Child Care Providers Operating in Red and Yellow Counties in the Governor’s Phased-in Approach to Reopen Business

Child care centers and group child care homes operating in non-residential buildings located in counties identified as “Red” in the Governor’s Phased-In Approach to Reopen Business may reopen under a waiver if they are providing services for families who work in life sustaining businesses. Child care programs seeking a waiver should complete the Exemption of Directive to Temporary Close form which is available  by clicking here . This is a quick and easy process.
Completed waiver forms should be emailed to OCDEL at RA-PWDRACERT@PA.GOV . Child care certification staff will respond to requests as quickly as possible. Email subject line should read, “Waiver Request – (Insert County Name).
As counties are designated “Yellow” in the Governor’s Phased-In Approach to Reopen Business, they may choose to reopen without a waiver. OCDEL has prepared a webinar to review considerations and guidance on reopening. Child care providers preparing to open should continue to consult guidance issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for child care that remains open. This guidance speaks to steps providers should take to keep child care spaces safe and properly monitor staff and children for potential exposure to and symptoms of COVID-19.
Currently, many stakeholders are looking for the Department of Health or Department of Human Services to issue guidance specific to Pennsylvania Child Care. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is the most current and update information relating to COVID-19. As the CDC learns more about the virus, this guidance is routinely updated. As we continue to operate under the Red and Yellow Phases of reopening, this is the trusted source of information we are directing all providers to review.
Next Steps

1. Familiarize yourself with the CDC Guidance for Child Care Programs that Remain Open . This is the most current guidance as of May 12, 2020.

2. Watch Child Care During COVID-19 and Reopening Child Care with OCDEL Deputy Secretary, Tracey Campanini and Bureau of Certification Director, Tanya Vasquez

a.  Recording May 6, 2020  (YouTube)

b.  Slide Deck  (PDF)

3.Watch the Pennsylvania Key developed webcasts to support your understanding of the CDC guidance
a. Group Child Care Centers That Remain Open from PA’s Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL)
ii.  Slide Deck  (PDF)
b. Family Child Care Centers That Remain Open from PA’s Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL)
ii. Slide Deck  (PDF)
4. Conduct a self-assessment to ascertain your comfort and preparedness to open while remaining compliant with Pennsylvania Child Care Certification Regulations and follow CDC guidance
5.  Communicate with families to ascertain both their need for child care and their understanding of any new operating procedures
6. Discuss any concerns with your Certification Representative
7. Notify Certification if you decide to remain closed either temporarily or permanently
On-going Considerations
What we know about COVID-19 is developing rapidly and the CDC guidance is updated accordingly. OCDEL will continue to evaluate the guidance, as well as feedback from programs who continue to operate, and will update policies as needed to be as responsive as possible. All programs should:
  1. Continue to monitor the Certification listserv for additional information from OCDEL
  2. Continue to monitor the Pennsylvania Key Coronavirus page for additional webinars
  3. Continue to submit your health-related questions to
  4. Continue to communicate with your Certification Representative