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Monday, April 20, 2020

Dear OACCP Members:

We all heard Governor DeWine state on Monday’s press conference that he is NOT reopening public schools for the remainder of this school year. Later when asked, he mentioned that he is very hesitant and will be very careful in re-opening child care centers for the same reasons-----that when groups of children are together, they can spread the virus and take it back to their families. He also mentioned that some child care centers (Temporary Pandemic Child Care Centers) have remained open to serve essential workers’ children, but those centers have very strict guidelines.

Although child care centers are clearly not reopening immediately, we will reopen at some point in the future, and we hope this letter will serve as a guide for what you can be doing NOW to ensure the future viability of your center.

A few day ago, we shared with you the letter that OACCP sent to ODJFS with our recommendations regarding the re-opening of all child care centers in Ohio. If you have not yet read through that letter, please do so as it will inform your decisions as you plan for this next phase.

As a result of OACCP advocacy efforts, the state agreed to raise the school-age rate for Temporary Pandemic Child Care Centers to the summer school age rate, resulting in a substantial increase per week to their revenue. We are extremely grateful to ODJFS for responding so quickly to that request, and for being open to considering OACCP suggestions as they plan for the gradual re-opening of child care in Ohio.

We are all watching closely as the Federal and State governments take tentative steps to find the right balance in getting our economy open again while maintaining health and safety of our citizens. One thing we know for sure is that we are NOT going back to the way things were before. It will not be the status quo. Ohio has flattened the curve, but we have NOT eliminated the virus. We must all learn to live alongside Covid19. The world has changed, and we must learn to adapt. We all must adjust to a new normal.

While re-opening is still in the future, there are very important things we should be doing right now to prepare:

1) Read the most current CDC guidance to become familiar with some of the requirements that may be in place when we re-open: (updated 4/16/20) http://jfs.ohio.gov/cdc/docs/Guidance-for-Temporary-Pandemic-Child-Care-Programs.pdf

2) Begin to think through a re-opening operating budget. Realize that the most important concern will be the health and safety of children and staff. Analyze what you will need in terms of:

· Food

· Supplies and equipment, especially considering those items that can be sanitized and eliminating those items that cannot be sanitized (stuffed animals, etc)

· Alcohol Wipes or rubbing Alcohol/hydrogen peroxide and cotton balls

· Hand Soap ---paper towels

· Disinfectant/Bleach

· Gloves medical vs. non medical grade o Aprons, smocks, lab coats, button down shirts o Masks

· Eye Protection

· Thermometers, non-touch----procedures for taking temps staff/children every day

3) Be prepared for possible changes in ratio, group sizes, and requirements around how many groups may occupy a ‘room’. We will be paying close attention to ways to accommodate this by possibly dividing a very large space, but we must wait for state guidance on that. Will lower group sizes mean reduced capacity in your building? How will you accommodate space changes? How will you staff for those changes?

4) Begin tentative drafting of policies and procedures regarding staff members not congregating; keeping six feet apart from each other as possible; properly greeting children at the door and taking temps; not having large groups of children on the playgrounds; having ample space between cots at naptime; ensuring training of staff on proper extra sanitation procedures during this time; what to do if someone tests positive; how to notify parents; possibly not allowing staff to use congregate spaces like break rooms; not allowing sick staff members to work; how to locate substitute staff, etc.

5) Be advised that most industry experts predict child care centers will re-open at 20-50% capacity because of natural attrition, parents choosing other care for their children during the summer, parents’ fear for their children’s health, parents’ job losses, and parents making alternate decisions regarding child care. Be proactive. Preserve cash now to help carry you through that time. How can you prepare and plan for initial lower enrollment/attendance?

6) Consider how and when you will recall staff. Do you have staff members who are more vulnerable due to age or pre-existing conditions? Will you recall staff to correspond to number of students? Will you need additional staff if you need someone to walk children back to their classrooms, or to do additional rounds of disinfecting at your center?

7) Communicate with parents. Hopefully you have had some type of communication all along. Reach out to them by email, text or phone to see how they are doing and when they plan to return. Even if you don’t yet have a start date, it’s important to keep them in the loop. Let them know all you are doing to keep their children safe and protected. Keep your

communication constant, clear and consistent so they can depend on you and look forward to returning.

8) Reassess your customers’ needs. Find out what level of cleaning they expect, what precautions they expect you to follow, and what communication they expect from you. They are getting information from many sources, and you want to become that trusted expert again. Review your website----is it a trusted, professional destination for your parents to refer to during this time?

9) Become the trusted expert for your parents. They will not re-enroll if they do not trust you. Expect parents to be super cautious with their children. They will look to you to have the latest information and to perform the latest recommended safety procedures. Be very transparent in all that you are doing. Be able to cite recommendations from trusted experts. Post signs with typical procedures and protocol so parents can see what is happening.

10) Consider a re-enrollment incentive for parents. Perhaps a 10% discount during the first month you are open, a welcome back gift, or a $100 coupon after they have been with you for a month that they could use anytime during 2020. How can you thank them for re-enrolling?

11) Be sure to celebrate the re-opening of your center. It is a long-awaited goal, and you want to welcome your children, staff, and families back with joy and loving anticipation of many more fun adventures ahead. Be sure teachers have planned fun activities during the first weeks of school to bring reassurance to children, staff, and families that this is the place to be, and that you are doing everything possible to keep them safe and secure.

As we learn more from ODJFS, ODH and other officials regarding the re-opening of child care, we will keep you right in the loop. That is our role in this crisis.

We will continue to communicate and educate our members every step of the way by email and by webinars. We are all in this effort together, and OACCP is laser-focused on your needs as providers. It is important to continually check your emails and online for information from us to make your journey more successful.

Keep hanging in there. We will get through this together.


 

 

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File Library
Item Name Posted By Date Posted
Business Model PDF (459.98 KB) Administration 3/27/2018
Financial Measurement Tool Guide DOCX (35.06 KB) Administration 3/26/2018
Financial Measurement Tool XLSX (225.43 KB) Administration 3/26/2018
2017 Advocacy Day Flier.pdf PDF (273.1 KB) Administration 1/26/2017
District Map Senate.pdf PDF (134.37 KB) Administration 1/26/2017
District Map _ The Ohio House Of Representativ.pdf PDF (260.54 KB) Administration 1/26/2017
Head Start Layering Policy Brief PDF (437.68 KB) Administration 8/5/2016
Legislative Visit Sample Agenda.pdf PDF (214.6 KB) Administration 6/6/2016
2016_Legislative_issues.pdf PDF (193.68 KB) Administration 6/6/2016
OACCP Governors Sign On Letter PDF (270.73 KB)  more ] Administration 4/6/2016
Advocacy Issued to Discuss w/ Legislative Visits PDF (190.21 KB)  more ] Administration 4/6/2016
Advocacy Training Power Point PDF (1.98 MB)  more ] Administration 4/6/2016
Ohio Educational Excellent Proposal PDF (89.46 KB) Administration 2/17/2016
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FY 2016-17 Gov Budget Proposal.pdf PDF (73.51 KB) Administration 2/16/2016
3-StatePlan2016-2018 Draft (2).pdf PDF (1.07 MB) Administration 2/16/2016
2-PublicHearingNoticeStatePlan2012.pdf PDF (26.03 KB) Administration 2/16/2016
Revision by OACCP FFY 2016-18 State Plan PDF (407.06 KB) Administration 2/16/2016
MBR –Eligibility & Payment Policies.pptx PPTX (74.57 KB) Administration 2/16/2016
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