For information on OSSE's guidance message from April 15th, 2020, please click here.
Guidance Related to COVID-19: Subsidized Child Care Provider Attendance and Payment (Updated April 17, 2020)
As part of the District of Columbia Government’s response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in the United States, the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) is sharing updated guidance regarding the attendance policy and payment processes for subsidized child care providers.
OSSE is continuing payments to subsidized child care providers, given the extended public health-related closures, and this document contains amended payment calculation criteria. Please see below for more details. Also included in this document is the previously issued guidance regarding the attendance requirements during closure and continuation of payments for subsidized child care providers during approved closures based on changed operating status due to public health actions.
This guidance was issued on April 17, 2020 and will take effect May 1, 2020, and remain in effect until May 31, 2020, or until the effective date of subsequent revised guidance, whichever is later.
Based on the emergency Mayor’s Orders and the issuance of a public health emergency by the Mayor, OSSE has activated the District-wide Child Care Disaster Response Plan (CCDRP).
If you choose to close your facility at this time, OSSE will continue to provide payments based on the program and requirements as described below.
I. Approved Closures
In previous guidance, OSSE committed to paying providers who closed due to the public health emergency, based on enrollment, for March and April 2020. OSSE will be continuing payment to facilities receiving subsidy. Beginning May 1, 2020, a facility’s monthly payments will equal the individual facility’s average monthly payment for the current fiscal year from Oct. 1, 2019 through Jan. 31, 2020.
To receive continuing subsidy payments during the current public health emergency, all facilities must adhere to the following process:
1. Notify your designated OSSE education service monitor in writing prior to closing to receive approval; and
2. Follow the existing procedures for filing an Unusual Incident Report indicating the closure is due to either (A) the public health emergency or (B) possible exposure to coronavirus (COVID-19) (see Potential Exposure and COVID-19 Reporting below).
For subsidized child care providers remaining open and for all OSSE-approved closures, subsidy payments equal to the facility’s average monthly payment for the current fiscal year, from Oct. 1, 2019 through Jan. 31, 2020, will continue during the activation of the CCDRP and during the time that this guidance is in effect, and will not be based on actual attendance as long as the closure is approved pursuant to the process described above. Approved closures during the activation of the CCDRP must be classified as an approved closure (AC) on the monthly attendance submission in the OSSE Attendance Tracking System (OATS). Providers should continue to submit attendance (even if it is zero) by the 5th business day of each month.
II. Excused Absences
If a facility stays open, individual children who remain home due to the public health emergency should be coded as an excused absence (EX) on the monthly attendance submission in OATS. No additional documentation will be required to support these excused absences.
III. School-Age Children
Facilities that remain open and serving preschool or school-age children will receive the full-time rate for children on days that DC Public Schools (DCPS) remains closed.
IV. Family Co-payments
All parents receiving child care assistance will have their co-pays waived during the public health emergency. Level I facilities will receive the full reimbursement rate while co-payments are waived, and Level II facilities who choose to stay open will receive the full reimbursement rate plus the co-pay amount from OSSE. Level II providers who have closed will receive the full reimbursement rate without the co-pay. OSSE is unable to extend co-payment support to closed Level II providers at this time.
V. Placement Changes
Families seeking a placement change to another child care provider during this time have been advised as follows:
Families who would like a placement change to a different child care facility due to closure resulting from coronavirus (COVID-19) can email ESAchildcare@dc.gov with the following information:
Effective date of requested change
Families and the child care providers will receive email confirmation of the change.
VI. Families who Require Recertification of Eligibility
Families who have their 12-month eligibility expire during the public health emergency will remain eligible for subsidized child care until the District government resumes in-person operations. Families will receive a notice in the mail with a request to come in and recertify after the public health emergency is lifted.
VII. New Applicants to the Subsidy Program
The Department of Human Services (DHS) Child Care Services Division (CCSD) has established drop boxes for families with new applications for the child care subsidy program at the Congress Heights (4049 South Capitol St. SW) and Taylor Street, (1207 Taylor St. NW) locations. Families who drop off documents for processing can expect a phone call from a DHS social service representative to conduct a phone interview regarding their eligibility.
The child care subsidy application and information about required documentation can be found here.
Potential Exposure and COVID-19 Reporting
If you believe the facility has been exposed to coronavirus (COVID-19), the facility should follow the existing procedures for filing an Unusual Incident Report. Child care providers who believe their community may have been directly exposed to coronavirus (COVID-19) and are seeking guidance on the potential need for closure should also contact the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Education (DME) at (202) 727-5707 or DME.DismissalAdvice@dc.gov. When contacting the DME, providers will be asked to share the following information:
Name, location of your child care facility, and direct contact information
Details about the circumstances involving potential or confirmed exposure – who, contact with infected person/people and exposure to your facility
What communications you have shared with your community to date
The District of Columbia is continually monitoring this situation and will issue additional guidance as circumstances change.
In the event you decide to close your facility, please remember to submit an Unusual Incident Report to firstname.lastname@example.org or your designated licensing specialist. We are grateful for your ongoing patience, flexibility and cooperation as we manage the dynamic nature of this event. As we approach the next few weeks, we ask for continued patience and trust as the District navigates this unique situation.
If you have questions relating to this guidance please contact Eva Laguerre, Interim Assistant Superintendent of Early Learning and Director, Licensing and Compliance, Division of Early Learning, Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) at (202) 741-5942 or Eva.Laguerre@dc.gov.
For more information on the District of Columbia Government’s response to coronavirus (COVID-19), please visit coronavirus.dc.gov.
CCDBG Act and its implementing regulations, 45 C.F.R. Parts 98 and 99, as administered by the Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and HumanServices;
District of Columbia’s Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) State Plan, current version;
Child Development Facilities Regulation Act of 1998, effective April 13, 1999 (D.C. Law 12-215; D.C. Official Code §§ 7-2031 et seq. (2012 Repl. & 2017 Supp.)) (“Facilities Act”);
Day Care Policy Act of 1979, effective September 19, 1979 (D.C. Law 3-16; D.C. Official Code §§ 4-401 et seq. (2012 Repl. & 2017 Supp.)) (“Day Care Act”)
1050 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002 • Phone: (202) 727-6436 TTY: 711 • osse.dc.gov