Seasonal Reminders with Child Care Emergency Regulations
Sent to DCC Listserv October 20, 2020
Fall is a wonderful time of year with lots of holiday traditions. Unfortunately, the spread of COVID is going to make this year look much different than normal years. The Division of Child Care and the Division of Regulated Child Care have had lots of questions regarding fall festivals, Halloween parties, and school pictures. Here are a few reminders for your holiday plans:
- Unnecessary visitors are still not allowed at child care programs, including school photographers. School pictures need to be delayed at this point. When the virus is controlled enough that visitor restrictions can be lifted, that will be the best time to conduct school photos.
- Family events and school-wide events are still not allowed at child care programs. If your program does want to have a Halloween party or fall party, the party must be isolated to individual classrooms, making sure that children remain in their classroom groups and maximum group size is maintained.
- School-wide Halloween parades cannot be held this year due to group size limitations. If children would like to dress up in their costumes, they can dress up and have a small parade outside with their individual classrooms. Other classrooms have the opportunity to watch out the windows and see their schoolmates in their costumes.
This year will definitely cause many child care programs to be creative when it comes to adapting our normal seasonal traditions. It is definitely possible. Just make sure to maintain the requirements in the emergency regulations (such as maximum group size and proper cleaning procedures) as you make your seasonal plans.
CARES Act funding for Child Care Stipends
Sent to DCC Listserv October 8, 2020
The Division of Child Care will be using all remaining CARES Act funding to offer child care providers one more sustainment stipend. Here are the requirements of the stipend.
- The Cabinet will provide Licensed and Certified child care programs a stipend in the amount of $130 per child based on licensure/certification capacity as reported to the Office of Inspector General, Division of Regulated Child Care at the time of the declaration of the state of emergency.
- Registered Providers will receive a stipend of $130 per child based on their current enrollment.
- Providers may use the Sustainment Funding for:
- Employee wages;
- Facility mortgage or rent payments;
- Facility utility payments;
- Facility insurance payments;
- The childcare program’s obligated portion of employee benefit insurance; and
- Consumable materials including food, PPE, and cleaning materials.
- Providers shall agrees that it shall not use the Sustainment Funding for
- Program expansion;
- Elective facility repairs; and
- Elective classroom materials.
- All eligible child care programs must have been in operation by October 1st as stated by the records at the Division of Regulated Child Care.
- All funding contracts must be submitted to the Division of Child Care by December 1st, 2020 in order to distribute funding promptly.
- Digital contracts will be emailed to each child care provider in the same manner that the first stipend contract was sent.
- Child care programs that do not choose to spend these funds must return the funding to the Cabinet for Health and Family services.
ECE-TRIS Online Account Creation Area
Sent to DCC Listserv October 5, 2020
New staff can now use an online form to request an ECE-TRIS account to start their professional development training record. This process will also assist users who are unsure if they have an existing account. Once an account is created, users will then have access to the required online version of Pediatric Abusive Head Trauma for Child Care Providers as well as other ECE-TRIS Sponsored Web Based Trainings.
ECE Sponsored (Uses ECE-TRIS login to access) Training list can be found on the ECE-TRIS Calendar Page
Online Training Opportunities for Licensing Clock Hours
Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, training delivery has shifted to online formats and we want to share some tips to ensure you are seeking quality training opportunities that meet your professional development needs.
- Training must be Approved
For a training that meets the early care and education clock hour training requirements for licensed, certified, and registered Early Care and Education providers, Kentucky All STARS, the Commonwealth Child Care Credential and the Kentucky Early Care and Education Trainer’s Credential it must have been;
· Conducted by a Kentucky Early Care and Education Credentialed Trainer
· Pre-approved by DCC at least 30 days prior to the training start date
o Standards for considering approval request
§ Related to ECE content
§ Minimum 1 hour in length
§ Trainer/Agency confirmation of completion (with sign in, assignment requirements, certificate)
§ Must include checks for understanding
o How to Submit for Approval
§ Use the Training Requests area on ECE-TRIS
- Instructions for How to Find DCC Approved Training
Calculating Required Training Hours based on new State Fiscal Year range of July 1, 2020 – June 30, 2020
You can find a summary of calculating hours for existing staff and new hires in the FORMS section of ECE-TRIS, or follow this link: Calculating Hours
- Existing staff (defined on the attached summary) will use the July 1 – June 30th range.
