This page was last updated on March 20, 2020
ChildCareGroup is working with Early Matters Dallas and other community partners to closely monitor the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) situation, and we are following the guidance and most current information provided by the City of Dallas, Dallas County Health and Human Services (DCHHS), The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other authorities. We are also tracking information being issued by local, state and federal officials that may be helpful to parents and child care providers.
Below are some common questions and answers about COVID-19, impacts on the Child Care Assistance (CCA) subsidy program and Early Head Start/Head Start, and other helpful local, state and national resources. Please note that Child Care Assistance (CCA) follows the guidelines of Workforce Solutions and Texas Workforce Commission (TWC), while Early Head Start and Head Start (EHS/HS) follow the guidelines of the Office of Head Start (OHS). The program information and guidance provided below has been instituted on an emergency basis, and is meant to be temporary. This is a fluid situation, so this information may change unexpectedly. Please refer back to this page periodically.
Together with our collaborative partners we are doing our best to provide the most up-to-date information. Thank you for your cooperation and understanding during this challenging time.
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is primarily a respiratory illness that can spread from person to person. The virus that causes COVID-19 is a “novel” or new coronavirus that was first identified during an investigation into an outbreak in Wuhan, China. Other coronaviruses cause mild disease like the common cold.
The virus that causes COVID-19 may be passed from an infected person in several ways, including:
- Respiratory droplets released into the air by coughing and sneezing;
- Close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands;
- Touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes before washing your hands
Most patients with COVID-19 may have no or mild symptoms. Some may develop:
- shortness of breath
If you have not recently travelled to an area with confirmed COVID-19 infections, your risk of infection is extremely low. Should you develop symptoms, it is more likely you have the common cold or Influenza (flu) and you should contact your medical provider for additional guidance.
You can reduce your chances of being infected or spreading COVID-19 by taking some simple precautions:
- Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water
- Maintain at least 3 feet distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing
- Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth
- Make sure you, and the people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene; this means covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze, then disposing of the used tissue immediately
- Stay home if you feel unwell; if you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention; follow the directions of your local health authority
- Keep up-to-date on the latest COVID-19 areas where COVID-19 is spreading widely; if possible, avoid traveling to places—especially if you are an older person, or have diabetes, heart, or lung disease
Child Care Assistance (CCA)-Specific Questions
During this time, CCA is operating with social distancing in mind, and has a very limited number of staff at our offices, with others working from remote locations. If you have not already done so, please register an account on our CCA Customer Portal. The Portal has a messaging system, which allows us to communicate with you more easily, so it is important that you keep your phone number and email address updated. Click here if you are a Parent in the CCA program or Click here if you are a Child Care Provider in the CCA program
Yes, you can and should keep your child home when possible. In fact, we encourage social distancing and families staying home if you have the ability to do that. The Texas Workforce Commission is waiving all absences and non-recordings effective March 1, 2020 until further notice.
Absolutely nothing. Child Care Licensing has issued guidance to child care programs to reduce and eliminate traffic in and out of the child care program to help reduce the risk to children. They are requiring out front drop off and pick up until further notice. Additionally, the Texas Workforce Commission is waiving all absences and non-recording as of March 1, 2020 until further notice.
This is considered a temporary change, so you do not need to report it. However, if your income has been reduced, you should go to our web portal and put in a request for us to adjust your parent fee. Click here to do so.
Many employers are having their staff work from home. You do not have to report this change unless your income has been reduced. You may also continue to take your child to child care while you are working.
The Texas Workforce Commission has approved Parent Fee relief. We have not received guidance on how that will be processed yet. More details to come.
For Child Care Providers
Yes. The Texas Workforce Commission has approved payment for facilities that close temporarily. You must report the closure to Child Care Licensing, and then Licensing will report it to the Texas Workforce Commission.
Yes, the Texas Workforce Commission has approved continuing payment for all authorized children.
