COVID-19 Resources

California Family Child Care Providers’  Top Questions about COVID-19 – Updated June 16, 2020

Everything is changing, fast, including executive orders from the Governor, state regulations, federal actions and county health directives. Please check back frequently for the latest information.

Best practices to protect children in care

California’s Department of Social Services and the CDC have issued recommendations. These include:

  • Have a clear communication plan with staff and parents.
  • Educate parents about the importance of handwashing and social distancing.
  • Screen all staff, parents, and children for fever, before entering the child care each day.
  • Restrict visitors and volunteers.
  • Send children and staff who appear to be sick home immediately, keeping them in a separate sick room until they leave.
  • Model, teach, and practice safe hygiene with children and staff–social distancing, hand washing, covering coughs and sneezes with tissues or sleeve. Here’s how one provider is coping. 
  • Limit the number of children who are together at any one time. See bulletin and CDC’s web site for approaches that may fit your child care.
  • More frequent and extensive sanitation to all touch surfaces.
  • If a child or staff in your child care tests positive COVID-19 and has exposed others in your care, follow the guidance of your local health department. Full instructions are here.
  • Read the bulletins in full: DSS PIN #20-04 March 16, 2020 and DSS PIN #20-06 April 7, 2020
  • Also read this June 5 update from 3 state departments. 

CDC’s practical and thorough guidance here. (Updated regularly)

New Rules for Family Childcare

You best know your own risk factors and should consider your own health. This is your own decision. 

  • Parents can find providers with child care openings via Carina. CCPU members can list themselves on Carina, a child care connection system that tens of thousands of essential workers can access to connect with available child care in their area. Here’s more information about Carina child care connection platform & send us your information here if you’d like to join. And we are working to establish a fund to help healthcare workers and other essential workers pay for care. 
  • During the pandemic, family child care home, day care center, school-age child care center or infant care center may waive adult-to-child, teacher-child, or staff-infant ratios as necessary for prevention, containment, and mitigation measures, as long as the health and safety of children is not compromised. 
  • The ratio of child to staff in a family child care home is temporarily increased to up to 10 children per 1 adult. 
  • Small child care providers can care for up to 14 children and license exempt providers can care for kids from more than one family during the pandemic. 
  • There are additional guidelines for how providers should comply (notify licensing and parents, for example). Finally, compliance on staff guidelines to allow hiring and other licensing rules have been relaxed temporarily but all providers are encouraged to continue to offer their standard of quality as much as possible. 

California counties are lifting restrictions on which families may receive child care. These conditions apply to areas where child care is still confined to essential workers.

  • California has said that care for the children of essential workers is essential and has made child care funding for these families available for a limited time. 
  • Essential workers include employees in health care, pharmacies, grocery stores, gas stations, food banks, take-out and delivery, banks, laundry, agriculture, transportation, communications, essential state and local government functions. The list is very long. 

How Providers Can Access Health Care

Health care coverage options

Generally, if you are self-employed, are uninsured, and your income falls within a certain range then you may be eligible for the following coverage options:

Medi-Cal Coverage (free and no cost) – If your gross income is less than $17,000 as an individual or $36,000 for a family of four annually, then you are eligible for free and no cost Medi-Cal coverage. Medi-Cal enrollment is open year-round and we encourage those eligible to sign-up as soon as possible. 

If you receive the federal  Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), this will NOT be counted towards your overall  income and will not affect your eligibility.

Covered California Coverage (available federal or state subsidies) – If your gross income is less than $75,000 as an individual or $150,000 for a family of four annually, then you are eligible for affordable coverage through Covered California. You may be eligible for financial assistance/subsidies to help afford your monthly health care insurance premiums. You can sign up and buy insurance coverage on Covered California until June 30th, 2020.

If you receive the federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), then this WILL BE counted towards your overall income. This means that these supplemental payments may increase your income and affect the amount of subsidy you are awarded for health coverage assistance.

Medicare Coverage – If you are 65 years old and older, then you are eligible for low cost Medicare coverage. Medicare includes three parts: Part A (Hospital Insurance), Part B (Medicare Insurance), and Part D (Prescription Drugs Coverage). While most people do not have to pay a premium for Part A, everyone must pay monthly premiums for Part B and Part D plans.

COVID-19 Covered Services and Treatment

Regardless of your health insurance status, California is waiving all costs associated with the screening and testing of COVID-19.  

Medi-Cal is covering testing, screening, and treatment due to COVID-19 for FREE to Californians regardless of immigration status and income provided in the hospital or community clinics. If you are undocumented or an immigrant and are uninsured, then you are eligible for free COVID-19 testing and treatment under restricted scope/emergency Medi-Cal. 

