Important Notices

Resources for Child Care Providers  

On 10/14/2020, GOECD, IDPH, DCFS, and IDHS hosted a Child Care Provider Town Hall Meeting for child care providers currently caring for children, CCR&R staff, and advocates. The following resources were made available following the meeting and have been posted to the GOECD website:

 UPCOMING: Q&A based on the chat box from the 10/14/20 Town Hall and the 9/24/20 webinar “The Early Learning Landscape Six Months into the COVID-19 Pandemic” in English and Spanish. 


School-Aged Children Who Need Full-Time Care During Remote Learning
Important Update on School-Aged Children in Remote Learning

CCAP will pay a full-time day for school age children in remote learning if the parent’s work/school schedule does not allow them to be home with their child and the child is in the provider’s care for five or more hours during that time.

Parents and child care providers can inform us of a need for full-time care in the following ways:

  • Child care providers can change any part-time days on their child care certificates to full days, and write the reason for the change as "remote learning."
  • Parents can call, e-mail, or text us and let us know they need full-time care for their school-aged children due to remote learning. If you e-mail or text us, please include your 15 digit Child Care Management System case number.

Opportunity for Home Visiting Collaboratives to Implement IRIS

As a part of the Preschool Development Grant Birth Through Five (PDG B-5) Renewal
grant, the Governor’s Office of Early Childhood Development (GOECD) seeks to
implement the Integrated Referral and Intake System (IRIS) in up to five established
home visiting collaboratives, including those in rural communities that are practicing
some form of coordinated intake processes and are in need of adequate support and
technology to fully develop into coordinated intake communities.

While direct funding is not provided through this pilot, each pilot collaborative will receive access to IRIS and technical assistance support. Click here for more information on the pilot project and here for the application template. Please send any questions or concerns to Deborah Hwang at Deborah.Hwang@Illinois.gov.


COVID-19 Safety Reminder Campaign for Providers, Staff & Parents

​The Illinois Governor's office of Early Childood Development (GOECD) and their State agency partners have launched a messaging campaign to give child care providers, staff, and parents timely and useful safety reminders, current and emerging public health data, and suggestions for how to prepare for the upcoming holidays as the pandemic persists.

With the holiday season coming up, we will collectively have to continue to take a proactive approach to reimagining our festivities in order to stay safe. Child care providers and staff have been doing an amazing job at keeping our children and families healthy. This campaign aims to remind us all to stay strong and keep going!

Check out the GOECD's website for more information on this campaign and how you can get involved.


Holiday Season Safety Protocols

As we head into the holiday season, health experts across the country say what happens during our upcoming celebrations could be essential for containing COVID-19. Mawlid, Halloween, Dia De Los Muertos, Thanksgiving, Chanukah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, and New Year's Eve/Day are times when we typically gather with our families and friends. However, this year is different. 

Each of us has a personal responsibility to minimize the spread of COVID-19. Don’t let your guard down. Reimagine your holiday celebrations. Continue social (physical) distancing, handwashing, and wearing face coverings. Be mindful there are individuals who don’t exhibit symptoms but may still infect others. In these unprecedented times, we must exercise caution to keep ourselves, family members, and the community-at-large safe.  

The day will come when we can remove the “distance” from our social gatherings and “reconnect” with our larger family and community circles. Until then, please continue to be mindful of the safety protocols.


New Yale Study - COVID-19 Cases in Child Care

On 10/14/20, researchers from Yale University released the findings of a survey of over 57,000 child care providers regarding community transmission of COVID-19 within the child care system. The survey is one of the largest epidemiological studies on a workforce ever conducted. The Yale study can be found on the American Academy of Pediatrics website. The full study and an Executive Summary can be found on the Child Care Aware of America (CCAoA) website.  

Key findings: The study found that exposure to child care was not associated with an elevated risk of spreading COVID-19 to providers, as long as programs continue to follow core health and safety practices. The study also identifies that community spread matters, and child care programs will need to be responsive to localized transmission of COVID-19, which may result in ongoing closures or other challenges. The study did not investigate the effects of COVID-19 on children in child care. It focused solely on adults working in child care settings.


Supplemental Mitigation Guidance for Home Visiting, Coordinated Intake & Doula Programs

Supplemental Restore Illinois guidance on mitigation is now available for home visiting, doula, and coordinated intake programs. As of October 26, 2020, this guidance has been approved by MIECHV, DHS, IHSA, and the City of Chicago DFSS (and is under review by ISBE). This is a supplement to the Restore Illinois Guidance for Home Visiting, Doula, and Coordinated Intake Programs issued on August 31, 2020. 


New Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) Document for Home Visiting

MIECHV, DHS, and DFSS (City of Chicago) have released an FAQ document to address questions that funders have received from home visiting programs regarding Restore Illinois. This document will be updated periodically to incorporate new questions from the field.


Guidance for Early Care & Learning Providers

For EI Providers & Families of Children with Special Needs

The Illinois Early Intervention Clearinghouse has issued A Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) Document for Families About Resuming In-Person Early Intervention (EI) During Phase 4 of the Restore Illinois Plan.


