There has been news today from the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) regarding plans around child care and child care programs and the state’s continued response to limiting the spread of COVID-19. This is what we know now but this is a very fluid process that continues to change.
First and foremost, as of today (March 18), the governor has not announced the mandated closing of child care programs in the state. This doesn’t mean that it won’t happen in the near future.
Anticipating that announcement, ODJFS is implementing emergency action to support programs and help ensure that those who work in the health, safety, and essential service fields during this COVID-19 pandemic have safe, healthy child care options.
- ODJFS is initiating a temporary licensing application process. This will allow the creation of new temporary child care centers and the transformation of already existing child care centers into Pandemic Child Care Centers for the children of identified health, safety and essential services workers throughout the state. These centers will be guided by the temporary emergency rules released by ODJFS last week.
- Child care centers can voluntarily apply to become licensed as pandemic child care providers.
- Pandemic Child Care centers will be paid for all essential service staff children.
- If programs are mandated to close, the state is committed to ensuring support of programs with Publicly Funded Child Care agreements by paying these programs during the mandated closure.
If you have additional questions regarding the emergency plan, please contact the ODJFS help line at 1-877-302-2347.
Considering Closing Your Program?
If you are considering temporarily closing your program to help control the spread of COVID-19 prior to a state mandate, here’s a resource that may help you make that decision.
Here’s a guide to help you plan for temporarily suspending your program operations.
We Will Get Through This
We are here to support you. You can find the latest information and resources on the 4C for Children website and we will continue to update you via email when important announcements are made.
Thank you for all you do for the children and families in our region. This is a very challenging time. The magnitude of change and uncertainty can take a toll on your personal well-being while you are also supporting the well-being of those around you. Please take care of yourself.