  1. If your income is too high to qualify for traditional Medi-Cal, there is a new COVID-19 Presumptive Eligibility Program (PE) that you may be eligible for and that will cover free testing and treatment. People can apply for the new COVID-19 PE Program at hospitals or community clinics. The PE Program will be effective April 24, 2020.
  • Who is eligible for PE COVID-19?
    • Uninsured individuals;
    • Individuals whose private insurance does NOT cover COVID-19 diagnostic testing, testing- related services, and treatment services, including all medically necessary care for COVID-19;
    • Individuals that are NOT eligible under any of the other Medi-Cal programs (with the exception of individuals who have not met their Medi-Cal Share of Cost obligation);
    • Must be a California resident. 
  • If you are undocumented or an immigrant and are uninsured, then you are eligible for free COVID-19 testing and treatment under restricted scope/emergency Medi-Cal.

Private Insurance Coverage: The State of California has eliminated cost-sharing (co-pays, deductibles, or coinsurance) for all medically necessary screening and testing for COVID-19, including hospital and urgent care visits, and provider office visits where the purpose of the visit is to be screened and/or tested for COVID-19. Additionally, the state has also waived prior authorization requirements for services related to COVID-19, prescription drug prior authorization requirements and eliminated dispensing limits on prescription drug supply. This only applies to insurance coverage regulated by the State of California. 

To determine if your insurance coverage is regulated by the State of California please call DMHC’s Help Center at 1-888-466- 2219. If you have purchased your insurance through Covered California, your coverage is regulated by the State of California. 

Medicare also covers FREE COVID-19 testing under the Medicare Part B plan. Medicare will also cover all medically necessary hospitalizations. This includes COVID-19 diagnosis and hospitalizations as a result of the virus. If a vaccine for COVID-19 becomes available, then it will be covered by the Medicare prescription drug plans

Medicare Part D plans provide up to a 90-day supply of a prescription medication if requested by a beneficiary during the COVID-19 emergency period. This allows a beneficiary to ensure an adequate supply of maintenance drugs in the event access to prescription drugs is disrupted.

Financial Resources for Providers

  • All California child care providers working within the state subsidy system, both who care for children who have vouchers and those that are part of Networks, will be paid regardless of child attendance at least through June 30th. Pay will be based on the maximum number of hours for which families were authorized to receive subsidized child care before the pandemic began. If providers close down, they will still receive their child care subsidy reimbursement for up to 30 days. Detailed state regulations here
  • Private clients’ obligations are governed by agreements you have with those parents.
  • PLEASE NOTE: Family fees (co-pays) have been waived for parents who do continue with care and families receiving essential child care subsidies between April 1 and June 30. (Updated April 1, 2020)
  • For families certified for a variable schedule, providers shall be reimbursed based on the maximum authorized hours of care.
  • License-exempt providers shall also be reimbursed based on the maximum authorized hours of care.
  • Providers may submit an invoice or attendance record without the parent signature if the parent is unavailable to sign. 
  • Providers that are unable to submit an attendance record or invoice should contact his or her AP. The APs should work with you to determine the best way to receive attendance and/or invoice records while ensuring local public health department guidelines are being met.
  • Family Child Care Networks providers will be paid through June 30. See bulletin for details about staying in touch with and services for children and families during your closure. Management Bulletin 20-10 (Updated April 24.)
  • Additional information will be forthcoming. All guidelines are in effect through June 30, 2020 unless modified or extended. Read the full bulletin for more details. Note that the COVID-19 guidance is changing our state daily. Please check back frequently for updated information. (Updated June 16, 2020
  • The Governor has asked local governments to halt evictions for renters and homeowners, slow foreclosures, and protect against utility shutoffs for Californians affected by COVID-19–your county and city government have taken additional action. While this is dire for everyone this is especially important for child care providers whose place of business are our home. (Updated March 20, 2020)
  • If you have lost work or must close you may be eligible for Unemployment Insurance.
    • Child care providers are eligible for two new Unemployment Insurance (UI) programs in the recently enacted federal CARES Act: Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (PUC). 

Guide for Family Child Care Workers Filing for PUA

This is some guidance about the best way to answer some of the questions on the PUA application. To file an application, access UI Online at https://portal.edd.ca.gov/WebApp/Registration, then log in or register for an account if you do not already have an account. After you have entered your account, click “UI Online” and then “File New Claim” to start a new claim or “Continue with Saved Draft” if you are resuming an application that you have already started.

