OCDEL Releases Announcement: ELRC-20 #04 Child Care Works Payment Modifications Due to Impacts related to Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)
The Pennsylvania Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) has released the Announcement: ELRC-20 #04, Child Care Works Payment Modifications Due to Impacts related to Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). The Announcement provides additional information to child care programs participating in Child Care Works (CCW) and the Early Learning Resource Centers (ELRC) in response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). This is an updated policy, providing additional information and replaces ELRC-20 #03.
During this emergency period, child care providers are encountering complex challenges that exceed the scope of normal operations. The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (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, DHS is updating its previously issued guidance involving CCW payments.
Effective March 13, 2020 through April 30, 2020 all 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 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 co-pays for CCW for the period of the closure.
In consultation with DOH and the Governor’s Office, these payment practices may be extended to support child care providers’ return to full operating capacity.