CDC Guidance for Schools and Child Care Programs
The CDC has developed a toolkit to assist child care programs with any decisions regarding reopening. Also, there is also valuable information on what to do if a child care remains open including cleaning and disinfecting, social distancing, screening children and staff, meal preparation and more! Click HERE to view this toolkit.
CDC Print Resources click HERE
Click Download PDF file HERE to view recommended practices that can help protect against the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
Click Download PDF file HERE to view recommendations from the World Health Organization (WHO) on “How to Handwash.”
CCAIR Training and Information
PLEASE NOTE: Current Providers Do Not Need to Become a CCAIR Temporary Emergency Site. If you are a current childcare provider that is licensed or registered with Mississippi State Department of Health, do not apply as a temporary emergency CCAIR Site because you are already allowed to operate as a child care facility. However, you are encouraged to become a CCAIR-Trained site.
To support currently operating licensed and registered childcare centers, CCAIR offers a set of guidelines and practices developed in partnership with the Mississippi State Department of Health, that can help safeguard against the spread of COVID-19. Childcare centers that elect to become a CCAIR-trained site need only take the free, online CCAIR training module (which takes approximately 30 minutes) and follow the protocols laid out in the training, as well as the CCAIR Site manual. To learn more about CCAIR and download the manual visit the CCAIR page at www.mdhs.ms.gov/ccair.
Here are the steps to access the free, online CCAIR Orientation Training:
- Go to https://mvcc16.instructure.com/enroll/A87CNJ
- Login or create a new account. (Creating a new account will require a valid email.)
- Go to the “Dashboard” and click on “ECA-MECIC Early Education Training”
- Select the “CCAIR Orientation Training” course
Child Care Payment Program
COVID-19 Emergency Supply Request for Providers
On May 4, 2020 MDHS notified all Mississippi licensed and registered child care providers of an opportunity to request health and safety supplies at no cost. Protecting the health and safety of staff and children during this time can be difficult since health and cleaning supplies are in short supply. MDHS and the Early Childhood Academy have been hard at work building a supply of items for monitoring the health of staff and children as well as supplies for cleaning child care environments. Due to the scarcity of health and safety items, the quantity of supplies available through this offer is limited. Available supplies will be issued to open childcare providers at no cost on a first-come, first-served basis with priority given to providers in counties with the highest number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 and temporary emergency CCAIR sites, while supplies last. The window to request supplies will be May 6 – 8, 2020. In order to be eligible to request supplies, providers must:
1. hold a license or registration with the Mississippi Department of Health Bureau of Child Care Licensure on or before May 11, 2020,
2. be open and providing child care services as of May 11, 2020,
3. complete the Childcare Crisis Assistance in Isolation Response Orientation Training, and
4. complete the online request form, including the upload of CCAIR orientation training certificate, between May 6-8, 2020.
A copy of the notice sent to child care providers can be viewed HERE.
Temporary Emergency Policies for COVID-19 Response
In response to the pandemic, temporary policies were developed to sustain childcare in Mississippi and to serve a priority population of essential personnel through the issuance of emergency certificates. These policies are specific to COVID-19 and do not amend the Child Care Payment Program Policy Manual. On April 30, 2020 MDHS filed temporary policies with Secretary of State to strengthen emergency operations of the Child Care Payment Program. These policies are effective immediately through the emergency filing process. A copy of these policies may be viewed HERE.
CCAIR Orientation Training for Current Childcare Providers
Please be sure to complete your free, online CCAlR orientation training at www.mdhs.ms.gov/ccair to be eligible to receive emergency certificates at your facility. Providers whether closed or open are encouraged to complete the CCAIR orientation training. Don’t forget to email your CCAIR training certificate to email@example.com along with the name of your childcare facility so that we can update your provider profile to show it as CCAIR-Trained.
Letter of Support for Supplies
Executive Director Bob Anderson has written a letter that you may provide to suppliers and businesses to aid you in securing necessary supplies that stores may be rationing to customers during the COVID-19 crisis. Click HERE to download the letter.
Paying Certificates Based on Enrollment
Subsidy certificates will continue to be paid based on enrollment instead of attendance through the month of May 2020.
