Frequently Asked Questions: Emergency Child Care Collaborative

  • Background

    What is the Colorado Emergency Child Care Collaborative?

    Colorado is committed to slowing the spread of COVID-19 across our state. To help this effort Governor Jared Polis issued a state-wide Executive Order “Ordering Coloradans to Stay at Home Due to the Presence of COVID-19 in the State,” which took effect on March 26. 

    Exempted from this order are those workers critical to fighting COVID-19 and helping Coloradans during this time, including health care workers, public safety, sanitation, essential retail, child care providers, educators and more.

    With the closure of schools and many child care facilities across Colorado, workers employed in these essential fields face a challenge: how to find care for their children while they work through these unprecedented times.  

    Recognizing the need for child care for essential workers, Governor Polis called together a group of early childhood providers, advocacy groups, school districts and foundations to partner with Gary Community Investments and the Colorado Department of Human Services to establish a system of emergency child care. With generous support from Centura Health and the Buell Foundation, the Emergency Child Care Collaborative began on March 23, supporting the families of health care providers, public safety personnel, and staff supporting critically at-risk populations.

    The Collaborative is a public-private partnership. Governor Polis appointed CDHS Executive Director Michelle Barnes to lead the State’s participation in this Collaborative. Mike Johnston of Gary Community Investments is leading the private/philanthropic participation.

    This first phase of emergency care included: 

    • Health care providers and staff: Doctors, nurses, and all hospital support personnel, including maintenance and janitorial staff, who are so essential to maintaining our health system.
    • Public safety: Police, firefighters, EMT, Department of Corrections.
    • Staff supporting critically at-risk populations: Long-term care facilities, mental health facilities, residential facilities

    The second phase of the Collaborative extends a full tuition credit to all essential workers identified in Updated Public Health Order 20-24 issued by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. This 100% tuition credit will provide child care to all essential workers until May 17. The list of essential workers who will be covered by this care includes: 

    • Health Care Operations 
    • Critical Infrastructure 
    • Critical Manufacturing 
    • Critical Retail 
    • Critical Services 
    • News Media 
    • Financial Institutions 
    • Providers of Basic Necessities to Economically Disadvantaged Populations 
    • Construction 
    • Defense
    • Critical Services Necessary to Maintain the Safety, Sanitation and Critical Operations of Residences or Other Critical Businesses 
    • Vendors that Provide Critical Services or Products, Including Logistics and Technology Support, Child Care and Services
    More information about the Collaborative is available at https://covidchildcarecolorado.com/
  • Signing Up to Find or Provide Care

    Who is eligible for care? 

    Phase 1 of emergency care, that began on March 23, includes the families of:

    • Health care providers and staff: Doctors, nurses, and all hospital support personnel, including maintenance and janitorial staff, who are so essential to maintaining our health system.
    • Public safety: Police, firefighters, EMT, Department of Corrections.
    • Staff supporting critically at-risk populations: Long-term care facilities, mental health facilities, residential facilities.

    Phase 2 of emergency care, running until May 17, includes essential workers identified in Updated Public Health Order 20-24 issued by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment:

    • Health Care Operations 
    • Critical Infrastructure 
    • Critical Manufacturing 
    • Critical Retail 
    • Critical Services 
    • News Media 
    • Financial Institutions 
    • Providers of Basic Necessities to Economically Disadvantaged Populations 
    • Construction 
    • Defense
    • Critical Services Necessary to Maintain the Safety, Sanitation and Critical Operations of Residences or Other Critical Businesses 
    • Vendors that Provide Critical Services or Products, Including Logistics and Technology Support, Child Care and Services

    Families looking to be matched with care or who may need assistance with determining eligibility can fill out the parent survey at https://covidchildcarecolorado.com/.

    Where can families go to get connected with child care? 

    If you are a family that needs care please go to https://covidchildcarecolorado.com/ and fill out the parent survey. If you have general questions about finding care during this time, please contact Colorado Shines Child Care Referral using any of the following methods: 

    Where can providers go if they would like to be matched with a family and authorized to provide emergency care?

    If you are a licensed provider who is willing to open your center or family child care home to accommodate these critical workers, please complete the emergency child care provider survey

     

  • Payment

    How are providers paid and on what timeline? 

    View more information about payment, paperwork, payment timelines and more here. 

    If you have questions about the payment process or associated forms, please contact the payment vendor Metrix at covidchildcare@metrixiq.com or 720-580-8730.  

    What rates are these funds paid out at? 

    Current rates are:

    • Infant: $390
    • Toddler: $380
    • Preschooler: $300
    • School age child (Elementary & Middle School): $172
    Please note providers may not charge any additional fees or co-pays beyond the reimbursements made by the Collaborative. 

    What are the sources of payment for the Emergency Child Care Collaborative during Phase I (until April 4)? 

    The sources of payment include Federal Child Care and Development Funds (CCDF) and philanthropic funds.  

    What are the sources of funding after April 4?

    CDHS will continue to access federal Child Care and Development Funds (CCDF), both current funding available to the State and funds that are projected to be available through the COVID-19 federal stimulus bill for emergency child care.

