Announcement C-21-08: Compliance with Acting Secretary of Health’s Face Covering Order

The Pennsylvania Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL), Bureau of Early Learning Policy and Professional Development and Bureau of Certification have released Announcement C-21-08: Compliance with Acting Secretary of Health’s Face Covering Order. The purpose of this announcement is to: (1) clarify the minimum necessary documentation that must be maintained by a child care provider to demonstrate an exception for a medical condition under Section 3.B of the Order; (2) clarify the enforcement actions that DHS will take for noncompliant licensees; and (3) update Appendix A of Announcement C-21-07 accordingly. For purposes of this Announcement, all DHS licensed child care center, group child care homes, and family child care homes will be collectively referred to as “child care providers”.
On Aug. 31, 2021, OCDEL issued Announcement C-21-07 to all certified child care providers indicating the Order would be enforced effective Sept. 7, 2021, and child care providers would be cited for failure to comply with the regulatory citations in Appendix A of that announcement. Additional citations have been identified and are included with this announcement as Appendix A-Revised COVID-19 Certification Requirements: OCDEL Guidance Chart.
Child care providers striving for compliance with the Order by having staff and children wear a face covering during the indoor portion of the child care day can work closely with certification representatives for strategies and resources to maintain full compliance with the Order.
However, OCDEL is aware that some child care providers are flagrantly violating the Order and do not intend to comply.
Failure to implement measures for staff and children to follow the Order subjects a child care provider to the following child care licensing enforcement actions:
  • Initial citations for non-compliance.
  • Failure to return a license inspection summary with an acceptable Plan of Correction (POC) within ten (10) calendar days after notification of non-compliance may result in the DHS denying, refusing to renew or revoking your certificate of compliance.
  • A downgrade to a Provisional Certificate of Compliance as a result of non-compliance to the Order will result in the inability to apply for, or receive, a Child Care Stabilization Grant. Communications to states related to the issuance of American Rescue Plan Act funds was issued in Information Memoranda CCDF-ACF-IM-2021-02. Applicants for these Stabilization grants attest through the application that the provider will, when open and providing services, implement policies in line with guidance and orders from corresponding state, territorial, tribal, and local authorities and, to the greatest extent possible, implement policies in line with guidance from the CDC, available at COVID-19 Guidance for Schools and Child Care.
  • Continued non-compliance may result in continued enforcement action up to and including issuance of an Emergency Removal Order.