- New to the field staff (defined on the attached summary) will use a hire date – hire date in the first year of hire.
- In the case of a substitute hired by a temporary/substitute agency for early care and education provider placement, the substitute’s training requirements are tied to the hire date with the sub agency, not the child care program.
- Staff will not be penalized if they had a hire date (and therefore annual training date) that would fall after June 30 when the regulation was changed for the training hours annual requirement if they did not complete the 15 hours. With this being a new requirement, DRCC and DCC are not expecting for employees to have finished their training hours early, especially given COVID-19 shutdowns.
Required Training Hours Report in ECE-TRIS
Below explains how this report is currently working as well as upcoming changes for determining training hours for those new hires just entering the field of early care and education. Once those changes have been made, you will be notified.
- All Staff will show hours from July 1, 2020 – June 30, 2021.
- Orientation is only included in annual training clock hours if taken during the time frame of used based on their status of existing staff (July 1 – June 30) or for new to the field staff (hire date to hire date of the first year).
- Previous Orientation and Pediatric Abusive Head Trauma will count as meeting the requirements for completing.
- New to the early child and education field staff will be tracked in ECE-TRIS so this report can calculate their first year required hours by hire date to hire date.
Senate Bill 45
Sent to DCC Listserv September 29, 2020
During the 2020 legislative session, the Kentucky legislature passed a bill, Senate Bill 45, regarding health and safety practices in licensed child care programs. This bill mandates that licensed child care programs meet the meal planning requirements of the Child and Adult Care Food Program. It also required changing the sugary drink, screen time, and physical activity requirements based on recommendations from Kentucky’s Early Childhood Advisory Council and Kentucky’s Child Care Advisory Council, as well as with recommendations from state and national experts. The Child Care Health and Safety Regulation
s (922 KAR 2:120) has been updated to meet the requirements of this newly passed statute. Also, 922 KAR 2:120 has been updated to meet the recommendations of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ safe sleep policy. These amendments to the regulation are being filed today, and there will be an open comment period through December. These are ordinary amendments to the regulation, so they will not be going into effect immediately. They will go through the full regulatory review process before being implemented.
Here is the link to view Senate Bill 45: https://apps.legislature.ky.gov/recorddocuments/bill/20RS/sb45/bill.pdf
Once the regulations are filed, you may view the updates on the LRC website.
CCAP Billing Reminder
Sent to DCC Listserv September 1, 2020
In March, the Division of Child Care (DCC) applied for a federal waiver to enable CCAP funding to pay providers based on enrollment rather than attendance during the pandemic. As announced in May, this waiver ends on September 30, 2020. Beginning October 1, CCAP will return to the normal payment policy of being paid based on the child’s attendance. Provider Billing Forms (PBFs) will need special attention and coding according to the child’s attendance and the approved schedule. If you need a billing refresher, please watch the billing basics training video at:
Providers serving school-age CCAP children will need to be especially diligent in coding and putting notes in the Provider Notes box. There are 170+ school districts in Kentucky and each are on different schedules and plans this school year. These plans are subject to change and may change weekly. The school-age children attending your center may be attending on an irregular schedule or a constantly changing schedule depending on illness and your district’s decisions.
If a school-age CCAP child attends your center full-time on days when their school is closed or are attending full-time and doing NTI work, then you should code with a full day code (1). If the CCAP child attends in-person school and attends your center afterschool, then code with a part day code (2). These same rules apply for districts that are doing A/B days or any other variation of part time in-person instruction. Some school-age CCAP children may attend in-person school on Monday and Tuesday and your center on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. Code Monday and Tuesday with a part day code (2, (if the child comes afterschool). Code Wednesday-Friday with a full day code (1). Federal CCAP Policy states a school-age child who is attending in-person instruction at school cannot receive CCAP funds during the time the child is attending in-person school.
