Division of Child Care & Early Childhood Education
INFORMATION FOR CHILD CARE PROVIDERS REGARDING COVID-19 (CORONAVIRUS)
March 31, 2020
The Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) is closely monitoring the situation related to the coronavirus, or COVID-19. For licensed child care and early childhood education programs not operated or administered by a school district, there is no new guidance from the AR Department of Health advising DCCECE to close licensed programs. If DCCECE receives notice that child care and early childhood education programs should close, we will notify programs immediately. Programs may choose to close voluntarily. Please continue to monitor for updates and follow the normal protocols regarding hand washing and sanitizing to keep children and staff safe.
It is important that you and your staff continue to take steps to limit spreading of illnesses, including:
- Asking staff to stay home while sick and asking families to keep sick children home.
- Cleaning your hands often with either an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, or with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Cleaning with soap and water is the best method if your hands are visibly dirty.
- Covering your coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then place the used tissue directly into a no-touch waste bin. If tissues aren’t available, coughing or sneezing into the upper sleeve is OK, but NOT into the hands.
- After coughing or sneezing, clean your hands.
Weekly Phone Meetings:
To provide you with information about the COVID-19 public health crisis and to answer child care questions, join the weekly phone meetings occurring Tuesdays at 10:00 am.
Meeting Phone Number: 1-774-220-4000 – ID: 604-7164. Please mute your phone upon entry.
Learning Resources and Tools for Children, Families, and Staff:
The Arkansas Better Chance (ABC) Team would like to share the following tools and resources:
- The Arkansas Division of Secondary and Elementary Education and Arkansas PBS have partnered to provide Arkansas AMI Learning Guides associated with PBS educational programming. Beginning March 30, Arkansas PBS will alter its regular television programming to provide age-appropriate educational content for three specific grade bands (PK-2, 3-5, 6-8). The Arkansas AMI Learning Guides have been developed to support home-based instruction in association with the PBS educational television programs to promote activities that children and families may use to practice existing skills, learn new topics, and interact with one another in a meaningful way. Learn more by watching this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PviCdq7lShc&feature=youtu.be
- AMI tools and resources for schools, children, and families can be found on the Division of Elementary and Secondary Education website at http://dese.ade.arkansas.gov/divisions/learning-services/alternative-methods-of-instruction.
- All Arkansas Better Chance (ABC) programs may utilize the Arkansas AMI guides in place of current AMI plans, or they may continue with local plans. Preschool providers who are not part of ABC are also encouraged to utilize these resources for children and families.
- Preschool programs should continue to partner with educational cooperatives and school districts to ensure children, age 3-5 with disabilities continue to receive a Free Appropriate Public Education. Special education guidance documents that also apply to preschool-age children with disabilities can be accessed on the DESE COVID-19 website at Considerations for Special Education Instruction.
- For weekly updates to the guides and resources, refer to the ADE Commissioner’s Memo: LS-20-097 http://adecm.arkansas.gov/ViewApprovedMemo.aspx?Id=4361
We understand that providers are not currently set up to enter background checks through the INA Portal to access the Live Scan process. Background checks for newly hired staff will need to be submitted directly to the Background Check Unit. The Background Check Unit is working quickly to process these and get results back to you timely. You may access the forms here:
- Arkansas Criminal Record Background Check Form: https://humanservices.arkansas.gov/images/uploads/dccece/2019_CRIMINAL_REQUEST.pdf
- 2019 FBI Criminal Record Background Check Form. https://humanservices.arkansas.gov/images/uploads/dccece/2019FBI_REQUEST.pdf
- Arkansas Child Maltreatment Central Registry Form: https://humanservices.arkansas.gov/images/uploads/dccece/2019_CHILD_MALTREATMENT_REQUEST.pdf
The Executive Order regarding staff/child ratios pertains to school age license types only. This is for ages 5-12 in Child Care Centers or Out of School Time programs. If you have a school age room, the 1:18 ratio is being expanded to 1:22 for the next 30 days. Child Care Family Homes will not be able to increase their capacity, due to fire codes.
