Child Care Providers Child care facilities, day camps and overnight camps are open with enhanced cleaning and screening requirements. Child care centers and child care homes must follow the required NCDHHS procedures, available in the ChildCareStrongNC public health guidance (also in Spanish). COVID-19 child care guidance is updated regularly at the NCDHHS guidance website. DCDEE Updates Get the latest information about changes related to COVID-19 on NCDHHS' Division of Child Development and Early Education's website. Child Care Subsidy Payments Beginning with the service month of September 2020, child care facilities are asked to enter true attendance into the NC FAST Provider Portal and payment for services will be calculated based on this attendance only. There will no longer be a differential amount calculated. Child care facilities that remain closed will not receive payment for any subsidized children. NC Pre-K Providers For the 2020-2021 school year, DCDEE will provide payments to NC Pre-K Contracting Agencies based on their contracted number of slots for the 2020-2021 school year. DCDEE will provide payment for all contracted slots to provide stabilization to NC Pre-K programs during the COVID-19 pandemic when overall child care enrollment has been low, as families have opted to keep children at home. Payment during the 2020-2021 school year will not be based on attendance. Payments will be generated based on the assigned teacher rate and the number of slots allocated to each classroom. Therefore, Contracting Agencies must allocate the maximum number of contracted slots to their NC Pre-K sites, as all slots will be funded regardless of attendance. Please read Interim COVID-19 Reopening Policies for NC Pre-K Programs for more detailed information regarding the goals, health and safety guidance, remote learning requirements, and reporting requirements related to the NC Pre-K program. Child care centers should also: Follow guidance for child care centers. Cancel or reduce large events and gatherings, such as assemblies and field trips. Limit inter-school interactions. Consider distance or e-learning in some settings. Consider dismissals if staff or absenteeism impacts the ability to remain open. Short-term closures may also be necessary to facilitate public health investigation and/or cleaning if a case is diagnosed in a child or staff member. Take precautions to protect students and children, faculty and staff from the spread of respiratory illnesses Review absenteeism policies and procedures to make sure students or children, faculty and staff are not being encouraged to attend or work if they are sick. Establish a relationship with the local health department and communicate with them if you have any questions or concerns about COVID-19. Remind your faculty, staff, students and/or children’s guardians that an annual flu shot is an important way to support overall health. While the flu shot does not protect against COVID-19, it is the best defense against the flu, which is a common respiratory illness. Share the Child Care Hotline flier with parents (English | Spanish). Make sure you are getting reliable information. Be thoughtful about what you read or hear about the virus and make sure you are separating rumor from fact before forwarding information on to your students and children, faculty or staff. All North Carolinians should get up-to-date information about COVID-19 directly from reliable sources like NCDHHS and CDC. While some may be worried or have concerns about COVID-19, it is important to not let fear and anxiety lead to social stigma toward students and staff. Mental Health Support Child care teachers and staff members and their families who need mental health support can call the Hope4Healers Helpline at (919) 226-2002 throughout the COVID-19 crisis to receive help from a licensed mental health professional. Hope4Healers Helpline is available 24 hours per day, seven days a week. All calls will be confidential. Additional resources to support health and well-being can be found on the Managing Your Health page. Frequently Asked Questions What should child care programs do if a child or staff member is sick? Children and staff should remain home if they are sick. If a child or staff member develops the following symptoms, they should be sent home as soon as possible: Fever Chills Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing New cough New loss of taste or smell Review ChildCareStrongNC public health guidance (also in Spanish) for more information found on page 5. What's the criteria for screening children or staff for illness? Review ChildCareStrongNC public health guidance (also in Spanish) for more information. Page 17 contains a Daily Health Screening for COVID-19 for anyone entering the building. How can I limit chances for exposure to COVID-19 at a child care center? There are many steps child care providers can take to limit exposure to COVID-19 at their program. Review ChildCareStrongNC public health guidance (also in Spanish) for more information. Page 8 (Preventing Spread in the Classroom) provides requirements and recommendations to minimize spread of COVID-19. How should I clean my child care facility? Child care programs are required to follow regular cleaning protocols and use an EPA-registered disinfectant that is active against coronaviruses. There are many other recommended actions child care programs can take to ensure a clean and hygiene environment. Review ChildCareStrongNC public health guidance (also in Spanish) and this fact sheet on safer cleaning.