Resources for You – The Family Child Care Provider
We understand that operating a family child care program is different than center-based programs. The COVID-19 pandemic has specifically presented unique challenges.
The following resources will provide you with support and direction in navigating through this crisis.
COVID-19 is novel coronavirus which means it is a new virus that hasn’t been identified before.
The virus causing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), is not the same as the coronaviruses that commonly circulate amongst humans and cause mild illness, like the common cold.
The virus is spread mainly by person-to-person contact, specifically between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet), the reason for social distancing. It is spread through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks.
Additionally, it may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it, then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes.
The following preventions are recommended for COVID-19:
- Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Social Distancing – Avoid close contact with people by staying at least six feet apart. Remember that some people without symptoms may be able to spread the virus.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others.
- Cover coughs and sneezes.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily.
We understand that prevention is even more challenging when running your program. However, there are practical things you can do to limit the spread. For example:
- If possible, your program should include the same group of children each day, with the same group of providers.
- Cancel or post-pone special events such as festivals, holiday events, and special performances.
- Consider staggering arrival and drop-off times and plan to limit direct contact with parents as much as possible.
- Hand hygiene stations should be set up at the entrance of your program, so that children can clean their hands before they enter. If a sink with soap and water is not available, provide hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol next to parent sign-in sheets. Keep hand sanitizer out of children’s reach and supervise use.
- Ideally, the same parent or designated person should drop off and pick up the child every day. If possible, older people such as grandparents or those with serious underlying medical conditions should not pick up children, as they are at a higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19.
The State of Delaware has created an Enhanced Reimbursement system for child care providers, to ensure that every slot in your program is funded. Enhanced reimbursement is calculated per week and paid monthly. All licensed providers are eligible for Enhanced Reimbursement. However, the rate you receive will depend on your operating status. There are three operating statuses:
- Essential Child Care sites have been designated as such by the Office of Child Care Licensing. Essential Child Care sites remain open and are serving the children of essential personnel, following additional requirements outlined by the Office of Child Care Licensing. As shared by the Office of Child Care Licensing, if you wish to open as an Essential Child Care Site and can satisfy the additional requirements, please contact your licensing specialist.
- Sites that are Closed and Paying Staff are eligible for enhanced reimbursement at 70% of the payment rate. For Family Child Care, if you are the only staff, you can be considered Closed and Paying Staff if you have NOT applied for unemployment insurance.
- Sites that are Closed and NOT Paying Staff are eligible for enhanced reimbursement at 20% of the payment rate. For Family Child Care, you will be considered Closed and Not Paying Staff if you do not pay any staff you have hired and/or you collect unemployment for yourself.
All Child Care providers should visit https://coronavirus.delaware.gov/childcare-reimbursement/ after the 15th of each month to submit a request for Enhanced Reimbursement. The application for Enhanced Reimbursement requires that you submit your “Total Licensed Capacity” and “Enrollment”. For this application:
- “Total Licensed Capacity” is what the Office of Child Care Licensing determined your program’s capacity to be. If unsure, your program’s capacity can be found on your license.
- “Enrollment” for Enhanced Reimbursement is the number of children listed in your POC portal plus the number of children for whom you are currently receiving private payment.
For example, if your licensed capacity is six children, you have two children in your POC portal, you are currently serving and receiving payment for two children of essential personnel, and you are receiving payment from a family to hold the slot of 1 child who is not currently attending. You will enter a “Total Licensed Capacity” of 6 and “Enrollment” of 5 (2+2+1). This means you have one vacant slot for the month (Capacity of 6 minus Enrollment of 5), and you will receive Enhanced Reimbursement for that one slot.
At this time, the Enhanced Reimbursement payments are calculated using your program’s licensed capacity. Family Child Care programs that offer multiple shifts of care are likely to have an “Enrollment” that is greater than their licensed capacity. The Enhanced Reimbursement system is not currently able to accommodate programs that offer care in multiple shifts. DIEEC and family care providers have presented this issue to the State, and any updates will be communicated if and when they are available.
As part of submitting the Enhanced Reimbursement application, providers are required to sign that they understand they are required to maintain enrollment and payroll records for three years, and it is possible that programs receiving Enhanced Reimbursement will be required to show evidence of compliance with the rules for the program. For example, you may be required to prove that you have paid staff if you submit a claim for Enhanced Reimbursement under options 1 or 2 above. For staff other than yourself, you are required to maintain payroll records for three years. For yourself, there must be no record of you applying for unemployment benefits. Further, you should maintain records of the use of Enhanced Reimbursement funds.
Emails Questions about Enhanced Reimbursement to: Enhanced.Reimbursement@doe.k12.de.us
Please include your application number in your email.
For the one-person operations, you can still apply for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) as it is open to sole proprietors or solely owned LLCs. You need to make sure you have income in 2019 to support the loan calculation. For example, you need to have made at least $4,800 last year in reported income to qualify for a minimum loan of $1,000. If you don’t have a business checking account, you can apply via a non-bank lender such as Paypal, Kabbage, BlueVine, etc.
Additionally, the State of Delaware is opening up unemployment to your type of business. Information is included here. https://news.delaware.gov/2020/05/04/new-system-to-support-applications-for-pandemic-unemployment-announced/
Please keep in mind that the Delaware Small Business Development Center offers financial advisement for free to help you navigate what financial support makes sense for you.
