Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
Kentucky Order to Close Licensed Child Care Centers
3 p.m. March 18, 2020

 

Due to the highly contagious nature of COVID-19, Kentucky is ordering licensed, certified, and registered child care programs shutdown by close of business on Friday, March 20, 2020, until further notice. This includes all child care centers and family child care homes. All Kentucky All STARS rating visits and DRCC annual licensing visits are canceled until further notice. This is on the advisement of Governor Andy Beshear and the Kentucky Department for Public Health in response to protecting Kentuckians from exposure to the coronavirus.

The Kentucky Division of Child Care (DCC) has asked the national Office of Child Care for an amendment to our state plan to allow Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) funding for CCAP-eligible families based on enrollment and NOT on attendance. This request would last through the State of Emergency and be in place regardless if a center is open or closed. DCC has also asked for an amendment for the Division to cover the cost of parent co-payments during the State of Emergency to ensure financial security for centers and for families. 

For hospitals, health facilities, and large employers, guidance on limited duration child care programs is being issued by the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, Office of Inspector General, Division of Regulated Child Care. This guidance will be available online through the Office of Inspector General’s website and the Kentucky Department for Public Health’s COVID-19 website: www.kycovid19.ky.gov. If the children enrolled in the limited duration child care programs receive CCAP assistance, please ensure the Department for Community Based Services-Division of Child Care (502-564-2524) is advised to extend payment to the limited duration child care program. 

 If you are a child care center or early care provider that typically provides meals, formula, and/or diapers to children, we encourage you to make arrangements to still provide these to the extent possible. Contact your liaison to the Child and Adult Care Food Program for guidance on this matter.  We encourage a drive-through style distribution at the center site or delivery to a child’s home to avoid any possible congregation of people in one confined area and spread of COVID-19. 

 There has been some misinformation during this chaotic time. We encourage all child care providers to seek information from the Kentucky COVID-19 website: www.kycovid19.ky.gov, from the Division of Regulated Child Care, and from the Division of Child Care in order to alleviate additional confusion. 

 Also . . . . .

There have been a lot of questions from parents about whether or not a center has the right to charge tuition when they are closed.  This is a small business decision, and it is not regulated by the Division of Child Care.  Many centers have policies stating that tuition will still be charged on snow days or school breaks.  Some centers may need to continue to charge in order to pay their lease payment or utilities or to even reopen when the State of Emergency is lifted.  If a parent does not agree with this policy, then they have the option to decide if the center is the best fit for the family.  Charging the typical rate of tuition during closure does not constitute price gouging.  Now, if a child care center begins to increase their rates during the crisis, that may need to be looked at concerning price gouging.  The Division of Child Care has discussed this matter with the Office of the Attorney General, and they agree with our perspective.

Many of the DCC employees will now be working from home in order to prevent the spread of the virus.  The best way to contact the Division of Child Care, until further notice, is to directly email the person that you need to speak with or to utilize of the specific emails like the CCAP inbox (CCAPProviderPayments@ky.gov) or the Regulation inbox (childcare.regulation@ky.gov).   Providers that want to be added to the DCC Listserv can email DCCListServ@ky.gov and leave their first name, last name, and email address in order to be added to our communication moving forward.

There will also be a “Two Minute Tips” video posted on the Kentucky Department for Community Based Services social media pages today.

Thank you for your patience and support during this unprecedented time period.

 

Sarah Taylor Vanover, Ed.D.

Director

Division of Child Care

Department of Community Based Services

275 East Main Street, 3C-F

Frankfort, KY 40621

(502) 564-2524

https://chfs.ky.gov/agencies/dcbs/dcc/