ODJFS Releases Temporary Licensing Procedures to Address the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic

Access the procedural letter here.

Child Care Manual Procedure Letter No. 137

March 18, 2020

TO:All Child Care Manual HoldersAll Child Care Center Manual Holders

FROM:Kimberly Hall, Director

SUBJECT:Temporary Licensing Procedures to Address the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic


Background:

As a result of the K-12 school closings and with the anticipation of child care program closures because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) is working to ensure:

1.Child care is available for parents employed providing health, safety and other essential services; and

2.To ensure providers serving Ohio’s most vulnerable children remain supported during program closure.


New Policy

Temporary Pandemic Child Care License:

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, additional changes in policy are being implemented:

The following new rule and forms are effective as of March 18, 2020.

Rule 5101:2-12-02.1: "Temporary Pandemic Child Care License" is a new rule which sets for the process and requirements of the temporary pandemic child care license. This temporary licensure will allow approved programs to serve children whose parents are employed providing health, safety and other essential services as defined by the Director of the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services in consultation with the Director of the Ohio Emergency Management Agency. There is no application fee and these programs will not be required to be rated in Step Up To Quality in order to provide publicly funded child care. Payment for these programs will be determined through an agreement process with the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.


When approving programs for temporary licensure ODJFS must use discretion regarding the number of licenses approved based on need and pandemic health concerns. As a result ODJFS will evaluate programs based on location, capacity, and the number of children currently being served with parents employed to provide health, safety or other essential services.


JFS 01258 "Application for Temporary Pandemic Child Care Center License" (rev. 3/2020) is a new form to apply for a temporary pandemic child care license. This form can be used by existing ODJFS-licensed child care centers when designated as an emergency child care location as well as new programs applying for a temporary pandemic child care system license.


JFS 01259 "Pandemic Child Care Center Child Enrollment Addendum" (rev. 3/2020) is a new form to document how the child's parent meets the requirement of providing health and safety services as defined by the Ohio department of job and family services (ODJFS).


Child Care Payment During Closure

At the time child care programs must close the Department will establish a weekly payment which reflects a historical weekly payment for the program and provide it weekly through the duration of the closure, or as longs as funds allow. At the time a closure occurs ODJFS will provide additional information on the payment structure.


Implementation

Programs willing to provide service for parents employed providing health, safety and other essential services during the pandemic should complete the JFS 01258 and submit it to ODJFS_CHILDCARE@jfs.ohio.gov as soon as possible.


If the application is approved, ODJFS will issue a letter notifying the pandemic child care center of the license approval and approved capacity. Both new and existing programs can apply for a temporary license with anticipation of an impending child care program closure.

Entities working to open a new temporary pandemic child care center should explore partnership with locations such as hospitals, churches, Boys and Girls Clubs, YMCA/YWCA organizations and existing providers as possible locations for temporary settings.


REMINDER:

Any parent that can find a safe and healthy alternative child care option during the pandemic that will keep their child(ren) out of a group setting and not with an elderly provider should do so as soon as possible. However, we recognize that this is not an option for all families and are working to ensure all children have safe option while parents provide health, safety and other essential services.


Questions:

Please contact the Child Care Policy Helpdesk at 1-877-302-2347, option 4, if you have any questions about the new policy.

Groundwork Ohio

4041 N. High Street, Suite 204
Columbus, Ohio 43214

614.525.0944

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