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Information for Child Care Providers - Responding to COVID19

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) 

 
Access a printable summary of COVID-19 Resources for Child Care including public health guidance, financial supports, testing, and vaccine information.
 
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)  indicating 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.
 
FINANCIAL SUPPORTS. Below are financial supports for child care programs.
 
One-Time Supplemental Stabilization
 
The Governor has also allocated $20 million for the child care industry to help programs experiencing increased costs and staffing challenges related to the recent surge in COVID-19 cases and to remain open for families. Based on ongoing communication with and feedback from child care providers, the Administration prioritized these funds for flexible use to assist providers who are experiencing the impacts of lost revenue and increased costs associated with temporary classroom quarantines and pandemic-related worker vacancies and staffing limitations, among other needs. Minnesota Department of Human Services plans for providers to be able to apply for and receive these funds through the January Child Care Stabilization Base Grant application and payment distribution. While Minnesota is in a stronger position than many states due to the Governor’s continued support for child care throughout the pandemic, the sector was vulnerable prior to the pandemic and faces unique and continued urgent needs as COVID spreads especially amongst our unvaccinated populations.
 
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 per federal and Minnesota state statute that must be followed. DHS is administering these funds through two programs: Base Grants (September 2021 through June 2023) and Financial Hardship Grants. More information about these funds and how to apply for them can be found on the DHS Child Care Stabilization Grants website.
 
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.
 
Child Care workers and their families can refer to this Parent and Family resource guide (Hmong, Somali and Spanish) aimed at helping families find supports related to COVID-19, including economic, child care, mental health, and other supports.  

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. Contact an SBA Resource Partner for more information and support.

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. 
 
Additional testing information may be found on the COVID-19 Testing Program/State of Minnesota Covid-childcare (mn.gov) webpage. 
 
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 5 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
ADDITIONAL PROGRAM SUPPORTS
 

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. 

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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