In order to provide correct payments and avoid underpayments or overpayments, each provider is responsible for coding correctly and entering Provider Notes explaining changes made. Providers may also contact CCAPProviderPayments@ky.gov to ask questions or get clarification about billing before submitting the PBF. When sending an inquiry to the CCAP inbox, please include the license number, case number, name of parent and child, and a brief description of the reason for the email. This allows staff to address the issue quickly and efficiently.
Division of Child Care Update
Sent to DCC Listserv September 1, 2020
There have been several questions since yesterday’s press conference regarding the new child care emergency regulations, so I would like to offer a few answers to the most popular questions.
- The new emergency regulations go into effect today (since they were technically filed after hours yesterday). Group sizes may increase starting today. Only emergency regulations were filed (not ordinary regulations) because we anticipate these emergency regulations will only be needed for a temporary time period. They are not permanent changes.
- Licensed child care programs are no longer limited to group sizes of 10. They may have group sizes as large as fifteen. This does not mean that programs MUST have groups of fifteen if they choose to stay at ten. Programs have always been allowed to make their programs smaller than the maximum group size or capacity. The group size of fifteen is NOT the adult-to-child ration. A program may not have one adult with fifteen two-year-olds. Adult-to-child ratios will still follow the ratios established in the typical health and safety regulations listed in 922 KAR 2:120. https://apps.legislature.ky.gov/law/kar/922/002/120.pdf
- Since registered and certified providers always have less than 15 children, they may return to their typical group size requirements. Licensed infant and one-year-old classrooms may also return to their typical group size and adult-to-child ratios since they always have fewer than 15 children.
- Prior to the pandemic, Kentucky had 65 counties that were already considered “child care deserts” without enough child care for the families that live in that area. The Cabinet wants to assist in those areas and throughout the state to make sure that families have the child care needed. If child care providers throughout the state would like to become a registered or certified child care provider (within their home), then the state will provide a $2500.00 start-up stipend to assist with initial zoning fees, insurance premiums, basic computer for business requirements, and safety features like needed gates. These programs will need to go through the full application process through Division of Child Care (for registered providers) or the Division of Regulated Child Care (for certified providers).
- There are pop-up programs and businesses throughout the state that are starting NTI camps for school-age children and not meeting child care licensing standards. These programs will not be allowed. The Division of Regulated Child Care will be inspecting these programs, and if they are not licensed/do not meet licensing standards, they will be shutdown. Child care facilities must follow state regulations in order to be in operation.
- Limited Duration Childcare (LDCs) that have been open during the pandemic have the opportunity to become licensed child care programs (just like any business that would like to apply for a child care license). In order to have this opportunity, they must meet the background checks mandates, group size requirements, and all the other licensed child care regulations. If they do not want to follow those requirements, then they cannot become licensed and maintain a permanent child care business.
- Some families have started small pods of NTI students to assist with learning while the schools are not utilizing face-to-face classroom. If parents are paying for their children to participate in a pod, then they need to understand that even if these pods are legal (very small numbers), there need to be health and safety precautions in place. If someone else is watching your child, do they have a background check? What type of cleaning precautions are being used in the home? Are children wearing masks? Parents need to ask these questions before leaving their children with a tutor or babysitter.
- Regulated child care is always the safest form of child care. That means that the child care program/provider is licensed, certified, or registered with the state. Kentucky has utilized over $67 Million since March to support these regulated child care programs during the pandemic, but it is still not enough. Additional federal funding is still needed to support child care programs through this state of emergency. These programs are essential to Kentucky’s workforce, and they need to be supported long term. There are multiple bills in congress right now that could potentially offer funding for child care programs throughout the US. Reach out to your elected officials and let them know that child care is essential for working families and Kentucky’s workforce will suffer without it.
- The All-STAR rating visits have been temporarily suspended due to limiting visitors in and out of centers. Plus, many of the key points that increase a centers rating score (like family events and family style dining) have been limited during the pandemic. The Division of Child Care does not want centers to be penalized on their All-STAR rating due to these restrictions. All-STAR rated programs will stay at their current rating level for the next year and receive their financial stipend based on that rating level. That way programs can continue to receive the additional funding that they so desperately need at this time. NO PAPERWORK is required for approval of the Annual Quality Reviews. The messaging around required paperwork to receive your annual payments is if you do not have an All STARS Payee set up. IF this happens the Kentucky All STARS Program will email you with the paperwork that is required. Unless you receive an email then there is nothing that you need to submit.
