Good News! Operational Grants Distributed on Friday, Oct. 9
According to the State's Division of Child Development & Early Education (DCDEE), operational grants for licensed child care providers - to help them cover fixed and increased costs during the pandemic - were distributed on Friday, Oct. 9, so centers should have already received the funds or will very soon. DCDEE did say it can take up to five days for the funding to show up in bank accounts and Monday, Oct. 12 (the first business day after the funding was distributed) was a holiday.
ICYMI: DCDEE Provider Updates on License Fees, Health & Safety Trainings & Child Care Referrals
License Fees Due by December 17 - The State's Division of Child Development & Early Education (DCDEE) announced via email last week that the 2020 annual license fee for licensed child care programs is due by December 17. DCDEE will mail invoices in early November and fees are based on licensed capacity. Centers must pay the fees online. The 2020 fees will cover the 12 months ending December 31, 2020. Failure to pay the full fee amount on time will result in a penalty, accrued interest and an Administrative Action that could include license revocation. (No partial payments will be accepted by the State DCDEE.)
Provider Data Submission Changed from Daily to Weekly with New Portal - Effective Wednesday, October 14, child care providers have been instructed by the State's Division of Child Development & Early Education (DCDEE) to submit their service status, capacity and vacancy information on a weekly basis - every Wednesday - to the secure web-based "Provider Profile Portal," launched and administered by the NC Child Care Resource & Referral Council (CCR&R). This information submitted by providers will be used to match families who need child care with available options in their communities. The State (DCDEE and Child Care Resource & Referral) also need this information to help them make important future decisions about financial and other policies to continue to support child care centers during the coronavirus pandemic.
Prior to 10/14/20, child care providers had to submit this information every day through the "Child Care Provider Survey" on the DCDEE website. DCDEE hopes it will be easier for providers to share this information going forward since they only have to do it once a week and have a new portal to use. The Division has said providers will get weekly emails from the portal system to remind them to enter their information on Wednesdays.
If you have any questions about the new process or portal, please call 1-888-600-1685 or email Denise Squier at DSquier@childcareresourcesinc.org.
Required Health & Safety Training Free through DCDEE Moodle Learning Platform - Through a collaborative effort with the NC Child Care Health & Safety Resource Center, the State's Division of Child Development & Early Education (DCDEE) is now able to offer FREE online health and safety training (specific to North Carolina requirements) through the Division's "Moodle Learning Platform." Employees who want to access this training will need to log into Moodle with their User ID and Password (same as NCID). Those who do not have an NCID and/or first-time Moodle users will need to request an individual account (NCID) to access the training on Moodle. Individual accounts (NCIDs) can be obtained by visiting ncid.nc.gov. (To create an NCID, a valid email address is required.)
There are lots of ways for licensed child care providers to complete required health and safety training (face-to-face classroom training, prerecorded distance learning, college CEUs, etc.), but it's important for providers to know the following:
- DCDEE recommends verifying with the training agency/trainer, prior to registering for a session, that the training(s) being considered have received prior approval by the Division - to ensure the training(s) will meet the State's requirements.
- Not all training options are free.
- ProSolutions no longer offers the free 24-hour North Carolina health and safety online training package. (This was announced in September.) ProSolutions is still an option, but providers will need to pay for the training course(s) selected.
- Health and safety training that meets NC requirements is now available through DCDEE's Moodle learning platform free of charge.
For assistance with accessing the health and safety training modules on DCDEE's Moodle learning platform, please contact Dawn.Winn-Burdo@dhhs.nc.gov.
All child care administrators and staff must complete these training topics within one year of employment unless they were completed within the year prior to beginning employment. Every five years all of the topic areas listed in the rule must be re-taken.
News to Note
The following news article describes well the current status of child care in our state and nation and features child care center owners from the Raleigh area and Winston-Salem.
'You're so stressed you can't sleep at night': Parents & child care providers are still struggling as the pandemic drags on (CNBC, 10/13/20)
The following news article out this week reports on the results of a Yale University study that showed that child care workers did not have increased odds of contracting the coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) in the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Study: Working in child care not linked to COVID-19 risk early in pandemic (American Academy of Pediatrics News & Journals, 10/14/20)