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Information for Child Care Providers - Responding to COVID19

The Peacetime Emergency ended on July 1 at 11:59PM. Child care settings are strongly encouraged to continue following the public health guidance from the Center for Disease Control and the Minnesota Department of Health.

This section applies specifically to licensed child care settings. Please review this website for school public health and related guidance. If you are looking for public health and related guidance for schools, youth programs, camps, sports or other programs, please visit this Community Settings: COVID-19 Minnesota Dept. of Health (state.mn.us) page.

Public Health Guidance for Open Providers (reviewed weekly for most recent updates) 

If you have a positive case in your program, follow the guidance in Best Practices for Handling a Confirmed Case of COVID-19 and complete the COVID-19 Case Report Form for K-12 Schools, Childcares, and Youth Programming (Camps, Sports, Extracurricular Activities) ,selecting I would like someone to follow up if you have questions, concerns or need assistance with contact tracing. The Children’s Cabinet will continue to support providers in getting their questions answered. Health related questions can be sent to health.schools.covid19@state.mn.us. All other questions related to child care and COVID-19 should be directed to childrenscabinet.mmb@state.mn.us.
 

Provider Call: Listen to a recording of the August 30th call. 

Family Letter.

The Minnesota Department of Health, in partnership with the Children’s Cabinet, has created communications you can share directly with your families and staff, as well as a poster (see links below) you can post in your setting to inform them of the ways they can support you. This should provide clarifying information on the Delta variant that is impacting our child care providers and their families in multiple ways.

Posters:

8.5x11: https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/materials/ccsafety.pdf

11x17: https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/materials/ccsafety11x17.pdf

Posters and other Materials and Resources are available.  

Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation

Minnesota’s Early Childhood Mental Health System is offering support to licensed child care providers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Child care sites may participate in up to 5 sessions of Mental Health Consultation with an option of up to 1 year if Parent Aware Enrolled. Mental Health Consultation focuses on building the childcare provider’s capacity to support children’s social-emotional development. This includes a combination of training, supported skill building, active listening, exploration of the child care provider's/teacher's attitudes and beliefs about situations, and problem solving. More details are included in the flyer. 

TESTING. 

COVID-19 testing information and locations can be found on mn.gov/covid19. Minnesota has opened testing sites across the state that are available at this site. Appointments are recommended to decrease wait times but walk-ins welcome. We encourage Minnesotans to regularly utilize these testing sites regardless of whether you have symptoms. Minnesota also offers free, at-home No-Cost COVID-19 Saliva Testing For All Minnesotans through Vault Health. 

Clarification on Testing and Asymptomatic Individuals: As the state promotes “no barrier” testing events across the state, it is important to note that Minnesotans who are not symptomatic, not living in a household with a symptomatic individual, and not a close contact of a confirmed COVID-19 case, do not need to stay home or be quarantined while awaiting testing results. 

COVID-19 Vaccine

All Minnesotans 12 years of age and older are eligible to receive the vaccine.

How to get your vaccine:

  • Sign up for the Minnesota COVID-19 Vaccine Connector. The Vaccine Connector will inform you about vaccine opportunities in your area. 
  • Use the Vaccine Locator Map to find vaccine providers near you.
  • Contact your primary health care provider or a local pharmacy.
  • Vaccine Connector users may also be randomly selected to make an appointment at one of the state’s COVID-19 Community Vaccination Program sites. If you are selected, you will be notified by text, email, or phone call by one of the state vaccination partners running those sites: Vault Health, Primary Bio or SpeciaLysts (Solv). 
  • Your employer may also reach out with information about vaccination opportunities.
  • Visit this page to learn more about COVID-19 Vaccine including recommendations for those who are fully vaccinated. 
 

Paid Leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act

The federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) required certain employers to provide employees with emergency paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19, including for up to 12 weeks in certain circumstances when an employee is unable to work because their child's child care or school is closed or they have to care for a child or qualifying family member for reasons related to COVID-19. These provisions were effective through December 31, 2020 and starting January 1 will no longer be required of public or private employers. However, the federal COVID-19 relief package signed into law on December 27 did extend the refundable tax credit for paid sick and family leave for eligible private-sector employers and self-employed individuals that voluntarily provide qualifying leave through September 30, 2021. 

FINANCIAL SUPPORTS. Below are financial supports for child care employees, including information on unemployment and worker protections:

Small Business Administration (SBA) Resources: The status of these federal programs are changing – and may be closed – based on availability of federal dollars appropriated by Congress. 

Child Care Stabilization Grants
 
The American Rescue Plan Act was signed into law in March 2021, providing Minnesota with additional funds designed to help stabilize the child care industry as the state continues to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.  These federal funds have specific rules and requirements that must be followed.  
Support has been secured for the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) to proceed with the use of these federal stimulus funds to begin the Child Care Stabilization Grant Program with funding for a transition round in June. Because these payments will be funded using these new federal resources, the requirements and allowable uses for providers receiving these funds will be different than those for the COVID-19 Public Health Support Funds for Child Care program. This transition round will allow time to finalize the specifics of the full Child Care Stabilization Grant Program anticipated to run through June 2023 and still provide support to eligible providers during the June funding period. 
 
Applications for the June funding period launched on July 1, 2021 through personalized applications delivered via email. Review the FAQ and direct any further questions to dhs.child.care@state.mn.us. 
 
Please regularly update your capacity, enrollment, and openings to serve children by using the Update Tool as required when receiving this funding. Regularly updating your capacity using this tool is a requirement of the Stabilization Grant funding.


Early Learning Scholarships Program

Visit this webpage for COVID-19 Guidance for Early Learning Scholarships. 

FOOD AND NUTRITION PROGRAM

The Minnesota Department of Education provides updated technical assistance and program guidance on the Food and Nutrition COVID-19 Resources webpage

COVID-19 Prevention Guidance for Certified Child Care, Youth Programs and Camps

The Minnesota Department of Health released public health guidance outlining how to safely operate certified child care centers, youth programs and camps. The health and safety of children, students, teachers, staff and families is our top priority. More resources are available on the Minnesota Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention websites. 

OTHER LINKS

Additional information related to state guidance on operating and prioritizing the health, safety, and security of yourself, your staff, and the children and families in your care for is below.

ABOUT THE INFORMATION ON THIS PAGE

The information provided here reflects the coordinated efforts of the Governor's Children's Cabinet, the Department of Education, the Department of Human Services, the Department of Health, Minnesota Management and Budget, and other agencies' expertise. Coordinated efforts are ongoing and information will continue to be updated as circumstances change.

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