- Although screen time is not the preferred method of learning for young children, many schools are having to utilize virtual learning during the pandemic. Child care programs typically limit screen time to two hours per day or less. While children in Kentucky must attend NTI learning, school-age children will be given an exemption from the screen time limit for NTI work only. This exemption only applies to children who are kindergarten age and older.
Division of Child Care Update
Sent to the DCC Listserv Aug 31, 2020
The Division of Child Care would like to announce that updates have been made to the child care emergency regulations:
- Limited duration child care programs will have new requirements (maximum group size, supervision/background checks, and DRCC monitoring) and are encouraged to pursue licensure or certification if they have not already.
- Child care programs may increase the maximum group size of children twenty-four (24) months of age and older from ten (10) children to fifteen (15) children per group. Adult to child ratios will remain the same as in the typical health and safety regulations, 922 KAR 2:120.
- Infant and one-year-old classrooms will go back to the ratios and group sizes listed in the typical child care regulations, 922 KAR 2:120.
- Child care programs may allow tours with potential clients after regular operating hours, if no children are in the facility and the provider ensures all affected areas are cleaned after the conclusion of the tour.
- Child care programs are allowed an exception to the limitation on electronic viewing and listening devices for school-age children completing assigned nontraditional instruction.
- Kentucky All STARS program will suspend rating visits during the state-of-emergency. Programs will continue to receive their annual funding (based on their current rating level) if required paperwork is completed.
- New language in the regulation shows that Kentucky is waiving national fingerprint-based background checks during the public health emergency per federal guidance (allowing name-based checks to substitute during the emergency and then requiring fingerprint-based checks after they resume).
- Family child care homes that have not previously been regulated may apply for a $2,500 stipend to cover the start-up costs of beginning the certification process.
The regulation 922 KAR 2:400E has been withdrawn, and a new emergency regulation has been filed, 922 KAR 2:405E. With a new emergency regulation, open comment period will begin again. Laura Begin, our regulatory liaison, and I will be collecting those comments leading up to the public hearing if you need to contact us.
KY All STARS Update
A message from the Division of Child Care sent 8/21/2020
Through the end of the declared state of emergency related to COVID-19, the Kentucky All STARS Program will be making the following changes:
- All child care centers will remain at their current All STARS Level.
- All level 2-5 STARS rated centers will have their All STARS Certificate expiration date extended by one year.
- The only exception being, child care centers who’s current All STARS certificate has an expiration date that falls in the year of 2019 or between January-March 2020. These center’s expiration dates will be extended by two years.
- Child care centers will be able to print their updated certificates via the Provider Portal.
With the extension of the All STARS expiration dates, all renewal processes will be switched to Annual Quality Reviews (AQR).
The All STARS Program will be processing AQRs as follows:
- AQRs will be automatically approved. No documents are required from the child care centers for their AQRs to be approved. This will include all backdated AQRs never finalized or submitted due to the state of emergency.
- AQRs will be approved based on your center’s All STARS/Licensure expiration month. If your expiration month has already passed, then these AQRs will be processed in the upcoming weeks.
Upon AQR approval, the Kentucky All STARS Program will begin processing and disbursing All STARS payments.
If you have any questions, please contact KYAllSTARS@ky.gov.
Diagnosed COVID-19 Cases
A message from the Division of Child Care sent 6/16/2020
Congratulations to all of the Kentucky child care programs who have reopened so far, and best wishes to those programs who are preparing for their upcoming reopening. I know that each of you is working exceptionally hard so that they can see the sweet faces of the children that you care for in your program. The new health and safety protocols will take some time to get acclimated to, but remember that these protocols are in place to protect the health and safety of the children AND the staff members.
In the past week, we have seen the first few cases of COVID19 diagnosed in our Kentucky child care programs.
