Updated Guidance For Indiana Child Care Providers as of March 17, 2020

Guidance about the current COVID-19 outbreak is changing by the minute. Having the most up-to-date information will help you feel empowered and, in turn, help your families during this difficult time.

 

STAY INFORMED:

You can receive updates with the latest information from your local government in a few ways.

  1. Web – Information posted on in.gov.isdh. OECOSL guidance available online. The CDC Website is also a great resource available at CDC’s regularly updated online guidance.
  2. Phone – Call center open 24 hours. 317-233-7125 open Monday through Friday 8:15 AM – 4:45 PM. After hours line is 317-233-1325. This line is for critical questions only, please use other forms of information gathering first.
  3. Text – Sign up for Indiana Health Alert Network at here.
  4. Email – epiresource@isdh.in.gov
  5. Video – Provider webcast recordings available on the ISDH Video Center.

See the information that was shared in the webinar here. 

SHOULD PROGRAMS CLOSE OR STAY OPEN?

If the local public, non-public or charter school closes and there have not been positive cases of COVID-19 identified, child cares should remain open and accept children in need of care.

Remaining open supports public health workers, families and other important personnel who need to support the overall efforts to combat COVID-19.

Providers should practice social distancing as much as possible. Examples of how to implement social distancing include limiting social gatherings, creating distance when in groups, canceling or postponing trips that increase exposure to children and staff, and avoiding mixing classes of students in common areas such as cafeterias and playgrounds.

 

CCDF POLICIES

FSSA has updated the family personal day policy to state that all families will receive full-time vouchers, 40 additional personal days for a total of 60 days as opposed to the original 20, providers can be closed and have personal days applied as opposed to the prior policy that the 20 days could only be used when the provider is open. This policy is effective March 20, 2020 to September 30, 2020.

The Inclement Weather Closure policy has also been updated to state that providers who have completely closed their program may claim five inclement weather closure days during the effective dates of March 15, 2020 to March 28, 2020. This is in addition to the 5 inclement weather days per calendar year.

 

FINANCIAL SUPPORT FOR CLOSURE AND ABSENTEEISM

Additional funding is available to providers who are impacted by closures and absenteeism of both families and staff members. To apply for these temporary grants, please visit the OECOSL Webpage, complete your request and email it to OECOSLproviderinquiry@fssa.in.gov. Funding will be deposited on a biweekly cycle with CCDF payments.

 

REDETERMINATION PERIODS

Currently all families receive 53 weeks of service and are asked to complete a redetermination 60 days prior to the end of their services. Effective March 20, 2020 to October 3, 2020 all families will receive an additional 4 months of eligibility.

 

VOUCHERS

Vouchers for all school age children are 10 hours per week. Effective March 15, 2020 to October 3, 2020 all school age children will now receive ‘school age other’ vouchers to allow 25 hours or more per week of care.

For some families, CCDF vouchers may need to be changed from one provider to another, from one location to another, or from break care to full time. Providers may submit a provider form to their eligibility office email to help families complete this process. OECOSL will work through these requests as soon as possible so that payments are not disrupted.

Currently, break care only vouchers may only be requested during school breaks and summer. Effective March 15, 2020 to October 3, 2020 families with school age children who now need weekly care can request vouchers for full time care.   Click here for eligibility office contacts: https://www.in.gov/fssa/files/CCDF_Eligibility_Office_Map.pdf

OECOSL has waived the restriction for school age break care in child care homes for children where school districts have closed.

 

TRANSITIONAL CARE

Currently, when a family reports the loss of a job, they are provided 16 weeks of transitional care to find new employment before benefits are terminated. Effective March 20, 2020 through October 3, 2020 families will be provided an additional 10 weeks of transitional care before benefits are terminated, for a total of 26 weeks

 

EXCESSIVE ABSENCE

Currently, families that fail to use their swipe card or claim attendance for 60 days automatically have benefits terminated. Effective March 20, 2020 to October 3, 2020, benefits will not be automatically terminated in the event that a family fails to use benefits due to illness or quarantine.

 

GROUP SIZE REQUIREMENTS

OECOSL has waived group size requirements for children 30 months and older in counties where positive cases have been identified. Providers should still protect younger children from aggressive older children. Staff to child ratios are still required.

 

TEMPORARY CARE LOCATIONS

If you need to identify temporary space to operate in due to closures or would like to quickly stand up a new space to operate, please contact Lisa Clifford at Lisa.Clifford@fssa.in.org or at 317-605-7971. OECOSL will work quickly to help you meet the needs of your community under these circumstances. OECOSL will remain flexible to license new spaces quickly due to demand and necessity.

Thank you for working to provide care for Indiana families in this difficult time. Your work is vital to maintaining order and prosperity for our community. If you have questions or concern about your program and COVID-19, please continue to contact your licensing consultant for support.