Division of Child Care & Early Childhood Education

Important COVID-Related Information


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.
  • 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.

Important Guidance and Information:

DCCECE 2021 Federal COVID Relief Package
Funding provided for open, licensed child care providers to assist in costs of meeting the pandemic procedures for safe operations and business operating expenses.  This is one-time funding and available until funding has been utilized.

Provider Maintenance Payments (Estimated 36 Million): Quarterly payments will start February 2021 until Relief Funding is exhausted.  Funding is based on licensed capacity and Better Beginnings quality level. Existing licensed providers must be setup as a DHS vendor by the last business day of the month in which the quarterly maintenance payment is generated, to receive payment. If a provider does not become a DHS vendor within the allowable timeframe, the payment will be forfeited and the provider must wait until the next quarterly maintenance payment to receive funding.

Provider BB LevelProvider Capacity (children)Quarterly Maintenance Payment Amount

Supplemental Child Care Voucher Payments (Estimated 40 Million): Supplemental child care voucher payments will continue to be processed through 2021 or when Relief Funding is exhausted.  Child Care providers will receive an additional $10 per infant/toddler, $7 per preschool, and $5 school-age/out of school time care for children receiving federal child care assistance.

Provider Deep Cleaning Reimbursement (Estimated 3 Million): Providers will be reimbursed for actual costs to deep clean and sanitize after programs were advised by the Arkansas Health Department that they must close. Reimbursement invoices must be submitted to, DeepCleaning@dhs.arkansas.gov, within one month of services provided.  Reimbursement will continue until Relief Funding is exhausted.

Essential Worker Child Care Assistance (Estimated 40 Million): Essential workers will continue (until Relief Funding is exhausted) to be qualified for child care assistance with eligible providers, regardless of income, on a case-by-case basis.  Essential workers include but are not limited to emergency responders, health care providers, public heath personnel, sanitation workers, child care and early childhood staff, K-12 educators, and individuals involved in the food supply chain during the pandemic.  New applications will be accepted on March 1, 2021. The new Essential Worker application must be used. Completed applications and required documentation must be emailed to EssentialWorker@dhs.arkansas.gov for processing.

Essential Worker Application – English | Spanish

Child Care Provider Informational Phone Meetings:

For more information, click here.

Resources and Information:


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:


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. 

Health and Nutrition has applied to USDA for a waiver. This waiver would allow for virtual Educational/Enrichment activates.  We are waiting on approval from USDA.  

DCCECE Address

700 Main Street Slot S-160
Little Rock, AR 72201-1473

DCCECE Phone Number

Fax: 501-682-2317

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