    How do payment options interact with public funding sources like CCCAP?

    Under Phase I, for the first two weeks, there is no interaction with the Colorado Child Care Assistance Program (CCCAP). Future phases may include enrolling eligible families into CCCAP.  

    More information about Phase II will be shared when available.

    How does the new payment and billing system interact with CHATS and county provider payments?

    For the first two weeks, under Phase I, the payment and billing system for Emergency Child Care will not run through CHATS and payments will be issued separately from county provider payments. 

    More information about Phase II will be shared when available.

    How will the Collaborative ensure providers do not inadvertently receive double payment from separate federal sources (TANF, CCDF, CCAP through counties), and face Federal claw backs?

    The Department is not anticipating any issue with blending and braiding of funding sources. 
  • Operating an Emergency Child Care Facility

    What do child care providers need to know related to the state-wide stay-at-home order?

    Child care is considered one of the essential services under the state-wide stay-at-home order, and can continue to operate. For more information on the order, click here.

    Local public health guidance may differ, so always consult with your local public health agency if you have questions. 

    What safety, cleaning and closure guidance should participating providers follow? 

    CDPHE has updated guidance for child care providers, located here: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1n76Fry-VIGQpOeF5zM2CueTHTjc6g-jG

    Additionally, providers should continue to follow guidance from the CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/specific-groups/guidance-for-schools.html

    Local public health departments should also be consulted for support in regards to cleaning, safety and any concerns about closure. 

    How can providers access needed supplies that may be hard to purchase at this time?

    The Department is working to address this question in partnership with the Collaborative. 

    Will providers be subject to temperature checks/monitoring or quarantine throughout their participation in the Emergency Child Care Collaborative? 

    According to CDPHE, “Children and staff should be assessed for signs of illness when they arrive and frequently throughout the day.” For more information on safety in child care facilities during COVID-19, review the following document from CDPHE: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1n76Fry-VIGQpOeF5zM2CueTHTjc6g-jG and additional guidance from the CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/specific-groups/guidance-for-schools.html.

    Will the Collaborative work with local authorities and ECC’s to develop contingency plans should a facility need to close based on the guidance from CDPHE?

    The Collaborative is working together to put a system into place to address potential closures. 

    Will all normal licensing requirements be in place for providers offering emergency child care?

    The Department may waive certain licensing requirements for providers offering emergency child care if it will not endanger the public health, welfare or safety. These emergency waivers will be evaluated on a case by case basis. 

    What should hours of operation be?

    Emergency child care providers can set their operation hours as necessary to meet the needs of the families they are serving. Child care programs may operate up to 24-hours a day, as long as no child is allowed to attend over a 24-hour period.   

    What are the recommended ratios for emergency child care?

    Social distancing is important to control the spread of the novel coronavirus responsible for COVID-19. Child care facilities should limit group size to 10 children, keeping a distance of 3 to 6 feet as much as possible and not mixing groups of children.

    If we need more child care professionals, how do we get the ok to bring them into our operations during this emergency situation?

    The OEC is working to expedite the process to transfer a staff members' qualifications, and programs should work with the Child Care Licensing Unit when they need to support the transfer of qualifications including background checks. 

    The OEC Child Care Licensing Unit can also look at approving waivers to qualifications for staff working in emergency child care on a case by case basis. 

    Does the Governor or CDHS know how long the system of emergency child care will operate?

    The system will continue to operate during the COVID-19 crisis, subject to available funding. 

  • Who to Contact for Help

    Who should be contacted for support?

     

    Technical Assistance Area

    Contact Information

    Emergency Child Care Enrollments

    Parents should fill out the Parent Survey at https://covidchildcarecolorado.com/ to assess if they qualify for care and get connected. 

    Child Care Licensing Waivers

    CDHS State Licensing Specialist

    Payment

    Please contact the payment vendor Metrix at covidchildcare@metrixiq.com or 720-580-8730. 

    Local Child Care Provider Supply & Demand

    CDHS State Licensing Specialist

    Health & Safety: Guidance for Center Closures related to Illness & COVID-19

    CDHS State Licensing Specialist

    Local Public Health Agencies

    Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment 

    General Child Care Availability

    Mile High United Way Child Care Resource and Referral:

    Other Questions Not Addressed Here

    cdhs_oec_communications@state.co.us

This FAQ is designed for those interested in the programmatic details of the Emergency Child Care Collaborative

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These FAQs are current as of April 2, 2020. Questions and answers may be changed and updated daily as new information becomes available. The newest updates will be listed below. Please check back frequently for updates.
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Read the latest communication from the OEC to child care providers and ECCs here (please note it is possible for these communications to become outdated before a follow-up is sent): March 30 | Link to Webinar Recording | "Guidance and Support for Providing Child Care During the COVID-19 Pandemic."

New 4/02/20

How are providers paid and on what timeline? 

View more information about payment, paperwork, payment timelines and more here. 

If you have questions about the payment process or associated forms, please contact the payment vendor Metrix at covidchildcare@metrixiq.com or 720-580-8730.