For Early Care and Education Providers 


For Child Care Providers


As of August 17, 2020, the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) has released the most recent guidelines for Illinois Licensed Child Care and License Exempt School Age Guidance.

RESTORE ILLINOIS Licensed Child Care Guidance & License Exempt School-Age Guidance


For Child Care Providers Participating in the Child Care Assistance Program

Instructions from the Illinois Department of Human Services on Child Care Assistance Program billing for July, August and September 2020.

Read the Memo


For Early Intervention Providers

IDHS has issued Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) Early Intervention (EI) Plan for Resuming In-Person Services (8/6/2020). Questions submitted to DHS.EIQuestions@illinois.gov informed the content in the FAQs and will inform revisions to EI Guidance and additional resource development as Illinois continues to move through the phases of Restore Illinois.


For Home Visiting, Doula, & CI Programs 

MIECHV & IDHS released Revised Restore Illinois Guidance for Home Visiting, Doula, and Coordinated Intake Programs (8/7/2020). This updated guidance was developed by GOECD in consultation with the major funders of home visiting and the Executive Committee of the Home Visiting Task Force.


For All Illinoisans

  • The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a recent urgent warning to consumers and health care providers about hand sanitizer products that are labeled as containing ethanol (also known as ethyl alcohol) but that have tested positive for methanol contamination. All are being advised to check the FDA webpage (which now lists 75 products to avoid) on a regular basis to stay fully informed regarding this important health issue.

For All Illinoisans

Early Childhood Funding Commission Public Online Survey, July-August 2020


The Governor's Commission on Equitable Early Childhood Education and Care Funding is seeking input and feedback from families, providers, and community members on how to ensure better access to high-quality early childhood education and care services for children birth to age five. Click here to share your feedback in English; oprime aquí para compartir sus opiniones en Español.


For Child Care Providers

 

The FAQs: Reopening Licensed Child Care Homes and FAQs: Reopening Licensed Child Care Centers were updated on 7/29/2020 to include clarifying language on when face shields can be used as an alternative to face masks in child care settings. 


For All Early Care & Education Providers

 

.The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) has released their Fall 2020 Early Learning Recommendations (7/23/2020).

IDHS Updates for Early Intervention Providers 


PPE Available at No Cost* for Child Care Providers in Illinois

IDHS, INCCRRA and the CCR&R System are providing limited cleaning and PPE supplies to child care providers across Illinois. *These supplies can be ordered at no cost; however, providers will need to pay shipping by credit/ debit card. You must be a child care provider providing care in Illinois or getting ready to reopen in phase 3 or 4 of Restore Illinois. This is available to licensed centers, license-exempt centers, licensed home/group homes and license-exempt homes. Child care programs that received a cleaning kit in June are not eligible to place an order until August. Visit the web store. Read the flyer.

Updated Restore Illinois Child Care Guidance (6.24.20)

The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS), Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), and the Governor’s Office of Early Childhood Development (GOECD) have issued updated Restore Illinois Child Care Guidance for child care homes and centers to be able to safely reopen.

Additionally, DCFS has filed emergency rule making, effective 6.24.20, for a maximum of 150 days. Additions to the rules include:

  • Centers may choose to staff classrooms with a qualified early childhood assistant for up to 3 hours of their program day and should document such in the program's Enhanced Staffing Plan.
  • Staff qualified to work as Early Childhood Teachers in an Emergency Day Care (EDC) and who served in the role from March-May 2020 can continue to work as an Early Childhood Teacher through 7.31.20, at the same program which has since reverted to their normal child care license.
  • Click here to read this full emergency rule making document

Child Care Re-Opening Guidance Update

The Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) has released standards and guidance for re-opening child care centers and homes. These enhanced health and safety protocols were informed by the experts at the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) and Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and represent the best known practices to keep children, staff, and families safe during the ongoing pandemic. As children come back to child care, you can expect to see many changes. For example, to limit exposure, programs will have smaller group sizes and will be restricting interaction among groups of children and staff.

In the coming days, Illinois Action for Children will be sharing a checklist to help parents know what other health and safety practices to look for in your child care program as it reopens.


Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) Billing Certificates for May and June

In order to be paid for May and June CCAP services you will need to complete an attendance exemption form and return it with your May and June certificates. If your program has received federal funds, you will be asked to certify that you are not billing the state (CCAP) for the same expenses that are covered by federal relief funds. The certification statement will be on the exemption form. Please read the full memo from the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) for detailed instructions.

Read the English Memo | Spanish Memo

The Governor’s Office of Early Childhood Development has created a web page that serves as a comprehensive repository for the numerous documents from both state and national agencies. Visit the web page. The links provided below are the updates and resources from the past seven days.

Restore Illinois Child Care Guidelines

Overview of the requirements and recommended practices for child care programs in Phases 3 and 4 of the Restore Illinois Plan. (05/22/2020)

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