Child care providers will be paid the full-day rate for school-age children while the ISDs are closed. Children must be at the location for 6 hours or more per day.
No, the Texas Workforce Commission has approved to waive absences effective March 1, 2020 until further notice.
No, this is considered a temporary change, and services will continue during the emergency.
The Texas Workforce Commission has approved for supplemental payments to cover lost parent fees. We have not received guidance on how that will be processed yet. More details to come.
All face-to-face mentoring visits have been suspended for the safety of the staff and children, however, we can still provide mentoring remotely. You will be contacted soon with details.
All site visits for TRS are currently suspended until further notice. You will be contacted soon with details.
Early Head Start / Head Start-Related Questions
Here you will find information specific to the Early Head Start and Head Start programs operated by ChildCareGroup. Click here to view a letter from our Vice President of Early Childhood Programs
Early Head Start / Head Start
All ChildCareGroup locations follow the schedule of their location’s school districts. As a result, and to reduce the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), all ChildCareGroup locations are closed, effective immediately. Our teachers and Family Advocates continue to deliver programming and services to families remotely, and food services are being coordinated through our area schools.
All ChildCareGroup locations are closed until further notice. ChildCareGroup will continue to monitor the status of the community and the recommendations of the CDC and the Dallas County Health and Human Services Department to determine if and when it is safe to re-open.
For additional updates, please return to this page periodically.
Other Child Care-Related Questions
- KERA has launched this special webpage to help use the collection of free, high-quality educational resources on PBS Learning Media. There are about 60,000 videos, lessons plans, games, activities and other resources for grades PK-12 and all subject areas, and most are aligned to the TEKS and TX PK Guidelines.
- Parents and caregivers can also sign up to receive the Start Smart texting service, which sends several age-appropriate tips a week on child development and early learning in math, literacy and science for kids from birth through age 9. Parents can sign up online at KERA Learn! or by texting LEARN to 274448.
- You can find lots of online storytimes by searching #OperationStorytime in all social media! Here is a list of several virtual storytimes.
- TNTP has also created this list of resources for learning at home, which includes links to several digital libraries and other great learning resources for all grade levels.
For Child Care Providers
Whenever possible, encourage parents to keep kids at home. Instruction from health officials at all levels is that social distancing is a strategy we must all commit to. The best way to weather this crisis and avoid threats to health and life is to stay home as much as possible.
Effective as of 3/16/2020, you must restrict access ONLY to:
• Operation staff
• Persons with legal authority to enter, including law enforcement officers, HHSC
• Child Care Licensing staff and Department of Family and
• Protective Services staff
• Professionals providing services to children
• Children enrolled at the operation
• Parents or legal guardians who have children enrolled and present at the operation
• Parents will also have to pick up and drop off their children outside the facilities, and anyone who enters will have to be screened, including having their temperatures taken.
People will not be able to enter if they meet the following:
• A temperature of 100.4°F or above
• Signs or symptoms of a respiratory infection, such as a cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, and low-grade fever
In the previous 14 days has had contact with someone with a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19; is under investigation for COVID-19; or is ill with a respiratory illness; or
• In the previous 14 days has traveled internationally to countries with widespread, sustained community transmission
Source: Texas Health and Human Services
We do not yet have guidance on this question.
No, at this time, the 10-person gathering limitation applies to social and recreational activities and not to educational or business activities. We will continue to monitor whether this rule changes.
SOURCE: Dallas Morning News
Child care facilities must ensure each child is provided individual meals and snacks. Family style meals may NOT be served. No Kid Hungry is providing $1 million in emergency grants to early child care centers to ensure kids have access to the meals they need. If you need funding, please visit the No Kid Hungry website to complete the Coronavirus Grant Request form.
Helpful Local, State, and Federal Guidance
From TWC: Briefing to commissioners on child care
From TWC: Information on Unemployment insurance
From TWC Commission for Child Care & Early Learning:
From Texas Health and Human Services: