AFS Special Procedures: UpdatedChild Care Guidance During COVID-19

The following are guidelines for all Staff and Supervisors who administer the Child Care Subsidy

1. Effective April 1, 2020, all blended rate authorizations have been changed to a weekly rate.
On the evening of March 26 an overall was run which changed all blended rates, both 23A and 23B, to weekly (5W) rates.  No action is required of you for cases that were open prior to that date.  However, for all new applications or renewals processed after March 26, you will have to code a weekly (5W) rate for those children that would normally be approved for a blended rate.   In order for these cases to be tracked, you will need to document this in a case note and send an email to daycare@okdhs.org listing the case number and children involved.

UPDATE: Due to the various COVID-19 school district plans, all school age children (who normally qualify for the blended rate) will continue to be approved with a weekly rate through May 2022. To assist providers financially, part time delays will be reimbursed at the full time rate for this population.
2. Effective immediately, care may be approved at one star centers without completing the exception process.
The edit in the system has been removed.  You do not need to email the state office for approval.
3. Individuals who work from home.
This is a reminder that individuals who work from home are eligible to receive child care subsidies. There is no change in this policy due to Covid-19.
4. Students impacted by Covid-19.
High school and college students attending classes for the fall 2020 through the spring 2022 semester:

High school students
High school students attending in-person, online or virtual classes are categorically eligible for the weekly (W5) rate.  They may use full time care M-F.  After the pandemic is over and things return to normal, online self-paced coursework for high school students will not be allowed.

College students
Full-time college students enrolled in at least 12 hours of coursework, including online self-paced, virtual or in-person courses, are categorically eligible for a weekly (W5) rate.  They may use full time care M-F regardless of class days/times. After the pandemic is over and things return to normal, online self-paced coursework for college students will not be allowed. Part-time college students enrolled in less than 12 hours of coursework are categorically eligible for 3 full time days per week (F14).


Reminder: You must obtain a copy of the class enrollment/schedule showing the degree program.


5. Additional payment to providers.
Providers will receive an additional $5 per day per child beginning April and lasting through May 2022 to help with lost income due to Covid-19.  The child must be in attendance in order for the provider to receive the additional payment.
6. All child care renewals coming due in April, May and June were extended for 6 months.

 

7. Copayments will be waived for families who receive subsidies beginning April 2020 and lasting through May 2022.

 

8. Providers will no longer be allowed to charge place holding fees to families who receive subsidies effective immediately.
Place holding fees were allowed March 23 – April 15.

9. 60 Day Job Search.

Beginning May 1, Child Care Subsidy will allow 60 days of job search for those who have lost their jobs due to the COVID-19 outbreak. This program will continue to accept applications through May 2022.

It is important to remember that families continue to be eligible to use child care subsidy benefits even when they lose their job during the 12 month eligibility period. We have received reports from around the state that families are being told they can no longer use child care during the Covid-19 pandemic if they aren’t working. This is not true. Allowing child care to continue during this time maintains consistency for children, reduces potential risk of child abuse, and allows children to continue to receive early education in the environment to which they are accustomed.

Please remember, client must be meeting a need factor at renewal. Also, 60 day job search is only for child care applicants who have lost their job due to the pandemic and is not allowed at renewal.

Please direct any questions to daycare@okdhs.org.

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