In response to questions about COVID-19 and its impacts for young children, their families, and child care providers, the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) released two resources today. ACF released a frequently asked questions document to support state agencies who oversee child care subsidies, and the Director of the Office of Child Care, Shannon Christian, wrote a letter outlining guidance from numerous divisions that are part of the Department of Health and Human Services. You can visit ACF’s website to see the most recent information.
ACF’s FAQ document offers guidance to state Lead Agencies for the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) in response to common questions. Additionally, the document includes information about continuing payments to providers even if they have to close or have reduced attendance because of COVID-19, how regulatory oversight could be continued, and what options Lead Agencies have to engage new providers and serve children who may now need subsidies.
In addition to the specific information from ACF, the FAQ document also outlines flexibility for states to meet the needs of children, families, and providers during this extraordinary time. For instance, states have different mechanisms to ensure that child care providers can remain operational, including using quality money to provide temporary grants or assistance to impacted providers. ACF also outlined the possibility of waivers for states should they have trouble meeting specific CCDF requirements due COVID-19.
Shannon Christian, also wrote a letter which highlighted resources and guidance from divisions across the broader Department of Health and Human Services. This includes information about how Supplemental grants can support state efforts. The full letter can be found here.
ACF and HHS will continue to update their websites with new information. Visit ACF’s website to see the most current information.