MSDE is using the e-mail address it has on file for your program to communicate information. Make sure your MSDE Licensing Specialist has a current, accurate e-mail to reach you. If you are not receiving emails, visit this site and at the bottom left of the page, click on the Sign Up for Email Updates icon. This grants MSDE permission to communicate with you via email.
who is essential?
Essential personnel are identified in the Governor’s order that can be found here. We have no further clarification at this time. Any parent or caregiver who is not identified as essential personnel should be sheltering in place and should not be using child care.
If your child care program is approved to provide care for essential personnel, you should provide your staff with a letter on your letterhead identifying that your services are approved and this person has a legitimate reason to be out and to use public transportation.
is the child care scholarship program still active?
The Child Care Scholarship (Subsidy) Program will pay closed (licensed and regulated) programs for children who are enrolled and previously determined eligible for this program. The payment of child care scholarships based on a child’s enrollment began on Friday, March 27, 2020, when Dr. Salmon ordered all child care programs closed. Child care scholarships will be paid based on a child’s enrollment. Currently, the collection of co-pays for children who receive a child care scholarship are suspended. Child care providers should not collect co-pays from any family receiving a child care scholarship.
If an Essential Personnel Child Care (EPCC) program is caring for a child of essential personnel and that child has an active child care scholarship, the provider will be paid only once for that child. The provider will be paid the child care scholarship amount and, if that amount is lower than the EPCC provider reimbursement rate, the difference will be paid between the scholarship payment and the EPCC provider reimbursement rate.
how many and who can i care for?
The Governor has indicated no group of individuals should exceed 10, in child care, including both children and adults, and those programs that are EPCC programs must also continue to follow child care regulations. Unless specified otherwise in the EPCC approval from OCC/Licensing, regulated programs can follow the hours of operation they were previously approved for (e.g. specifications of weekend care, overnight care, etc.) prior to this health emergency. If an approved EPCC site wishes to change its hours or other operational features, programs must complete the “Change in Operation” form and receiving approval from their Regional Licensing Office.
Unless specified otherwise in the EPCC approval from OCC/Licensing, regulated programs can care for ages of children they were previously approved for prior to this health emergency.
As is typical with the child care regulations, during this health emergency you are not required to take a child who appears symptomatic. More guidance will be forthcoming on conditions that may require you to close your program.
Children ages 6 weeks up to 3 years: $350 per week, per child (part time and full time)
Children 3 years up to 13 years: $250 per week, per child (part time and full time)
MSDE has sent out invoices that should be filled out for each child that ATTENDED your program during the 2 week period. Accompanying the invoice are instructions on how to fill out the invoice and what should be sent in with the invoice. DO NOT send in proof that the parent is an essential personnel. Keep those for your records for when your program is audited. In order for you to be paid for an essential personnel’s child, that child must be in attendance at least one day each week.
For programs participating as approved EPCC or EPSA sites, the invoicing will be every other week. MSDE is sending invoices to approved EPCC and EPSA sites on April 9, 2020 and April 10, 2020.
As mentioned above, if an Essential Personnel Child Care (EPCC) program is caring for a child of essential personnel and that child has an active child care scholarship, the provider will be paid only once for that child. The provider will be paid the child care scholarship amount and, if that amount is lower than the EPCC provider reimbursement rate, the difference will be paid between the scholarship payment and the EPCC provider reimbursement rate.
what about families who live or work outside of maryland?
MSDE has indicated that emergency personnel who live in another state but work in Maryland and use child care programs in Maryland meet the Governor’s definition of essential personnel for this program. Likewise MSDE has indicated that emergency personnel who work outside of Maryland but live in Maryland and use child care programs in Maryland meet the Governor’s definition of essential personnel for this program.
i’m a child care provider and i’m struggling financially. is help available?
Maryland Family Network has created a page of resources for child care providers who may be struggling financially. That resource can be found here.
how do i know if information is legitimate?
Please be aware that there are those who want to take advantage of child care providers during this time. Read the advice below to protect yourself from scammers:
Neither the State of Maryland nor the federal government will contact you by text, email, or call with instructions about receiving a stimulus check. Anything like that is likely just a ruse to steal your personal information or money. Any communication claiming to be able to get your stimulus check early is also a scam;
Anyone who calls claiming to be from the government and asks for your Social Security number or any financial information (bank account number or credit card number, for example) is trying to scam you;
You will NOT need to pay any money to the government, or anyone, before receiving a stimulus check;
You do NOT need to complete the U.S. 2020 Census in order to receive a stimulus check;
If you have questions about stimulus payments to individuals, communicate directly only with the IRS. More information is available at www.irs.gov/coronavirus.
COVID-19 virus testing is always free, but it MUST be carried out by a qualified health care entity, such as your doctor or a hospital. Anyone claiming that they can sell you an at-home test is a fraudster.
The federal Small Business Administration does NOT directly administer loans to small businesses. It backs other lenders (such as banks) to provide these loans to businesses. Any unsolicited contact from someone claiming to be able to get your business an SBA loan is a scammer.
“Scammers are hard at work trying to come up with ways to steal your personal information or money. Don’t fall for it,” said Attorney General Frosh. “If you need help determining whether something is a scam, our Consumer Protection Division can assist you. Call us at 410-528-8662 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.”
Unfortunately, there will be more scams targeting people during this pandemic. Please be vigilant.
can i make modifications to my child care setting such as plexiglass or cloth barriers?
Several providers have asked about installing plexiglass or cloth barriers in order to make self-contained classrooms, in order to meet the Governor’s Order regarding no more than 10 individual in a group. According to OCC Licensing, with guidance from the Maryland Department of Health (MDH) , a program may not use cloth dividers. The construction of new walls to create more classrooms is not permitted at this time.
what if i decide to close?
In the application for essential personal paperwork it is stated that if you are closing your program because of financial reasons you must give the OCC Regional Licensing Office 7 calendar days written notice. Without 7 days’ notice to close, providers will not receive payment for that week (unless the closing was due to a positive COVID-19 test).
how do we address tuition while we are closed?
MSDE has received several inquiries from families regarding the continued financial responsibility to pay for child care if a facility has closed or if a parent has decided to temporarily discontinue child care services. With each parent or caregiver that calls, MSDE has taken the time to listen and respond to their concerns.
MSDE certainly understand the coronavirus pandemic has had a significant impact on both families and child care providers and is currently working on a fair and reasonable resolution. During this time of emergency, we must seek to work collaboratively and strive towards equitable outcomes. MSDE appreciates your input on these issues and recognizes the urgency to provide a solution in the very near future.
can providers still receive training during the pandemic?