The information below includes other information topics and recent updates.
Child Care Access & Financial Assistance Available for Essential Workers
We have two resources for essential workers (as defined in Executive Order 121) who are in need of emergency child care.
- We partnered with the NC Child Care Resource & Referral network to launch a hotline, 1-888-600-1685, to connect families with child care programs that have agreed to meet updated health, safety and operational guidelines.
- For those essential workers who need it, financial assistance for emergency child care is available.
Child Care Payment Policies Released
On Friday, April 3, DCDEE released COVID-19 Child Care Payment Policies, which provides detailed information about policy changes that apply to licensed or regulated child care facilities.
COVID-19 Dashboard Updated
Data on COVID-19 can be found on the Dashboard. In addition to information on number of laboratory-confirmed cases, hospitalizations and deaths, there is demographic information and data about outbreaks in congregate settings.
New Video on Reducing Anxiety and Stress
Dr. Carrie Brown, NC DHHS Chief Medical Officer of Behavioral Health and IDD, has a new video on ways to manage stress and anxiety during COVID-19 social distancing, quarantine and isolation.
For more information about limiting the spread of COVID-19, read about:
- Current status of the COVID-19 crisis in North Carolina
- COVID-19 Emergency Child Care Provider Application
- Financial Assistance for Providers
- Financial Assistance for Parents
- Resources available
Following the presentation, NC DHHS leadership will lead a moderated Q&A session.
There will be four different opportunities for child care providers to participate in the webinar. Please choose the time that works best for you.
Tuesday, March 31, 2020 – 11:00 am-12:30 pm
Attendee Link: https://cisco.webex.com/cisco/onstage/g.php?MTID=e488e912d05a555da3c329bfe944c5106
Password – covid19
Tuesday, March 31, 2020 – 1:00-2:30 pm
Attendee Link: https://cisco.webex.com/cisco/onstage/g.php?MTID=e761628ddd93b2612789ad82661e7946a
Password – covid19
Tuesday, March 31, 2020 – 3:00-4:30 pm
Attendee Link: https://cisco.webex.com/cisco/onstage/g.php?MTID=e644cd1debe269c018cd0c95a1b8c608e
Password – covid19
For best results, it is recommended that each attendee join the meeting by computer, laptop, or tablet.
- Updated guidance for cleaning and disinfection of soft (porous) surfaces
- Updated links to EPA-registered disinfectant list
- Added guidance for disinfection of electronics
- Updated core disinfection/cleaning guidance
For more information on the steps child care facilities who remain open to serve essential personnel in their communities, visit the NC Department of Health and Human Services website. Read more about checking temperatures and using thermometers during the COVID-19 outbreak here.
North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper has issued a Stay at Home order for North Carolina, effective Monday, March 30th at 5 pm until April 29th, 2020
Read the Executive Order in full and see the Frequently Asked Questions.
Child care providers who are following the required NC DHHS procedures are considered essential businesses and permitted to remain open.
View the press briefing below:
For Training Requirements in Child Care Rule 10A NCAC 09 .1102 it is allowable to provide an additional six months for administrators and any child care provider to complete CPR, FA and ITS-SIDS training if needed. This change is allowed as long as one child care provider who has completed the CPR, FA training is present while children are in care, and as long as one child care provider in the infant room who has completed the ITS-SIDS training is present while infants are in care.
If early educators are unable to get the ITS-SIDS training at this time, please review this document carefully. It includes rule changes that were made in October 2017. It is important that these rules are followed so that safe sleep environments can be provided for infants.
In addition, there are current sample policies available on our website that reflect the rule changes (available in English and Spanish).
According to guidance from DCDEE, only children and staff who are needed to maintain ratio should be in classrooms. In order to limit the chance of COVID-19 spread:
- Have parents drop off children outside the classroom. Staff should meet children as they are dropped off.
- Have someone posted at the entrance to talk to staff and families who are entering the building about their symptoms.
- Conduct a Daily Health Check, upon arrival, every day, for every child – and periodically throughout the day. During the COVID-19 outbreak, taking children’s temperatures during the day is another sensible precaution.
In addition, ask staff and parents of the children entering the building if they or their child is experiencing:
- Fever (temperature of 100.4 degrees F or higher)
- Shortness of breath
- Sore throat
Exclude both staff and children who are experiencing any of these symptoms or have been in close contact with anyone with any of these symptoms.
As an additional measure, some early care and education programs are using thermometers to check for fevers, in addition to interviewing staff or families about symptoms and whether or not they have taken fever reducing medication in the last 24 hours.
Which kind of thermometer
We recommend, considering Caring for Our Children standard 184.108.40.206 and after consultation with medical professionals with the Division of Public Health, that during the COVID-19 outbreak:
- Do not take oral (under the tongue) temperatures using a shared thermometer. The coronavirus that causes COVID-19 is most contagious through respiratory droplets coughed, sneezed or breathed out of the mouth. Even with a disposable cover that is changed between individuals, if a droplet gets on the handle it could pass from one person to another.
- Infrared (touchless) thermometers are ideal for use during the COVID-19 outbreak, as they allow multiple temperatures to be taken without the thermometer touching individuals.
- Tympanic (ear) thermometers are an option for children four months and older. However, while a tympanic thermometer gives quick results, it needs to be placed correctly in the child’s ear to be accurate and the presence of ear wax can cause the reading to be incorrect.
- Digital axillary (under the arm) and temporal (forehead) temperatures are less accurate, but are a good option for checking for fever in child care settings.
However, thermometers are in short supply and difficult to find in some areas. If an appropriate thermometer for use during the COVID-19 outbreak is not available for purchase locally or online, you can:
- Ask the family or legal guardian to fill out and sign a form that reports their child’s temperature as taken at home (or affirming the child does not have a fever) and any symptoms.
- Contact your Local Partnership for Children or Child Care Health Consultant and let them know of essential items you are unable to obtain. They may be able to coordinate with local resources about options that might be available.
Protecting staff who are performing checks during drop-off:
To protect the person posted at the entrance to the facility, consider one or more of the following suggestions:
- Have the person posted at the entrance maintain a six-foot distance from individuals as much as possible – use tape on the floor to delineate the space.
- Use a touchless thermometer if one is available.
- Have parents, family members or legal guardians bring a thermometer from home to check their own child’s temperature at drop off
- If using the facility’s thermometer:
- Do not take oral (under the tongue) temperatures because of the risk of spreading COVID-19 from respiratory droplets from the mouth.
- Let the parent or staff pick up the thermometer and take their own temporal / axillary or tympanic temperature on their child or themselves.
- Use disposable thermometer covers that are changed between individuals.
- Clean and sanitize the thermometer using manufacturer’s instructions often, and between uses if disposable covers are not available.
- Wash hands or use hand sanitizer between direct contact with individuals.