The full subsidy rate will be paid to childcare providers which will cover parent co-payments during the months of April and May 2020
Loss of Job or School Hours
Many parents are losing their jobs or are forced to reduce school hours due to the current crisis. If a parent fails to meet the school or work hour requirements to remain eligible for the Child Care Payment Program due to the COVID-19 crisis, your childcare certificate will not be terminated. We do require you to continue to seek employment and/or school enrollment. However, if the crisis continues past the three-month job/school search and you are not employed or enrolled in school as required by the program, your certificate will continue for 60 days after the Governor determines that employees may return to work or until the certificate is processed for redetermination, whichever comes first.
Waiving Two-Week Notice
Due to the emergency circumstances created by COVID-19, the two week notice period for parents to transfer to a different facility is waived and parents may transfer to another provider ONLY if they meet the two following requirements: 1) the certificate is being moved to a provider that is open and 2) the parent does not owe the current provider any fees or co-payments. Parents must also understand that if you transfer to another provider, you forfeit your spot at your current provider and your current provider is not required to save your spot at their center. (The normal process of requiring a two week notice remains in effect and no waiver of notice is permitted for certificates moving from an open provider to an open provider.)
4/22/20 Update: Applications for emergency certificates are now open. Please click HERE to apply. If you have any questions about emergency certificates or need assistance with your application, please call 1-800-877-7882. Emergency certificates will be paid at the enhanced emergency subsidy rate. Click HERE to view enhanced emergency subsidy rates . All other active certificates will continue to be paid at the standard subsidy rate. The priority population that is eligible for emergency certificates includes people that work as first responders and in healthcare operations. This priority population is defined as people that work in the following essential businesses or operations:
· public safety and first responders
· law enforcement
· fire prevention and response
· emergency medical technicians (EMTs)
· 911 call center personnel
· hospitals and clinics providing medical treatment to individuals
· research and laboratory operations
· nursing homes
· residential health care facilities
· congregate care facilities
· assisted living facilities
· elder care
· medical wholesale and distribution
· home health workers and aides
· medical supply and equipment manufacturers and providers
· medical waste disposal
· hazardous waste disposal
· other ancillary healthcare services on a case-by-case basis.
This population may expand or contract based on demand during the course of this medical and economic crisis. Providers serving children of parents from this priority population are at higher risk of COVID-19 exposure. Therefore, emergency certificates can only be used at CCAIR Emergency locations ensuring that CCAIR guidelines are used while serving these children. CCAIR Emergency locations include CCAlR-Trained providers or CCAIR temporary sites. You can find a CCAIR Emergency location by clicking HERE. Select CCAIR Emergency as the Provider Type.
3/19/20 Update: All providers participating in the CCDF program will be paid for March 2020 based on the number of children enrolled regardless of attendance as long as the child attended at least one day in March. Payments for April 2020 will be based on enrollment regardless of attendance, meaning a child would not need to attend in April for a provider to be paid as long as the child is still enrolled. Payments will occur for March and April even if a provider chooses to temporarily close during these months.
Interactive Map: Mississippi COVID-19 Cases
Click HERE to view the map from the Mississippi State Department of Health.
Executive Orders Issued by Governor Tate Reeves
Click HERE to view the orders issued by Governor Reeves in response to the COVID-19 “Coronavirus” pandemic. Any and all executive orders related to COVID-19 will be posted to this page.
Small Business Administration (SBA) Loans Available to Child Care Providers
Click HERE to listen to the webinar recording about the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and other financial supports for early childhood programs.
Click Download PDF file HERE to download information about the Payment Protection Program.
Child Care Licensure
MDHS is in contact with the administration at the Mississippi State Department of Health. As of now, the Health Department is not recommending closure of child care programs. The Health Department is recommending that child care centers follow the same CDC guidelines included below. If at any time, Child Care Licensure does recommend closure, MDHS will notify providers as soon as possible. Our office recommends keeping open communication with your licensing official regarding any decisions that the Health Department may make. If you decide to voluntarily close your center, please send an email to tell us you are closing at firstname.lastname@example.org.
U.S. Small Business Association
The US SBA is offering guidance on dealing with COVID-19 and maintains an economic disaster loan program for situations like the COVID-19 pandemic. Click HERE to learn more.
Child Care Aware Guidance
Many child care providers have expressed concern on whether to stay open or close down during the COVID-19 crisis. MDHS cannot mandate or recommend closure of child care programs, however Child Care Aware has produced a flowchart that can offer guidance to child care programs regarding possible closure. Click HERE for the link to the flowchart.
Office of Child Nutrition – Mississippi Department of Education
There are many schools that are offering meals to children during COVID-19 related closures. For a list of the schools serving meals, a list of current school closures and more click HERE.