Current Guidance for Child Care Programs
UPDATED April 29, 2021
Updated Guidance for Child Care Homes and Centers –
These additional requirements include:
- Lower group sizes
- Health screening questions
- Enhanced cleaning and sanitizing requirements
- Facemasks covering both noses and mouths for all school-age children and all staff
- Social distancing
All providers must have a written plan that addresses the child care program’s prevention and response to COVID-19. You may use this sample plan to satisfy this requirement. Providers may create their own plan, but it must include the current requirements. The plan does not need to be submitted to OCCL, but it must be kept on the premises of the facility or home and made available upon request.
Child Care Information for Families
- The Office of Child Care Licensing (OCCL) encourages families to learn more about the importance of selecting licensed child care.
- Families can search for child care programs using the map below; this information includes hours of operations, Star level if applicable, and ages served.
- Additionally, Children & Families First (CFF) provides AccessCare, a FREE referral program to help families find licensed & legally operating child care options in Delaware. Purchase of Care (POC) participants are eligible for enhanced services, including support to find child care openings. Please call 800-734-2388 or search the childcare database at www.cffde.org/accesscare.
Hybrid and Remote Learning Support for School-Age Children [Download]
As Delawareans return to work, and many children will not be returning to regular in-person learning, some families will be unable to be home with their child during the day for remote learning. While some families have made child care plans, those still seeking care have a few options. The State is working with districts and charter schools, licensed child care providers, and other organizations to create additional school-age child care options for children 12 and under who need a place to go during the day for remote learning.
- Licensed child care homes and centers have additional capacity to serve school-age children. You can find a site near you at this link. Families will need to contact these child care centers and homes to inquire about open seats.
- Existing camps will be allowed to continue operations through the end of October. If a child attended a camp this summer, families may wish to contact the camp to see if it is continuing operation.
- Licensed child care providers may operate in school buildings in partnership with schools. Families may wish to contact their child’s school or district to inquire about this option.
Additional Child Care Information for Providers
- School-age child care overview for providers and youth camps – hybrid and remote learning support
- Providers are required to report positive COVID cases to DPH, as well as to their families. Learn more about how to handle positive cases in the navigating COVID guidance and FAQs.
- The state is providing $1 million in federal CARES Act funds to licensed child care facilities that support remote learning for school-age students. These Child Care Remote Learning Grants are available to providers for specific expenditures they’ve made or are making to assist remote learning for school-age children. Grants range between $500 and $7,500, depending on the needs of the child care provider. Learn more about applying for the grants.
- The state intends to continue enhanced reimbursement and purchase of care based on enrollment (not attendance) through the end of the calendar year. Centers and homes must be aware that this date is not a guarantee but a statement of intention. The state’s Enhanced Reimbursement Program has already provided over $75 million between April and September 2020 to help child care providers pay staff, meet strict health guidance, and cope with increased operating costs due to the pandemic.
- Delaware is doubling the funding dedicated to the Early Childhood Assistance Program (ECAP). ECAP is Delaware’s state-funded pre-k for disadvantaged children. Beginning in FY 2024, funding for ECAP will have a new floor of $12.2 million.
Additional Child Care Information for Camps
- School-age child care overview for providers and youth camps
- DPH letter to camps
- DPH guidance for camps
- Application for license exemption
Zoom Discussion: Child Care and COVID-19 in Delaware
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Get More COVID Data
For more data on Delaware COVID cases, testing and outcomes, including demographic breakdowns, go to My Healthy Community