The Pennsylvania Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) has released Announcement: ELRC-20#05 REVISED, Child Care Works Payment Modifications Due to Impacts related to Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).
The Announcement states:
During this emergency period, child care providers are encountering complex challenges that exceed the scope of normal operations. DHS recognizes that providers may be faced with mandated closure for significant periods of time, or voluntarily close due to COVID-19 impacts. In order to support child care providers through facility closures resulting from COVID-19 impacts, the Department is updating its previously issued guidance involving CCW payments.
Effective March 13, 2020, through April 30, 2020, all Child Care Works (CCW) payments to child care providers will be made regardless of program operation or reason for closure. In addition, during this time period, child absences will not count toward the annual 40-day limit. CCW payment will not be made based on children’s attendance in the program but will be made based on current enrollment.
If child care closes, the Early Learning Resource Center (ELRC) should not suspend children due to the closing of the facility but allow all children who are enrolled in CCW at the time of the closing to remain enrolled. ELRCs may not enroll a child with a new provider under any circumstances. The enrollment must stay with the closed provider.
OCDEL recognizes that families will also be impacted by changes to their own work schedule and income, during child care closures related to COVID-19. Child care providers will not collect the family copays for CCW for the period of the closure. If a provider continues to operate under a waiver or as a group or family child care home in a residential setting, the provider may collect copayments from families whose children are actually in care. A provider who remains open may not collect the copayment from families whose children are not currently receiving care.
In consultation with Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) and the Governor’s Office, these payment practices may be extended to support child care providers’ return to full operating capacity.
This updated policy statement replaces in its entirety the recently issued ELRC-20 #03.