The Delaware Department of Labor has announced a new unemployment insurance benefits system that will process claims for independent contractors, self-employed individuals, and others as detailed in the CARES Act. These individuals can file benefits claims for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) beginning the week of May 11, 2020.
Under federal guidelines, for workers to be eligible for PUA, they must first apply for benefits through the traditional unemployment system and be denied. Applicants will then receive a letter of denial for traditional unemployment benefits.
The denial letter will trigger a second letter explaining their potential eligibility for PUA and specific instructions on how to apply. The letter will explain information on the following:
- How to access the new PUA Benefits website.
- Login details for logging into the website.
- Documentation required when applying for PUA benefits.
Additional resources are available at dol.delaware.gov or ui.delawareworks.com. You can also call the Department of Labor at 302-761-8446. Please be advised that the call hold time is longer than usual. For a quicker response, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Include your full name, including middle initial, contact information, and claim number.
While washing your hands and practicing social distancing help take care of your physical health, your mental health is equally as important. The COVID-19 outbreak causes stress on many fronts. People who may respond more strongly to the stress of a crisis include essential personnel like yourself.
The saying “You can’t take care of others unless you take care of yourself,” is especially true now. Here are some ways to reduce stress through self-care techniques:
- Focus on controlling things you can. It is easy to worry about the future, especially when it seems so uncertain. The key is not to get swept by our thoughts and feeling of anxiety. Try to make peace with uncertainty.
- Limit your social media and COVID-19 coverage intake.
- Go back to the basics of taking care of yourself. Eat healthy, drink water, get plenty of sleep, and exercise. With the weather getting nicer, try to get out at least once a day.
- Find at least one thing to feel positive or grateful about every day.
- Reach out to your support networks. Strengthen relationships with loved ones and important groups (such as friends, other family child care providers, church groups, etc.) using technology.
- Practice Mindfulness. We hear mindfulness a lot these days. It may sound intimidating, but it’s not complicated. It is taking time to focus on the present, being intentional and thoughtful about where you are, and how you are feeling. Mindfulness can help calm your worries.
- Building Resiliency Webinar(recording and slides available)
- Guided Meditation sessions with Infant/Toddler TA, Kyma Belardo, are offered for free every Wednesday at 6:30pm and Saturday at 9:00am. Each session focuses on deep breathing and soothing sounds to promote relaxation and lasts 30-40 minutes. Some of the benefits that participants can expect to experience include stress reduction, lengthened attention span, and improved sleep.
The following websites will help you get the information you need to address your questions related to COVID-19. We’ve also provided key contacts to support you during this crisis.
State Website – COVID-19 and Early Care:
Center for Disease Control (CDC):
The Delaware Institute for Excellence in Early Childhood – COVID-19 Webpage:
Delaware Department of Labor:
|Office of Early Learning|
|Office Child Care Licensing (OCCL)|
- Generalist TA supports are being offered virtually using phone, Zoom, and other convenient means to all providers, regardless of whether programs are open or closed. Providers have the option of receiving support from their TA individually or in virtual group settings.
- You can work with your TA on various topics ranging from how to continue to focus on your quality improvement goals that were in place, developing self-care wellness strategies, or receiving support on developing systems to maintain contact with children and families who are staying home.
- In addition to generalist TA supports, Delaware Stars Specialty TA services are also available virtually. Our Infant/Toddler and Curriculum & Assessment TAs continue to develop offerings to support you in serving children and families.
- DIEEC Professional Development has been busy publishing new trainings to offer online during the COVID-19 pandemic. At this time, the trainings are being offered in three ways.
- Virtual – An instructor facilitates these trainings. We refer to these sessions as “Community of Practice,” which means learning is collaborative because of the participants’ shared goals. These trainings are self-paced and do not meet at a specific time.
- Live – An instructor facilitates these trainings as well, and they are REAL time. Participants log in several minutes before the start time via Zoom. This option is the most similar to our In-Person trainings.
- Online – This format does not include an instructor. Participants work through content built into the platform.
- For our non-Stars FCC providers, a weekly Zoom call is held each Monday at 1:00. During this call, providers are free to share about things that are going well in their programs, as well as challenges that they have encountered. Providers are encouraged to share with one another and offer ideas to support each other. For those FCC providers who are interested in learning more about DE Stars or need more individualized support, participants are invited to stay on the call or share their contact information to receive a call back. For providers who are interested in joining DE Stars, applications are still being accepted and processed each month. All licensed family child care providers are welcome and encouraged to apply!
Check out Tom Copeland:
Tom Copeland is the nation’s leading trainer, author, and advocate on the business of family child care since 1981. He assists family child care providers in becoming more successful with the business side of their child care program.
Tom’s website and Facebook page offer blog posts, articles, and webinars about saving money on your tax return, marketing your business, establishing a business relationship with parents through a contract and policies, how to reduce your risks through insurance, and how to manage your money and plan for retirement.
Most recently, Tom has supported family child care providers in staying informed of the various loans, grants, and unemployment options that are available due to COVID-19.
BUILD Family Child Care Resource Page:
BUILD has expanded on their earlier library of resources for supporting quality family child care to include resources relevant to COVID-19. As additional resources become available, they will be added to the list.
Some highlights include a webinar on unemployment benefits and a summary of the questions and answers from the webinar.
Delaware’s Small Business Development Center (DSBDC):
DSBDC offers a collection of YouTube videos and e-courses to support independent learning and free advising on a variety of business-related topics. They are especially equipped to supporting small business owners with navigating the complexity of relief resources that are available during COVID-19