health condition, are discouraged from providing care during the time of the public health emergency.
Emergency Child Care Centers
Effective March 21, 2020 child care centers that wish to serve as emergency child care sites for the children of critical emergency workers may apply for an Emergency Child Care License. These emergency child care sites will be the only child care centers legally allowed to operate during the COVID-19 State of Emergency. Emergency Child Care Centers may be located in: schools; community-based organizations such as churches and social services organizations; or health care facilities or other workplaces for critical emergency workers.
All completed applications can be submitted to DCFS at [email protected].
For Daycare Centers & Homes:
COVID-19 Public Health Emergency
Temporary Attendance Exemption Policy (Information up to date through March 20, 2020)
POLICY STATEMENT :
To encourage subsidized child care programs to provide services during unforeseen, extraordinary circumstances and to lessen the financial impact of those events which are beyond the control of the programs, to include; licensed child care centers, licensed child care homes, licensed exempt centers, and licensed exempt homes may apply for an attendance exemption when an extraordinary event is responsible for substantially less than normal attendance. By claiming an exemption, the provider attests staff will continue to be paid for all scheduled work hours regardless of closure or reduction in services.
For the purposes of the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency, an extraordinary event is described as:
- An epidemic such that 20% or more of the children are absent on the same day or days during the month.
- A forced closure by a local health department of local unit of government
- A forced closure by a local health department due to exposure of COVID-19
- A voluntary closure based on the decision of the program owner or Board of Directors
- Other extraordinary circumstances which will be individually examined by IDHS Child Care Staff
This policy applies to licensed child care centers and homes and licensed exempt centers and homes.
This emergency policy will be in place for the service months of March and April 2020 unless extended through written notice by IDHS.
Licensed and license exempt child care programs paid through the certificate program or site administered programs are eligible to receive an attendance exemption to lessen the financial impact of certain events which are beyond the control of the program.
To receive the exemption, providers should complete the COVID-19 ATTENDANCE EXEMPTION FORM and submit it with the monthly billing certificates to the local Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R).
Site administered programs should submit the form with the monthly MER.
For home providers that use the telephone billing system, a completed COVID-19 Attendance Exemption Form should be completed and submitted to your local CCR&R on the same day you enter your certificates.
Licensed Exempt homes will not be required to complete the exemption form.
Prior approval of IDHS will not be required in order to obtain the exemption unless the reason for the exemption specifically requires IDHS approval (see definitions).
Enhanced Guidance for Daycare Centers from Winnebago County Health Department
March 16, 2020
The Winnebago County Health Department has recommended that public gatherings be limited to 25 or less. Daycare Centers are not considered public gatherings; however, additional recommendations are being implemented to limit the transmission of COVD-19 in the community for daycares effective Wednesday, March 18, 2020.
• Do not enroll or accept new children in the daycare center until further notice.
• Suspend all before-school and after-school care programs consistent with the Governor’s Directive regarding school closures in the state of Illinois.
• Post signage outside the entrance of the facility to restrict entrance into the facility of anyone with illness.
• Communicate with families and staff that exclusion criteria for illness will be strictly enforced.
• Check all daycare staff for fever at the beginning of their reported work period and day care centers must maintain records of monitoring.
• Monitor children daily for signs/symptoms of COVID-19:
o Shortness of breath
• Exclude any staff or child with sign/symptoms of COVID-19 from the daycare setting.
• Promptly isolate any staff or child with symptoms and don a face/procedure mask. If the child cannot tolerate a face/procedure mask, the staff that is assigned to them should wear the face/procedure mask. Limit the staff to one (1:1) to care for children who have been isolated.
• Cohort children and daycare staff. Keep children in the same group with the same staff every day including meal, snack, rest, and play periods.
• Stagger drop-offs and pick-ups to avoid crowding of children and parents/guardians in confined spaces.
• Limit parents/guardians to one (1) per child during drop-off and pick-up times.
• Prohibit all outside visitors to the daycare for activities regardless of their security clearance. Note: This does not apply to maintenance/repair workers. However a log is to be maintained of all outside visitors by date/time to include contact information with name, phone, cell, and email.
• Monitor and enforce strict hand hygiene among all staff and children.
• Teach children to sneeze and/or cough into their sleeves.
• For additional information, please see https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/schools-childcare/schools-faq.html
During this stressful time for families including your own, please remember to play and have fun!
Thank you for caring for the children in our community.