DHS COVID-19 PROVIDER RESOURCES // OCDEL
Phased-in Approach to Reopen Business:
What It Means to Child Care Programs
Issued: May 4, 2020
On Friday, May 1, Governor Wolf announced 24 counties that will begin a phased reopening on May 8. This reopening will follow guidance issued for a Phased-In Approach to Reopen Business. Under this guidance, child care can begin to reopen without a waiver when a region is moved into the yellow phase. Counties included in the May 1 announcement can be found here.
We understand child care operators are eager to understand what reopening may look like in the counties moving into the yellow phase. This understanding will assist in making the decision to reopen and preparing for that date.
Several questions have been posed related to the impact of Dr. Levine's order for businesses maintaining in-person operations. Based on careful consideration, it has been determined that this order will not apply to reopening child care providers. The Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL) will issue guidelines for reopening child care providers. These guidelines will be largely based on the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance specific to child care providers found here. Child care operators considering reopening must familiarize themselves with this guidance.
OCDEL will announce details of an on-demand webinar for providers. The webinar will address answers to commonly asked questions about the CDC guidance for child care and any supplemental guidance issued by the departments of Human Services and Health. The webinar availability will be announced via direct communication on the Certification listserv, the PA Early Education News listserv, and will be posted on the PA Key COVID 19 resources page here.
OCDEL will continue to communicate regularly with providers regarding guidance for reopening child care and technical assistance available to providers. In some cases, communications will be state wide and in others it will target programs in regions or counties that have moved into the yellow phase. If your facility is located in a region that is still currently in the red phase, you may not receive the same communication because it may not be applicable to you at the time. OCDEL will specifically target communication to the providers in regions or counties as they progress through the phases.
Under the Governor's Disaster Proclamation, OCDEL's Bureau of Certification made recommendations for the suspensions of specific Child Care Facility regulations. These recommendations are currently still in place. When this process changes, providers will be advised.