COVID-19 Family Child Care
COVID-19 has created many challenges for family child care providers. After speaking to our community of providers, CCPC understands there are some tough decisions that need to be made.
CCPC has created a COVID-19 resources guide to help you in this uncertain time.
In an effort to support you, CCPC will be sharing resources and validated information in this COVID-19 Resource Guide.
A special thank you to the organizations and individuals that have made contributions to this resource. As recommendations change, please continue to check back for updated best practice options. Links can be found in the menu.
As a professional organization supporting family child care providers in Kansas, CCPC is committed to offering the highest quality and most up-to-date information to our members. If you are interested in joining CCPC as a member, you can click on the membership tab to find more information.
Should I keep my family child care open?
Family child care providers are struggling with finding the best way to continue providing a vital service to their community while ensuring the safety of their own family and students. If you’re unsure of what to do or where to start with your decision making process, you’re not alone. There are a number of important factors to consider in making this decision. It is entirely your choice and you must decide whether to close or stay open based on your comfort level.
Has your local government mandated a closure of family child care programs?
Each county has its own set of regulations as it relates to closures and guidelines. If you have questions visit KDHE to learn about regulations and recommendations for your area.
Do you serve families of essential workers?
Staying open enables doctors, nurses, first responders, restaurant staff, and other essential workers to continue supporting our communities during a time we need them most.
Has there been community spread in your area, or has a student, or family member been diagnosed with COVID-19?
If there is community spread in your area, work with your local health officials to devise a plan. If someone diagnosed with COVID-19 has entered your premises, the CDC recommends proceeding with a two to five day closure to disinfect the area and assess the situation with local health officials.
Have you considered financial relief options to help you get through this challenging period?
CCPC is committed to helping family child care providers. Our goal is to get the most relevant and accurate information in the hands of providers to help them in their programs.
When making financial decisions please do your research. Each provider’s situation is unique and there is not a one size fits all. If you have question please check out Tom Copeland's Taking Care of Business website for guidance.
Here are a list of financial resources for your family child care programs impacted by COVID-19.
Apply for child care subsidies as well as food or cash assistance
Hero Relief Grant
The Kansas Department for Children and Families and Child Care Aware of Kansas are announcing the Hero Relief Program. DCF has received funding through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and is partnering with Child Care Aware to distribute these funds to child care providers in Kansas.
This funding will be used to provide Hero Relief Program grants to licensed child care centers and family child care programs impacted as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Locate the grant at Hero Relief Grant
The CARES Act was signed into law on Friday, March 22, 2020. This law expanded the number of people who are now eligible to claim unemployment benefits and increased by $600 a week the amount eligible people can claim.
Family child care providers are eligible to receive unemployment benefits when any of the following occur:
Your state or local government requires you to shut down your program
You are closed as a direct result of the COVIDd of the COVID-19 public health emergency and such school or facility care is required for the individual to work”
You have been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to concerns related to the virus
If you believe you might be eligible for unemployment benefits, contact your state unemployment office.
The CARES Act, contains $376 billion in relief for American workers and small businesses.
How can I keep my family child care open?
Can you maintain financial stability if your enrollment is reduced?
The first step towards maintaining financial stability is understanding your current financial situation. Take a look at your weekly expenses, available funds, and estimated tuition to get a sense of where you are and what you need to maintain your business.
Consider charging full or reduced tuition for families who keep their children at home. Some family child care programs have also asked families who keep their children at home to pay a small fee to hold their spot in lieu of charging tuition.
Enroll new students. Work with area referral agencies to identify families who may be looking for child care. You may also want to look into enrolling children of essential workers by advertising your program to this group online and in your communities.
Manage expenses. Identify your largest expenses and negotiate recurring payments – for example, with your landlord or mortgage company. Consider asking for lower payments for the next few months and add the discounted amount to future payments over an extended period.
What steps can you take to keep your students and family safe?
We know that keeping your family and the children in your care safe is your top priority.
