First and foremost, we want to express our sincere appreciation for the important work you do, the tough decisions many have made this week, and for your patience as we all navigate this uncharted territory.
What We Know
As of this evening, here are where things currently stand for child care in Ohio:
The Governor has not mandated closure of child care programs, but he has indicated the State is working to ensure all essential workers with children will have access to care should ordered closure occur.
As of today, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services has begun issuing temporary pandemic child care licenses. More information about this temporary license, including the ODJFS transmittal letter, rule change, application, and FAQs can be found here. Those interested in being considered for a temporary pandemic child care license are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. For parents looking to learn more about care available for essential workers, information will be shared here as it becomes available.
Last week, the state shared temporary rules to help address the coronavirus, specifically pertaining to ratios and group sizes, as well as the addition of absence days and new pandemic days for those serving children in publicly funded child care. More information on the new rules can be found here, along with a step by step guide on how to use those days in the TAP system.
Over the past week, we have worked hard to compile all information and resources that may be helpful to you as you make challenging decisions for your program, staff, and families. Today, we hosted a webinar with other early childhood leaders across the state to share more information on how to consider insurance coverage when applying for a temporary pandemic child care license, who is eligible for unemployment benefits and how to apply, and when and how to apply for an SBA loan.
We shared a whole host of helpful resources on today's call. In case you missed them...
Resources for Providers
ODJFS Pandemic Child Care Page for providers includes all updated rules, regulations, forms, and Q&As that have been published by the department for providers.
Groundwork Ohio's COVID-19 Provider Resource page includes links to grant and resource opportunities, small business supports (unemployment, SBA loans, etc.), additional information on COVID-19, and FAQs.
Resources for Parents
ODJFS Pandemic Child Care Page for parents includes the current list of temporary pandemic child care licensed providers and relevant forms.
Groundwork Ohio's COVID-19 Parent Resource page includes information on how to access some utility and food supports, activities for young children, and more information on the coronavirus.
Coming this week...
Join us for an upcoming webinar designed to support the mental health of early educators across the state during this chaotic time.
Monday, March 23 at 6:30 PM, you will hear from Nefertiti Bruce Poyner, M.Ed. Nefertiti is an author, public speaker and provider of professional learning for the Devereux Center for Resilient Children. During the webinar, you can expect to learn more about how to support your own mental health during this pandemic. Register for the webinar here.
As more information becomes available, we will continue scheduling more webinars to keep you up-to-date and prepared to respond.