The new emergency child care regulations have been approved by the Governor and are posted on the LRC website:
ECE 020: Requirements for Reopening Child Care in Kentucky
This course will review the requirements for child care to reopen in June 2020, including:
- the current regulations on healthy and clean environments,
- the new enhanced regulations for childcare programs open during the COVID19 state of emergency, and
- a refresher course on mandatory reporting of child abuse.
This course should take 30 minutes to complete. All program staff must complete before the program re-opens.
Timeline & Requirements for Reopening Kentucky Child Care
Kentucky has officially published its plan to reopen child care. See the link below. The information can be found on the KY Covid19 website under the Healthy at Work page.
The below are TARGET dates for CCAP funding based on the course of the pandemic.
- Beginning on July 15th, DCC stops paying parent co-pays for licensed, certified, and registered childcare providers. That will allow childcare programs to give adequate notification to families.
- By August 31st, LDC programs must transition back to a licensed or certified program.
- On October 1st, CCAP returns to payment by attendance (not on enrollment) for licensed, certified, and registered providers.
- On June 1, the mandatory training ECE 020: Requirements for Reopening Child Care in Kentucky was available https://www.hdilearning.org
- Child Care Aware will immediately begin working (virtually) with providers to help them implement cleaning plans if they need guidance.
If a childcare program must delay reopening for up to a month in order to obtain staffing, purchase PPE, and/or install temporary walls, then they can maintain their CCAP payments for children who remain enrolled. During this month, staff members must obtain mandatory employee training and the center must collaborate with Child Care Aware on their new cleaning plan. If they delay enrollment beyond that point, CCAP payments will be discontinued until they permanently reopen.
The Division of Regulated Child Care (DRCC) will temporarily close centers that choose not to reopen by 7/15/20. CCAP families may choose to find a new provider or wait until the center reopens and then re-enroll through Family Support, thus generating a new certificate requiring signatures. The billing PBF will be grayed out from the closure date to the end of the month, minimizing overpayments. Centers that open by 7/15/20 will continue to use code 45 until 10/1/20 for all CCAP children enrolled, regardless of attendance.
As child care programs begin to reopen next month, the Division of Child Care will be providing one last stipend with the funding from the federal CARES Act. This stipend will be for cleaning supplies, thermometers, and PPE (masks, gloves). The funding can also be used for a professional cleaning service, if that is what your program chooses.
There will be a new contract sent to each program for directors to sign saying that the funding will only be used for the allowed items. Once the contract is returned, the funding will be processed.
Currently, we are still processing the final contracts for the Sustainment Stipend. The new contract will be sent out in a couple of weeks. Continue to watch your email so that you can sign and return it. This stipend will be based on the size of the child care program, so the amounts will be as follows:
- In-home childcare programs – $1500
- Licensed center-based programs with capacity of 100 or less – $3000
- Licensed center-based programs with capacity over 100 – $6000
Best wishes as each of you prepare to reopen your programs.
Sarah Vanover, DCC Director
Distribution of CARES Act Funding
The Division of Child Care has announced that Kentucky has been awarded $67,741,412 to support state child care programs as part of the federal CARES Act to provide financial relief to businesses affected by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
Due to extended provider closures, the primary concern of the Kentucky Division of Child Care (DCC) during the pandemic is preserving the child care capacity throughout the state, so these funds will be directed to providers with the intent that their centers can sustain the closures and reopen as part of Governor Beshear’s phased reopening of Kentucky’s economy through his “Healthy At Work” proposal.
Sustainment Stipends for Providers
- A sustainment stipend for all childcare programs (based on capacity) of $225 per child
- This funding will be used towards employee salaries, facility costs, utilities, insurance premiums, and other fixed expenses
Bonuses for Staff
- “Hero Bonus” for all child care providers working in Limited Duration (Emergency) Child Care
Total Tuition Payment for CCAP Families at LDCs
- DCC will pay the total cost of childcare for children in the Child Care Assistance Subsidy Program who are enrolled in a Limited Duration Childcare program throughout the shutdown
The Division of Child Care will begin to disperse these funds as soon as all childcare providers sign an agreement to comply with the designated uses of the funds in alignment with the federal CARES act. Official documents will be sent to child care programs through the email address they have registered with the Division of Child Care and the Division of Regulated Child Care.
