Attention Child Care Providers and Parents

WFSCB continues to receive child care updates from the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) during this public health crisis. Listed below is information regarding the impact of absences during the COVID-19 Pandemic on children’s regular attendance; when a child’s active referral payment rate should change from a “blended” rate to a “full-time” rate; what should happen if a parent is unable to pay their parent share of cost (PSC) fee; and discontinuation of provider payments.

The Impact of Absences During the COVID-19 Pandemic on Children’s Regular Attendance

Please beware that children may be absent from child care due to COVID-19 for various reasons, including, but not limited to the following:

• Child is ill
• Parent or other family member is ill
• Parent is unable to work due to work closure
• Child care program has closed or limited services because of COVID-19

To provide relief to families who may have accumulated absences due to COVID-19, effective March 1, 2020, all absences shall be COVID-19 related. Children may accrue absences without these absences impacting the child’s ongoing eligibility. This includes any/all absences related to “non-swiping” in the event parents are unable to record their child’s attendance utilizing the CCAA swipe card machine.

Providers will continue to be paid based on the “active” referrals, (including referrals for children who have accrued absences that exceed attendance standards) for children attending their child care centers.

Changes to a Child’s Active Referral (from a blended rate to a full-time rate)

The active referral on a child attending the provider’s child care center must be changed when the type of care provided changes. For example, a child for whom a provider currently receives a “blended” rate because the child is being cared for six (6) hour or less is typically a school-aged child who attends the provider’s child care center on a part-time basis (usually after school).

If during the COVID-19 Pandemic, the provider is providing full-time care to a child or children for whom they normally serve on a part-time basis, the active referrals on these children will need to be changed from the “blended” rate to the “full-time” rate to ensure the provider is paid the “full-time” rate for these children.

Parent Share of Cost Fees

WFSCB is aware that families affected by the COVID-19 Pandemic may be unable to pay the Parent Share of Cost (PSC) fee due to loss of income, unforeseen health care expenses, inability to leave home due to self-isolation or quarantine, child care program closures, or other COVID-19 Pandemic reasons. The TWC will be providing local Workforce Boards with guidance regarding supplemental payments to child care programs to cover PSC fees during the COVID-19 Pandemic. The supplemental PSC fees to providers should be effective April 1, 2020 pending approval by the TWC Commissioners.

Circumstances Requiring Discontinuation of Provider Payments (Parent Requests for Transfers)

If the parent requests a transfer to a new child care program during the COVID-19 Pandemic, payments will cease to the previous provider and all subsequent payments will be authorized to the new provider.

If a child care program permanently closes, all active referrals (authorizations for care) must end for care at the closed facility.

Public Health Guidance for Child Care Programs

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have created COVID-related guidance for schools and child care programs.

Guidance from the TWC regarding the COVID-19 Pandemic continues to evolve (and sometimes will change). Remember, our community has essential personnel, i.e. hospital personnel, law enforcement workers, grocery store employees, and bank employees who desperately need child care services during this time. WFSCB encourages its child care providers to keep their child care centers open and continue to serve the children and families of the Coastal Bend during this public health crisis. Regular COVID-19 Pandemic updates will be shared as information becomes available.

Remember, we’re only a telephone call or email away. Thank you for being here for our community!! Take care of yourselves, your staff, and the children and families you serve.

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