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CCCMTL 30 (Permanent Transitional Child Care Rules in Response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic)
Child Care Center Manual Transmittal Letter No. 30
March 26, 2021
TO: All Child Care Manual Holders All Child Care Center Manual Holders All Child Care In-Home Aide Manual Holders All Family Child Care Manual Holders
FROM: Matt Damschroder, Interim Director
SUBJECT: Permanent Transitional Child Care Rules in Response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic

Background:

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) is working to ensure that children continue to be safe in child care settings and that the rules reflect guidance from the Ohio Department of Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  These permanent rules will replace the emergency rules filed on December 11, 2020.

An in-home aide (IHA) is regulated and certified by county agencies pursuant to Chapter 5101:2-14 of the Ohio Administrative Code (OAC). Rule 5101:2-16-10 of the OAC details that the IHA is paid an hourly rate that is equal to the state minimum wage for forty or fewer hours in a week or a rate of one and one-half times the state minimum wage for hours in excess of forty in a week. There are no payment enhancements for special needs child care nor care provided during non-traditional hours for an IHA.

The following rules are effective April 1, 2021.

New Rules:

5101:2-12-02.2 "Transitional Pandemic Requirements for a Licensed Child Care Center" is a new rule with the following guidelines: 

  • Licensed child care centers are to follow all of the licensing requirements of Chapter 5101:2-12.
  • The center is to follow updated handwashing procedures for employees, staff, and children. The center may use non-permanent sinks to meet the handwashing requirements of this chapter.
  • The center is to also assess for temperature and the COVID-19 symptoms listed in appendix A to the rule and follow all isolation or quarantine protocols.
  • Isolation or quarantine protocols will be completed in coordination with the local health department or in compliance with the Ohio department of health (ODH) and United States centers for disease control and prevention (CDC) guidelines.
  • The center will ensure that all administrators, child care center staff members, employees, and school-age children wear a face covering that covers the individual’s nose and mouth while indoors, unless not medically or developmentally appropriate.
  • The center will report all COVID-positive tests to their local public health department and to ODJFS.
  • There are new procedures if the center needs to divide a room into smaller spaces to serve multiple groups of children.
  • The transitional pandemic rule is valid until the governor of Ohio rescinds the state of emergency and or directs ODJFS to return to full child care licensing requirements.

5101:2-12-02.3 "Temporary Pandemic School-Age Child Care Centers" is a new rule with the following guidelines: 

  • Creates a new license for programs serving only school-age children.
  • Temporary pandemic school-age child care centers will follow all of the licensing requirements of Chapter 5101:2-12 with the exceptions and additions detailed in new rule.
  • The center will follow all application requirements in rule 5101:2-12-02 of the Administrative Code with a separate timeline for administrator qualifications documentation requirements and food service documentation requirements.
  • There is no registration fee or change of location fee for these program types.
  • The Ohio School-Age Administrator Professional Endorsement is an available qualification for temporary pandemic school-age child care center administrators.
  • The center will follow inspection requirements for temporary pandemic school-age child care centers.
  • The center will not provide weekend, evening or overnight care.
  • The center may provide transportation pursuant to rule 5101:2-12-14 of the Administrative Code to and from the children's homes, the children's school, or to and from another licensed child care program. This includes walking with the children.
  • Children in care at the temporary pandemic school-age child care center are not permitted to go on field trips, routine trips, or participate in swimming or water activities.
  • Programs without on-site outdoor space are permitted to walk to the approved off-site outdoor play space.
  • The temporary pandemic school-age child care center license is valid until the governor of Ohio rescinds the state of emergency or June 30, 2021, whichever occurs first. If the executive order is rescinded by the governor of Ohio before June 30, 2021, the center may choose to voluntarily close or apply for a child care license.

5101:2-13-02.2 "Transitional Pandemic Requirements for a Licensed Family Child Care Provider" is a new rule with the following guidelines: 

  • Licensed family child care providers are to follow all of the licensing requirements of Chapter 5101:2-13.
  • The provider, all family child care staff members, employees and children are to follow updated handwashing procedures. The family child care provider may use non-permanent sinks to meet the handwashing requirements of this chapter.
  • The provider is to also assess for temperature and the COVID-19 symptoms listed in appendix A to the rule and follow all isolation or quarantine protocols.
  • Isolation or quarantine protocols will be completed in coordination with the local health department or in compliance with the Ohio department of health (ODH) and United States centers for disease control and prevention (CDC) guidelines.
  • The family child care provider will ensure that the provider, all child care staff members, employees, residents and school-age children wear a face covering that covers the individual’s nose and mouth while indoors, unless not medically or developmentally appropriate.
  • The provider will report all COVID-positive tests to their local public health department and to ODJFS.
  • The transitional pandemic rule is valid until the governor of Ohio rescinds the state of emergency and or directs ODJFS to return to full family child care licensing requirements.

5101:2-14-02.2 "Transitional Pandemic Requirements for a Certified In-Home Aide" is a new rule with the following guidelines: 

  • Certified In-Home Aides (IHA) are to follow all of the certification requirements of Chapter 5101:2-14.
  • The IHA is to follow updated handwashing procedures, and ensure children follow handwashing procedures.
  • The IHA is to assess themselves for temperature and the COVID-19 symptoms listed in appendix A to the rule prior to going to the child’s home and follow all isolation or quarantine protocols.
  • The IHA will ensure children and residents of the home are assessed for temperature and the COVID-19 symptoms listed in appendix A to the rule and follow all quarantine protocols.
  • Isolation or quarantine protocols will be completed in coordination with the local health department or in compliance with the Ohio department of health (ODH) and United States centers for disease control and prevention (CDC) guidelines.
  • The IHA will wear a face covering that covers their nose and mouth while indoors, unless not medically appropriate.
  • The IHA will report all COVID-positive tests to their local public health department and to ODJFS.
  • The transitional pandemic rule is valid until the governor of Ohio rescinds the state of emergency and or directs ODJFS to return to full certified in-home aide requirements.

Amended Rule:

5101:2-16-10 "Payment rates and procedures for providers of publicly funded child care services" has been amended with the following changes: 

  • Established an in-home aide pilot program to update wages for an in-home aid in a participating county who serves at least one child who qualifies for special needs child care or at least one child who needs care during non-traditional hours.
  • Clarified that payments for publicly funded child care include time a school-age child is participating in remote learning at a child care center, but not if the parent had the option to send the child to in-person learning, including a hybrid school model, and chose only remote learning.
  • Expanded absent days from ten to twenty during each six-month period.
  • Created thirty-five new pandemic days which the provider can use if they normally would have provided child care services, but were advised to close by ODH or the local health department or in compliance with guidance from ODH and the CDC as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In-Home Aide Pilot:

The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) is creating a twelve-month six county pilot to provide payment enhancements for special needs child care or care provided during non-traditional hours.  The following counties have been identified for the pilot: Athens, Hocking, Meigs, Perry, Ross and Vinton.

An IHA in these participating counties who provides special needs child care to at least one child or care to at least one child during non-traditional hours may be paid an enhanced rate of thirteen dollars per hour for forty or fewer hours or one and one-half times this rate  for hours in excess of forty in a week.

An IHA in the pilot can apply for pre-certification without an identified family.  The JFS 01642 "In-Home Aide Assurances" form is not required until the end of the certification process. A blank sheet of paper can be uploaded at application to allow the application to be submitted.

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