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View the BOCA Q&A with DHS Leadership regarding Child Care

Tuesday, 4/28/20 recording: BOCA hosts Q&A with DHS leadership on the mandated closure for child care operators and the continuation of CCAP payments

Posted by BOCA on Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Recap of meeting:

  • The Governor and guidance from DHS will phase in opening childcare in Rhode Island.  There will be new regulations/rules which should come out soon.
  • Next week we will hear additional information that will impact centers temporary while they work through how this will look long term.
  • There may be additional cost associated with re-opening centers, will have to submit a plan with screening protocols, temperature taking, drop off and pick up, capacity will be lowered, how call outs will be handled, how to handle school age, and protocols for not mixing any time during the day.
  • In regard to the “Application” to re-open a center:  there will be a template, webinar, and two-page document. We will have ~3 weeks to submit our plan.  (Each CAP center will need to be different based on space and drop off pick up spots) The application will detail how the center will adhere to the new regulations put forth by the state.
  • They will honor and continue paying CCAP payments while there is a mandatory closure.   Because there is nothing in place for private loss, they are looking to raise the rate temporarily during this time to help offset. 
  • If you choose to not open, they are visiting possibly not paying the CCAP after that. They will understand your choice. However, if we do open, they will continue to pay based on enrollment not attendance.
  • They do encourage facilities to still investigate SBL, CDBG, Lisc, loans, and other resources to help off set losses. 
  • They are willing to work with centers on an individual basis and partnerships. What is financially acceptable and doable and what is not.
  • Question: How do we choose which families to take back and which we cannot? DHS- This will be up to each center. Your capacity maybe 120 but you will only be allowed half. One classroom can only have 10 children same children no mixing in the beginning of the day or end of the day.  However, you may be able to mix age groups for the entire time they are enrolled to help off set staffing and cost.
  • There will be stringent cleaning protocols and mandatory documentation.  Centers will be required to adhere to CDC guidelines for cleaning. 
  • All classrooms must maintain stable groups – the same children and staff in the classroom every day.  Cannot move from one classroom to another, cannot use shared spaces.
  • There should be limited access of people in/out of the building. If serve food may want to reconsider have families provide lunch temporary.  Cut back on deliveries.
  • Question: Will children have to wear mask. DHS said they did a test run on her own two children and this was extremely difficult. Would require staff and adults to wear most likely.
  • Can not use shared spaces. For example, if you have an indoor gym, this can not be shared by multiple age groups. Consider using this for other space to allow more children if possible.
  • Shared playground space will have to have cleaning protocols after each use.
  • Question:  If a child or staff come down with COVID will we have to close and for how long?  DHS said we would take the guidance from DOH.

Some concerns as we move forward:

  • If you are licensed for 20 you may only be able to have 10. Children and staff must remain the same.  Usually we have a couple of staff that just do breaks, but they do not want different people in/out of classrooms.  Possibly only 6 hours days no lunch break 30 hours are still considered full time and work on a limited open and closing schedule?
  • We will need to think about who the runners will be to check in children and bring children to classrooms. As well as pick up.
  • We will provide lunch or have them bring in?  (DHS is suggesting eliminating all food preparation)
  • Bathrooms are shared currently – would we possibly put up plex glass partitions to separate groups?
  • What do protocols for outdoor equipment and cleaning after each use look like?  Who does all this cleaning?