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CCIMTL 6 (Temporary Licensing, Certification and Payment Procedures to Address the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic)
Child Care In-Home Aide Manual Transmittal Letter No. 6
March 25, 2020
TO: All Child Care In-Home Aide Manual Holders
FROM: Kimberly Hall, Director
SUBJECT: Temporary Licensing, Certification and Payment Procedures to Address the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic

Background:

As a result of the K-12 school and 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.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 rules are effective as of March 24, 2020.

Rule 5101:2-12-02.1: "Temporary Pandemic Child Care Center License" has been filed again to lower the ratio and group size requirements for pandemic child care centers in paragraph (D)(5), as well as to add notification requirements for serious incidents in paragraph (D)(19).  Pandemic centers will be limited to six children per room.

Rule 5101:2-13-02.1: "Temporary Pandemic Family Child Care License" is a new rule which sets forth the process and requirements of the temporary pandemic family child care license.  This temporary licensure will allow currently licensed family child care providers to apply 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.  Pandemic family child care providers are limited to six total children.

Rule 5101:2-14-02.1: "Temporary Pandemic In-Home Aide Certification" is a new rule which sets forth the process and requirements of the temporary pandemic in-home aide certificate.  This temporary certification will allow currently certified in-home aides to apply 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.  When approving programs for temporary certification, ODJFS must use discretion regarding the number of licenses approved based on need and pandemic health concerns.  As a result, ODJFS will evaluate in-home aide applications based on location and the number of children currently being served with parents employed to provide health, safety or other essential services.

Temporary Pandemic Child Care Payments

The temporary pandemic child care programs will be paid the weekly five-star rate for enrolled publicly funded children.  Providers must set their own private pay rates.

Child Care Payment During Closure

Programs should use pandemic days for Thursday, March 26 – Saturday, March 28, 2020.

ODJFS, in partnership with the Governor’s office, is working with the General Assembly to provide closed programs with ongoing payments equal to a historical weekly PFCC payment for the week starting Sunday, March 29, 2020.  Additional information will be forthcoming as details are determined.

Implementation

Programs willing to provide service for parents employed providing health, safety and other essential services during the pandemic should complete the JFS 01258 "Application for Temporary Pandemic Child Care Program" 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 program of the license/certification approval and approved capacity. 

If a pandemic child care program needs to report a serious incident, injury or death pursuant to one of the emergency rules, the program shall send an email to childcarepolicy@jfs.ohio.gov with "pandemic reporting" in the subject and include the following details: 

  • Name, address, license number and phone number for the program.
  • The name(s) and age(s) of the children involved.
  • A summary of the incident including date and program staff involved.

Parent 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.

Provider Guidance

Providers shall: 

  • Limit use of shared space or mixing of groups. If shared space is used you MUST have a rigorous cleaning schedule.
  • Maintain the same teachers and children in the room, whenever possible.
  • Keep children of parents of the same employer together, whenever possible (i.e. when determining classes keep children of Hospital A together)
  • Limit parent interaction at drop off and pick up.

Questions

Please contact the Child Care Policy Helpdesk at 1-877-302-2347, option 4, or email childcarepolicy@jfs.ohio.gov if you have any questions about the new policy.