The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services (DHS) is committed to serving vulnerable populations every day, and that commitment will not stop in the face of an emergency. On March 20th, we issued guidance for entities licensed by the following DHS program offices:
Office of Developmental Programs (ODP)
Office of Children, Youth and Families (OCYF)
Office of Child Development and Early Learning (OCDEL)
Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (OMHSAS)
Office of Long-Term Living/Bureau of Human Service Licensing (BHSL)
In the March 20th guidance, we indicated that from March 16th to March 30th, DHS will not be conducting any annual licensing inspections.
This guidance is updated such that that DHS will not be conducting any annual licensing inspections until Governor Wolf lifts the current Proclamation of Disaster Emergency for COVID-19 or until such other time set by DHS.
Licensing staff will continue to investigate incidents and complaints during this time period.
As you have questions, please contact your regional licensing representative. DHS staff continue to work during this time period, and you should contact the regional office using their phone number or email. Notification will be provided when DHS resumes conducting annual inspections.
Reporting Child Care Closures
Early learning programs that choose to or are directed to close due to COVID-19 must do the following:
1. Email OCDEL at RA-PWOCDELFacilclose@pa.gov to report that the program is closing due to COVID-19.
2. Use one of the following subject lines, as appropriate for the program:
Child Care Closure - < Insert Name of County>
PKC Closure - < Insert Name of County>
HSSAP - < Insert Name of County>
EI Closure - < Insert Name of County>
HV Closure - <Insert Name of County>
3. Include the following information in the email to OCDEL:
Program telephone number
Number of children enrolled at the program
Date of closing
Anticipated date of reopening, if known
Reason for closure (child/family illness, staff illness, general mitigation efforts)
NOTE: If programs have multiple locations or funding streams that are affected by a closure, please list all programs within the body of one email.
NOTE: Programs that were operating with an approved waiver but have decided to close should report the closure using the process above. If you report a closure and later you decide to extend the closure beyond your originally anticipated date of reopening, you do not need to send a second notification regarding your closure. To ensure timely processing of this information, please submit only one email with the above information. Do not use this email to submit questions or comments. If you have questions, please contact your certification representative.
Please also cc your Quality Coach when sending the notification email.
HOME-BASED CHILD CARE EMERGENCY FUND
Members of Home Grown have committed $1,200,000 to establish a Home-Based Child Care Emergency Fund.
As our nation faces the COVID-19 pandemic, the importance of home-based child care has never been more evident and these caregivers and providers have never been more indispensable. We cannot fight this pandemic without ensuring that the essential workforce can access safe, high-quality child care. Without immediate action to maintain the supply of home-based child care, our near term efforts to rebuild the economy will likely be stalled.
Who Should Apply
We are seeking nonprofit organizations that are using the Home-Based Child Care Emergency Fund Toolkit to create funds for the HBCC providers in their communities. We are looking for intermediary organizations that can quickly leverage existing infrastructure to deploy funding and resources directly to caregivers and providers.
Organizations should be aligned with the principles in the Toolkit and committed to:
Establishing clear goals to support home-based child care caregivers and providers during this pandemic
Engaging stakeholders and understanding the needs of the community
Deploying funds quickly and remotely to providers
Supporting providers in their applications and operating from the assumption that their needs exist
Evaluating impact and sharing data
Priority will be given to organizations that have matching funds from other philanthropy and/or focus on serving traditionally hard-to-reach providers.
*Please note that at this time Home Grown cannot accept applications from HBCC providers for direct funding. See our FAQ document for more detail.