You should continue to monitor the situation in your area and comply with state and local guidelines, such as disinfecting your premises, practicing good hygiene, and enforcing social distancing.
Here are a few practical tips we’ve collected from our community that you can implement immediately:
Actively encourage sick children to stay home.
Have children wash hand when they arrive, after they sneeze or cough, before and after they eat, after using the restroom and as needed through out the day.
Consider limiting each classroom to ten or less people.
Allow extra time to focus on cleaning classroom and toys.
Consider minimizing use of communal items such as touchscreen devices.
Only allow students into your family child care program. This means families should wait outside to drop off and pick up their children.
How can you keep your own morale high during this time of uncertainty?
You are playing a vital role in caring for the children during this COVID-19 crisis, so it’s critical to continue take care of yourself during this stressful time. Here are some ideas to help you get started.
Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including social media. Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting.
Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, exercise regularly, get plenty of sleep.
Make time to unwind. Try to do some other activities you enjoy.
Connect with others. Talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling.
Self care Resources and Links:
Closing your family child care program
If you decide to close your family child care, make sure to make proper contacts.
If you choose to close your program for an extended period, here’s a checklist for what to do:
Notify local health officials, staff, and families of your program’s closure and its duration.
Make sure all contact information families is up to date This is critical for keeping everyone informed and providing the support they need while children are at home.
Should I still charge families tuition while my family child care is closed?
Tom Copeland advises providers to review enrollment contracts first to understand the legal rights of your program and families. You’ll also want to consider the community you serve and their financial circumstances, and available resources via donations and government assistance, throughout your decision making process. Keep in mind, any students on subsidy will continue to be supported, so make sure to confirm coverage of those students.
From speaking with our community, there are a few ways providers are approaching this topic:
Charge full tuition in the short-term, and consider reducing to partial tuition if the closure extends for longer than two weeks.
Waive tuition but request a small payment, such as a portion of tuition, to hold a student’s spot once the center reopens.
Provide learning activities, take home activity bags and virtual circle time, and request full or partial payment in exchange.
It may be beneficial for providers to think of ways to help reduce the burden on families during this difficult time, but you also need to be mindful of your own needs and how your will keep your own business financial stability. Nurturing these relationships will allow you to continue serving your families through and after this difficult time.
Remember to explain your own situation to your families. Share that you have expenses to pay, and that in order to be able to reopen you need to be able to cover basic costs during this COVID-19 crisis.
How can I continue to help my families while my family child care is closed?
Although closure will inevitably impact families and students, there are ways you can continue supporting them during this challenging time.
Ways to support families and students:
Check in with each families periodically via phone or video conferencing to provide support and maintain relationships.
Offer at-home learning options to families by hosting virtual activities such as circle time.
Implement virtual social hours with families.
Many providers are using technology like Zoom Video Conferencing or Facebook Messenger group chat to offer activity time, lesson plans, and social hours virtually. By doing so, they’re able to provide support and much needed relief for families while your family child care is closed.
How can you take advantage of your time while your family child care is closed?
If a closure is unavoidable, we suggest finding ways to take advantage of a potentially slower period, with an eye toward emerging even stronger once you reopen. Here are a few ideas you may want to explore.
Take care of yourself. We know how stressful these times are, but it’s important to remember to take care of your mental, emotional, and physical well being.
Invest in your programming. Consider taking training hours to enhance your program.
Evaluate operational and program improvements. This can be a great time to look at your current operations and implement some of the ideas you may have put on hold, such as streamlining paperwork, improving parent communications, rearranging your child care space, working on your outdoor play space or organizing your supply closet.
Invest in marketing. Work on building an online web site or creating a facebook business page.
How can I help?
Many organizations from around the state are collecting information to help guide them in the needs of family child care providers. Please fill out surveys and contact legislators to make sure your voice is heard. If you have questions please reach out for help.
Tell Congress to Support Child Care in COVID_19
Child Care Stimulus Survey