DHS COVID-19 PROVIDER GUIDANCE // OCDELRestoring Child Care Works Payment Practices Based on Attendance and Invoicing for All Children
Issued: July 17, 2020; Effective Date: September 1, 2020
PLEASE NOTE: This announcement replaces in its entirety, Announcement ELRC 20-#9
All Regulated Child Care Facilities; Early Learning Resource Centers; and OCDEL Early Learning Resource Center Program Representatives
The purpose of this announcement is to provide additional information to child care programs participating in Child Care Works (CCW) and the Early Learning Resource Centers (ELRC) in response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). This is an updated policy, providing additional information and replaces ELRC Announcement 20 #09.
On March 6, 2020, Governor Wolf issued a Proclamation of Disaster Emergency. On Friday March 13, the Department of Human Services (DHS) issued a policy announcement addressing CCW payment would be based on enrollments effective March 13, 2020, in the event child care was mandated to close by the Governor. This policy was updated, continuing CCW payments based on enrollments for children enrolled effective March 13, 2020, through August 31, 2020. This payment policy is estimated to have paid participating child care providers $370 million for the months of March through August.
In addition to modifying the CCW payment policy in order to support providers during COVID-19, DHS has distributed $51.3M from Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding in June 2020 and $53M in July. An additional $116M of CARES Act funding will be distributed to providers during August and September.
Prior to COVID-19, CCW payments were made based on reimbursement for enrolled children’s attendance. Effective September 1, 2020, CCW payments will return to payment practices and policies based on attendance and invoicing for all children, regardless of when the child was enrolled with the provider. Additionally, the following policies, which were suspended due to COVID-19 during the March-August period, will again be effective:
- Absences will be tracked and counted towards the 40 days of absences for all children.
- Children’s enrollment after five days of absence will be suspended until the child returns to care.
- All Adverse Action notices will be sent to families per policy. ELRCs will begin to send Adverse Action notices that have been held due to revised COVID-19 policy.
- Dual enrollments, the practice implemented under COVID-19 to support both a closed provider and families who needed care will end. Children will be enrolled only with the provider where the child attends.
- Collection of family co-pays will resume.
This communication is intended to provide advance notice to child care providers, allowing them to adequately plan for use of the final CARES Act funding which will be issued in August. The distribution of the final CARES Act funding will be guided by information from The Impacts of COVID-19 on Pennsylvania Child Care Providers study, completed by Penn State Harrisburg, Institute of State and Regional Affairs.
Child care programs
- Share with staff completing CCW attendance reporting and invoicing.
- Communicate the resumption of absence policy, effective September 1 to families.
- Assess the financial impacts of the return to CCW payment based on attendance and plan accordingly.
- Please direct any questions to your ELRC.
- Review and share with appropriate staff.
- Please direct any question to your program representative.