Contact your local Licensing Specialist with any questions.
You can find more guidance for childcare centers from the CDC, including operational tips and checklists and thoughts to keep in mind, on its website: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/schools-childcare/guidance-for-childcare.html
You can also visit the Arkansas Department of Health for additional information: https://www.healthy.arkansas.gov/programs-services/topics/novel-coronavirus
PARENT INFORMATION REGARDING COVID-19 (CORONAVIRUS)
IMPORTANT INFORMATION REGARDING USDA WAIVERS
The Department of Human Services/Division of Child Care and Early Childhood Education (DHS/DCCECE) has applied for four waivers from USDA. DHS/DCCECE will provide an update on the approval process. The four waivers are as follows:
- A congregate feeding waiver for Summer Feeding Service Program (SFSP) that will allow approved SFSP to hand out meals at approved locations and the children to consume these meals off site for a limited time period. (THIS WAIVER HAS BEEN APPROVED); Waiver Information
- A waiver to allow programs approved for a meal pattern exception if supplies are not available; Waiver Information
- An Area Eligibility Waiver that would allow all schools, regardless of their free and reduced number, to be allowed to participate in SFSP during a limited time; Waiver Information
- A waiver to allow CACFP At-risk sites serve meals even with school not being in session and without an educational or enrichment activity. This will allow approved providers to hand out a meal for a limited time frame. Waiver Information
- Arkansas DHS has requested a Meal Time waiver during the Coronavirus outbreak. Waiver Information
Child Care Licensing Application Process
Individuals interested in applying for a license to provide child care in Arkansas may apply on-line or by submitting a paper application. Please click the link below for more information on the licensing application process.
Child Care Consumer Education
Please visit the following page to access our new Consumer Education page.
Arkansas Birth through Prekindergarten Teaching Credential
In 2009, Act 187 was passed to lay the foundation for the Arkansas Birth through Prekindergarten Teaching Credential. This credential creates an additional professional pathway for individuals seeking a more advanced level of knowledge and skills in working with young children and their families.
The Division of Child Care and Early Childhood Education (DCCECE) offers an Infant Toddler Certificate to support practitioners in acquiring skills and knowledge as part of a career pathway in the field of Infant and Toddler care. The Infant Toddler Certificate contains three levels of training, foundation, intermediate, and advanced, for each practitioner to complete. Upon completion of all three levels, practitioners can expect to build their professional competencies in supporting a young child’s social-emotional, cognitive, language, and literacy development. The Infant Toddler Certificate provides a route to higher education for the preparation of all infant toddler teachers. This certificate will also prepare its recipients to educate children with special needs.
Professional development trainings are available on the PDR. If you cannot find a specific course, it may be one that is offered at another time during the year.
Early Head Start Child Care Partnership
On July 1, 2016, the Division of Child Care and Early Childhood Education is implementing a new system called BehaviorHelp to assist you with behavioral challenges in young children. Click here to submit a request for support. Please complete one request per child. Once you submit your request, the DCCECE BehaviorHelp team will contact you as quickly as possible. If you have not been contacted within 3 business days, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Programs and Services
Below you will find the programs and services offered by the Division of Child Care and Early Childhood Education. Click the name for a link to additional information.
- Arkansas Better Chance Program
- Arkansas Special Nutrition Program
- Better Beginnings Program
- Child and Adult Care Food Program
- Child Care Assistance
- Child Care Licensing
- National School Lunch Program
- Placement and Residential Licensing
- Summer Food Service Program
- Arkansas Early Childhood Commission
- Child Care Development Fund Plan
- Child Care Search
- Federal Grants Catalog
- Programs and Services
|Division of Child Care and Early Childhood Education||
700 Main Street Slot S-160
|Arkansas Better Chance||
700 Main Street Slot S-160
|Child Care Assistance||
700 Main Street Slot S-145
|Child Care Licensing||
700 Main Street Slot S-150
|Health and Nutrition Program||
700 Main Street Slot S-155
|Program and Professional Development||
700 Main Street Slot S-140
|White County DCCECE office||
2017 E. Race Ave