CARES Act Funding FAQs from Division of Child Care
Does this funding apply to licensed providers, certified providers, or registered providers?
The CARES Act funding will be dispersed to ALL providers – licensed, certified, and registered – regardless of whether or not the program participates with CCAP.
Has the Governor given any indication when all centers will reopen?
No date has been given. We will need to reach each of the established benchmarks before reopening. It’s a good idea to begin thinking about how you will be “Healthy at Work” when that time comes.
Where do we sign up for this?
You don’t have to “sign up”. DCC used the Active Provider report to compile a list of all active programs and capacity prior to COVID-19.
The documents to sign have not been sent yet, is that correct?
Correct. You will receive emails next week with instructions.
Is there anything we need to do to receive funds? Or does this just go through the CCAP billing?
Each child care program will receive an email with the necessary forms DCC will need to disperse funds. When you receive the email, please follow the instructions and return as soon as possible.
Is this sustainment stipend guaranteed for all facilities in the state?
Yes. All child care programs will receive the sustainment stipend based on the program’s overall capacity prior to COVID-19.
Will this also apply if a center received a PPP Loan?
Yes. This funding will be in addition to any other assistance your program may have received.
When will we see the money? When will it be direct-deposited?
Once all required paperwork is received, payments will be processed. Our goal is to disperse these funds as soon as possible.
So if we do not receive any CCAP, then we are once again “dismissed” from any help?
No. ALL child care providers (licensed, certified, registered) will receive CARES funds based on the program’s capacity prior to COVID-19 regardless of whether or not the program participates with CCAP.
Will CCAP payments still be made as normal for April? Is the stipend just extra?
Yes, CCAP payments will continue to be made. The stipend is in addition to any CCAP payments you are scheduled to receive.
What if we don’t receive CCAP and our employees are drawing unemployment during shutdown? Do we still get to use funds for other monthly expenses like utilities and loan payments?
Yes. The purpose of the CARES funds is to help sustain child care across Kentucky. These funds may be used to pay mortgage/rent, utilities, liability insurance, consumable costs, food costs, etc.
Child Care Assistance Program Update
The Division of Child Care will now be able to pay CCAP payments for children utilizing Limited Duration Childcare. The CCAP staff members are in the process of reaching out to each Limited Duration Childcare (LDC) program to clarify which children will be utilizing CCAP during the childcare shutdown. All LDCs need to collaborate with the CCAP team in order to expedite payment. Any LDC providers that have questions regarding the payment process can email the CCAP email address at CCAPProviderPayments@ky.gov.
Limited Duration Center Information
The Office of Inspector General’s CHFS COVID-19 Resources page has available information about how to become a Limited Duration Center.
If you have any questions, please contact the Division of Regulated Child Care at 502-564-7962.
Unemployment information expanded
The Governor said unemployment eligibility has been expanded effective immediately due to COVID-19. Individuals typically not covered by unemployment insurance, including self-employed, independent contractors, freelance workers, substitute teachers, childcare workers employed by religious-affiliated organizations and non-profits can now file. Those who left their job for “good cause” because of the reasonable risk of exposure (self-quarantine) or due to caring for a family member affected by the virus are also eligible. To file a claim, visit kcc.ky.gov.
All STARS Renewals and Submissions
March 26, 2020
While Kentucky is under a State of Emergency due to the highly contagious nature of COVID-19, all Kentucky All STARS Renewals and Submissions are being paused until further notice. With various elements of the All STARS Program being automated, it is entirely possible that you may have received messaging via the Provider Portal that submissions are due or adverse action is being taken for failure to submit documentation timely. Please disregard these notices.
The Division of Child Care is working to have any All STARS automated correspondences paused until further notice.
The Kentucky All STARS Program, and the Division of Child Care as a whole, greatly appreciates all the hard work, dedication, and most importantly, the quality of care that every provider brings to the children of Kentucky.
If you have any questions around the All STARS Program, please email them to KYallstars@ky.gov.
DCC’s office staff has been dramatically reduced to limited on-site services.
During this time, we urge you to contact our office via email.
Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP):
National Background Check Program:
Professional Development (Training):