  1. Are you currently self-employed, work as an independent contractor, etc.  If you are impacted by COVID-19, click No.
  • You should answer NO for this question.  This question is very confusing for those who are actually self-employed.  EDD’s guidance is that those who are impacted by COVID-19 should answer NO here, so you should answer NO even if you are self-employed.
  • We also received questions about how to answer the question “Are you willing to modify or abandon your self-employment to accept full time work?”  If you answer NO to the question above, you will not see this question, so there is no need to answer it so long as you answer NO to Question 1 above.
  1. Are you a member of a union or a non-union trade association?  
  • If you are currently paying dues to a union, you should answer YES to this question.  Otherwise, you should answer NO to this question.
  • If you answer YES to this question, you are prompted to answer further questions about your union membership. If you answer NO to the question above, you will not see those questions, so there is no need to answer them if you answer NO to Question 2 above.
    • 2a. *What is the name of your union or non-union trade association?
      • You should enter the name of the union to which you pay dues. The options are as follows:
        • Service Employees International Union (“SEIU”)
        • (American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (“AFSCME”).
    • 2b. *What is your union local number? (Enter zero “0” for non-union trade association.)
      • You should enter the local number of the union to which you pay dues. The options are as follows:
        • SEIU Local 99
        • SEIU Local 521
        • AFSCME Local 3930
    • 2c. What is the phone number of your union or non-union trade association?
      • SEIU Local 99: (213) 387-8393
      • SEIU Local 521: (408) 678-3300
      • AFSCME Local 3930: (800) 621-5016
    • 2d.*Does your union or non-union trade association look for work for you?
      • You should answer NO to this question.
    • 2e. *Does your union or non-union trade association control your hiring?
      • You should answer NO to this question.
    • 2f. *Are you registered with your union or non-union trade association as out of work?
      • You should answer NO to this question.
    • 2g. *Are you going to receive strike benefits?
      • You should answer NO to this question.
  1. What type of work do you normally perform?
  • Search “child care,” which brings up a handful of options including CHILD CARE WORKER, RESIDENTIAL HOME, which seems like the best option.
  1. Are you unemployed as a direct result of a recent disaster?
  • You should answer YES to this question.

4.a.1. What is your annual income for calendar year 2019? Provide your NET Annual income for calendar year 2019.

  • The PUA program determines benefits based on a claimant’s post-tax NET income. So you should list your post-tax income here, not your pre-tax adjusted gross income.
  • To calculate your NET income, start with the pre-tax adjusted gross income on your tax form (line 11b on the 2019 version of IRS Form 1040) and subtract from that figure the amount you paid in taxes in 2019.

4.a.3. Select the option for how you were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • You should answer this question with the choice that best describes your circumstances. For most home child care workers, the best option will be “You are an independent contractor with reportable income (ex. IRS Form 1099) and you are forced to stop working because COVID-19 has severely limited your ability to continue performing your customary work activities.”

4.e.2. Explain briefly how the disaster affected your ability to continue or begin your self-employment.

  • You should answer with a brief description of one or two sentences of why you are not able to continue operating your business. You could write something like: “Due to the pandemic and shelter in place orders, I cannot operate my child care business because families are no longer sending their children to me.”

Updated May 4, 2020

 

Cleaning Supplies for Child Care Providers

There are 3 resources for providers to access cleaning supplies and PPE:

  • Funding and/or supplies through the Cleaning Supplies for Childcare Providers (CSCP)
  1. Limited supplies made available from California Department of Public Health 
  2. Other supplies made available locally via agencies, First 5’s, elected officials or others. Contact local provider leaders or organizers to learn more. 
  1. The Cleaning Supplies for Childcare Providers (CSCP) funding is available for both licensed and license-exempt center and home-based providers and who provide services to either subsidized or private pay families. R&Rs are responsible for dispersing the CSCP funds to child care providers in their service areas in accordance with the following guidance. Here is the county-by-county list of R&Rs with names, phone numbers and email addresses. This summary is current as of May 8, 2020.

Funding Conditions for Providers

Eligibility

  • Providers may be licensed providers or license-exempt, center, or home-based providers and are not required to serve children receiving subsidies.
  • In order to receive CSCP funding, providers must be currently open or intend to reopen during the COVID-19 emergency.
  • Providers that are currently closed and do not intend to reopen during the period of the COVID-19 emergency are not eligible to receive the CSCP.

R&Rs must determine if the provider is open or will reopen during the period of the emergency. To make this determination, R&Rs must use self-certification information from providers.

Any providers that are not open at the time of being awarded CSCP resources must self-certify that they will reopen, and provide the R&R agency with the expected reopening date.

