Division of Child Care & Early Childhood Education
DCCECE INFORMATION REGARDING COVID-19 (CORONAVIRUS)
DCCECE and the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) are closely monitoring the situation related to the coronavirus, or COVID-19. At this time, DCCECE has not received notice to close child care and early childhood education programs.
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.
Short-term Child Care Assistance for Essential Workers
The federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act provided over $41 million in Child Care Development Block Grant funds to the DHS Division of Child Care and Early Childhood Education (DCCECE). An estimated $18 million of that will be used to cover the cost of child care for some essential workers in Arkansas.
- Essential personnel, under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, includes but is not limited to emergency responders, health care providers, public health personnel, manufacturing workers, sanitation workers, child care and early childhood staff, and individuals involved in the food supply chain during pandemic.
- Assistance will be paid directly to the licensed child care provider. The provider must participate in the child care voucher program.
- The vouchers will be paid during the public health emergency. Payments would cover the full cost of child care during that time, as funding allows.
- If you make less than $2,954.98 each month for a family of two, you may qualify for traditional child care assistance instead of the short-term assistance for essential workers. See all income information here for other family sizes.
- Completed applications should be emailed to FamilySupport@dhs.arkansas.gov.
- To find a child care center that participates in the child care assistance program, click here.
Child Care Provider Frequently Asked Questions
Temporary Fingerprint Processing Changes
Due to COVID-19, all DCCECE approved fingerprint check locations are closed. Arkansas Live Scan and other harvester locations will not satisfy the fingerprint requirement. To temporarily meet the FBI background check requirement, the Purpose Code X Waiver Form 2020 must be included with your criminal background check packet.
- Update The FBI Criminal Record Background Check Form(s), FBI Fingerprint Card with demographic information filled in, and payment must be included when submitting the waiver to DCCECE.
New Online Background Check System
It is finally here! The new system for Background Checks is up and running. Providers can now sign up for their own portal access in the Information Network of Arkansas (INA) to complete their background checks. Provider use of this system will be mandatory starting October 1, 2020; although, it is highly encouraged that all providers start using it now.
- Child Care Provider Letter for New Background Check Process
- Residential Placement Provider Letter for New Background Check Process
COVID – 19 INFORMATION FOR CHILD CARE AND EARLY EDUCATION PROVIDERS:
Informational Phone Meetings:
To provide you with information about the COVID-19 public health crisis and to answer child care questions, join the informational Zoom meetings occurring every other Tuesday at 10:00 am. August Meeting Dates: August 11th and 25th.
- Join via phone: 301-715-8592 ID: 959 5436 3354
- Join by computer: Click Here ID: 959 5436 3354
COVID - 19 Voucher Increase:
- Effective March 27, 2020, DCCECE will provide additional funds through the Child Care Development Block Grant for child care facilities that remain open and provide care for CCDF voucher children until further notice. Financial increases to current vouchers include: $10 per infant/toddler, $7.00 per preschool age child, and $5.00 per school age/after school child
- Lump sum payments begin in April and will be dispersed through the Claims process. Attendance records must be provided upon request.
- School age children who are authorized during this period will be changed to full time at the request of the parent.
Absentee Day Information - Ended May 31, 2020
- Child Care Guidance from the Department of Health
- Child Care Guidance from CDC
- Additional Information from the Arkansas Department of Health
- Coronavirus Emergency Loans: Small Business Guide and Checklist from U.S. Chamber of Commerce
- Covid-19 Screening Example
- CCDF Authorized Sign-In Representative Form
- EXAMPLE: Covid-19 Attendance Sheet
- ServSafe Infomation
- Remittance Report and Billing Review Options
COVID – 19 INFORMATION FOR PARENTS:
DHS's Response to COVID-19 for Clients - click for a map and list of open providers
Learning Resources and Tools:
Arkansas Better Chance (ABC) Tools and Resources:
- Arkansas PBS has altered its regular television programming to support home-based instruction by providing educational content for three specific grade bands (PK-2, 3-5, 6-8). Click here to learn more.
- Arkansas Better Chance (ABC) programs may utilize the Arkansas AMI guides in place of current AMI plans. Preschool providers are also encouraged to utilize these resources.
- AMI tools and resources for schools, 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 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
INFORMATION REGARDING USDA WAIVERS:
There are several programs available to help keep the flow of food coming for children in need. Click here and view the COVID – 19 section to learn more.
BehaviorHelp services are available to assist child care centers virtually by providing support in managing challenging classroom behaviors, as well as the social-emotional well-being of children, families, and staff during the COVID-19 pandemic. If center directors or staff would like virtual support from a technical assistance provider or mental health consultant, please complete an online BehaviorHelp support request form. Phone, video-conference, or e-mail can be provided.
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 Special Nutrition Program
- Better Beginnings Program
- Child and Adult Care Food Program
- Child Care Information for Parents
- Child Care Information for Providers
- Child Care Licensing
- National School Lunch Program
- Placement and Residential Licensing
- Summer Food Service Program
|Division of Child Care and Early Childhood Education||
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