Allowable Expenses

The CSCP funds must be used to ensure healthy and safe childcare and ELC settings for children. Examples of allowable expenses include:

  • Cleansers and sanitizers;
  • Masks, gloves, and other personal supplies necessary to protect against and reduce the spread of the Novel Coronavirus. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) should not be acquired as it is considered essential medical equipment for healthcare providers.
  • Labor costs associated with additional time for cleaning or cleaning services;
  • Supplies including instructional materials necessary to implement social distancing and other reasonable health and safety costs associated with responding to state and local health official COVID-19 guidance.

In addition to these allowable expenses, purchase of other materials to ensure the well-being and education of children who remain at home are allowed.

Funding Amounts & Timeframe

Funds are allocated based on the capacity of the childcare provider and a per-child funding amount of $65.89.

  • For licensed providers based on either the licensed capacity or the number of children served, whichever is larger.
  • For license-exempt providers, capacity shall be the total number of children served by the provider at any single time.

Funds may be utilized for supplies and services purchased beginning on March 4, 2020. Funding must be spent by December 31, 2020. Awards for CSCP funds shall be made on a first-come, first-serve basis.

If the R&R program has any unclaimed, unused, or remaining funds on September 30, 2020, they may use remaining funds to purchase additional supplies in bulk in anticipation of providers in their service needing access to these supplies. These supplies shall be prioritized for providers who have not yet applied for CSCP funds. As a result, if providers apply for CSCP funds after September 30, 2020, they may need to use their award to purchase supplies from the R&R instead of receiving the money directly.

How to Obtain Supplies/Funding

Funding Options & Limitations

Providers have three options for obtaining supplies from R&Rs:

  • They may purchase them directly from the R&R.
  • They may receive payment from the R&R in order to purchase supplies on their own.
  • They may use a combination of the first two options.

Providers can receive CSCP through only one R&R and may not access them more than once unless the R&R has additional funding and resources left after the first round and makes the resources available again.

Application Process

In order to receive funding, providers must submit a self certification form (https://www.cde.ca.gov/sp/cd/re/documents/providerselfcertifyform.pdf) to the R&R.

  • R&Rs must post the self-certification letter to their website, and where an email address is available, email the self-certification letter to a provider requesting funds or supplies.
  • The provider will complete the letter and return it with an electronic signature to the R&R. R&Rs must accept self-certification forms from providers electronically, including scanned and sent by email, a picture of a completed form that can be emailed, texted, or faxed.

Sources:

Original CDE Apportionment Letter:

https://www.cde.ca.gov/sp/cd/re/rrapportionmentletter.asp

Updated CDE Apportionment Letter:

https://www.cde.ca.gov/sp/cd/re/updatedrrapportletter.asp

Self-certification Form:

https://www.cde.ca.gov/sp/cd/re/documents/providerselfcertifyform.pdf

CA R&R Directory:

https://www.cde.ca.gov/SP/cd/re/rragencylist.asp

  1. The California Department of Public Health announced June 5th it will make critical supplies available to all licensed providers and license-exempt providers who serve subsidized children. 
  • They will provide a no-touch thermometer, plastic face shields for providers, cloth masks for children and staff, and hand sanitizer in quantities to last 60 days. 
  • After that point, the State hopes to make available these supplies to providers at reduced cost. 
  • Initial supply distribution will take place through R&Rs in most counties (other counties will utilize a Local Planning Council or First 5 agency), and the goal is to distribute by the end of June. 
  • Read the State’s announcement for additional information.

Building A Sustainable Child Care System?

Child care providers, through our union CCPU, asked the governor for the emergency support listed above–and more. Here’s the rest of the to do list we gave him:

  • Create an emergency child care fund to ensure the children of first responders, doctors, nurses, other healthcare workers and workers providing essential services for the community at large are cared for during this crisis. Connect our child cares with parents who are essential workers, so that their children may be in good care while their folks keep our hospitals and grocery stores running.
  • Sick leave, unemployment insurance, and disability pay or its equivalent for ourselves and our assistants. Create an emergency fund that providers can access to hire additional child care assistants and substitutes. This fund would also allow providers to pay their assistants who fall ill extended paid sick leave.
  • Child care providers urgently need access to cleaning and sanitizing supplies. The state must ensure we can find those supplies–and pay for them. (Updated March 20, 2020.)
  • Establish Workforce Retention and Recruitment Program: Supporting child care providers caring for the children of essential workers means those providers will be available to all parents when schools reopen and the economy recovers. A 30% premium added to the subsidy rate to care for children of essential employees will stabilize the child care sector.

Add your name to the letter to the Governor to lift up these demands.