Thank you for your service as a childcare provider during the COVID-19 state of emergency. We are grateful for you!
The state of Michigan has developed numerous resources to help keep you informed about COVID-19 and the state’s response. We encourage you to visit our COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions Resource site to explore childcare frequently asked questions and answers.
Yes. Effective immediately, Executive Order 2020-110 allows child care providers to serve any family in need of care–regardless of where a parent or caregiver works.
To ensure safe spaces for your child when you return to work, the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs has created a document for child care providers called Guidelines for Safe Child Care Operations During COVID-19. Families can review these guidelines and ask their child care provider what they are doing to respond to COVID-19.
Maybe. Depending on your child care contract, providers may be allowed to charge families to hold their spot, even if a provider is not open. If you have concerns about a provider’s billing practices, it is recommended that you review your contract and have a conversion with your provider to see what arrangements can be made since these situations are a private legal matter between families and providers.
Workers that need help finding childcare should visit Help Me Grow or call 211 to complete the brief form explaining what they need.
Once the form is submitted, someone from your community will contact you within 48 hours to connect you with childcare providers that are open and have space to serve your children. This is a connection service. There will be a charge for childcare.
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has created a Child Care Provider Toolkit with a variety of social emotional resources to support adults caring for young children in the child care environment:
Michigan’s Social Emotional Consultants are also available to speak with you twice a week! Join them for free on Zoom every Tuesday and Friday from 12:30-1:30 pm.
Yes. The state of Michigan and the CDC have several communication tools to help.
Additional signage from the CDC (including translates into multiple languages
Yes. The Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs has created Guidelines for Safe Child Care Operations During COVID-19.
This document provides tools to help you make the best decisions possible to limit the spread of COVID-19 and to create safe spaces for children and staff members. We will continue to update the document based on our best knowledge and partner with the field to learn about how we fight this virus while providing quality child care.
We encourage you to visit the Michigan.gov/UIA for more information.
If you still have questions, you can contact the call center at 1-866-500-0017. Please use the following schedule to make calls:
We are aware that phone calls to the Unemployment Insurance Agency may be resulting in busy signals for callers and that the online system may be responding slowly. We encourage you to continue with your attempts to file a claim on the designated day of your last name and to go online on off-peak hours, from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m.
Yes. Self-employed, gig workers, 1099-independent contractors, and low wage workers can now apply for benefits through the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance. PUA applicants will receive a confirmation number when PUA application has been accepted.
If you have already filed for unemployment benefits, you do not need to reapply at this time.
For more information about how to file for unemployment benefits, visit Michigan.gov/UIA
The fastest and preferred method is to file for unemployment insurance benefits online using the Michigan Web Account Manager (MiWAM) at Michigan.gov/UIA.
MiWAM is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You must first sign in to MILogin to access or create a MiWAM account. For step by step instructions, view the MiWAM Toolkit for Claimants. You may also file by phone at 1-866-500-0017. If you are hearing impaired, TTY service is available at 1-866-366-0004.
For more information about how to file for unemployment benefits, visit Michigan.gov/UIA.
The Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs regularly updates a list of disaster relief child care locations on its website.
In Executive Order 2020-77, Governor Whitmer required all employers whose workers perform in person work to provide non-medical grade face coverings to their workers effective April 26. This includes childcare providers. Cloth face coverings, such as a homemade mask, scarf, bandana, or handkerchiefs, are best. N95 masks and surgical masks are not recommended at this time. The CDC provides more guidance for how to properly wear and sanitize a cloth face covering.
To slow the spread of COVID-19, workers are strongly encouraged (and may be required by their employer) to wear a cloth face covering while serving children and interacting with parents and families. We understand the challenges of wearing face covering while serving young children. Employers must develop a preparedness and response plan that includes when, where, how, and if employees are required to wear cloth face coverings.
At this time, local childcare providers should set their own policies about whether children should wear cloth face coverings while in child care. This decision will depend on the age of the child, number of children in care, and the level of community spread. Cloth face coverings should never be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or anyone unable to remove the face covering without assistance. While cloth face coverings help slow the spread of COVID-19, it can be difficult for children (especially toddlers and preschoolers) to wear a cloth face covering. The American Academy of Pediatrics provides tips for how to help children be more comfortable wearing cloth face coverings and provides more information to inform your decision about whether to require children in your care, over age 2, to wear cloth face coverings.
For many childcare providers critical supplies are in short supply, however supply chains are continuing to improve. Continue to try procuring these critical supplies such as hand sanitizer, cleaning supplies, gloves, masks, and thermometers on your own. If you are not able to procure supplies, contact your local emergency management program. You can find the name of your local coordinator and their contact information here.
Contact your local health department immediately. You are obligated to report if you are aware of a child, staff member, or family member that tests positive for COVID-19. Your local health department will explain the local protocol for handling possible COVID-19 exposure including whether you must close, for how long, and what must occur for you to reopen.
If you are a licensed provider, you are also required to contact your licensing consultant to report this.
No. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention explains that the symptoms of COVID-19 are similar in children and adults. However, children with confirmed COVID-19 have generally presented with mild symptoms. Reported symptoms in children include cold-like symptoms, such as fever, runny nose, and cough. Vomiting and diarrhea have also been reported. It’s not known yet whether some children may be at higher risk for severe illness, for example, children with underlying medical conditions and special healthcare needs. There is much more to be learned about how the disease impacts children.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued guidance for cleaning and disinfecting your facility.
The Centers for Disease Control and Protection (CDC) advises that you should establish procedures to ensure children and staff who become sick in your care, or who arrive sick, are sent home as soon as possible. Keep anyone who is sick separate from well students and staff until the sick person can be sent home.
The CDC has issued guidance about what to do if you are sick and how to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has issued guidance for childcare providers including:
The Centers for Disease Control has also issued guidance to assist you. Here are two useful resources.
If you are having difficulty locating food items, start by substituting items on your menu for healthy alternatives. For example:
In addition, family/group home providers can get healthy meals and snacks free of charge by visiting a Meet Up and Eat Up site in their community. All school districts and some community-based organizations are offering drive through meal pick up now through summer 2020.
You can find a site near you by visiting your local school district’s website, texting ‘food’ to 877-877, or visiting mcgi.state.mi.us/schoolnutrition. Once you’ve located a site, visit the food distribution site during their operating hours, report how many children you serve, and they will provide meals. No additional documentation is necessary. Food is suitable for children who eat solid food. Formula and food for infants is generally not available.
Reminder: If you are a CACFP provider, you may not charge CACFP for meals you did not purchase.
Guidance from the Michigan Department of Education explains that meals served are required to have all required components that meet the meal pattern requirements. Nutrition is key to maintaining health and wellness, especially during a public health crisis. Can you substitute another item from the same group? For instance, if you cannot find whole wheat bread, substitute a tortilla, a wrap, crackers, rice or pasta. Fresh, frozen, and canned foods can also be used. If you cannot obtain a required component, meals served without a required component must be approved by the CACFP. Please contact Melissa Lonsberry.
The Michigan Department of Education has issued guidance about feeding children in child nutrition programs during the state of emergency.
All children under 18 years of age, regardless of income, are eligible to pick up meals provided by their local school district. The Michigan Department of Education maintains a map of open sites. The map includes addresses for available sites and when they are open for food service.
Families can also apply for food assistance (including SNAP and WIC) on MiBridges.
If care is being provided in a licensed family/group home or a center-based program, fingerprinting requirements remain in place. The Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs does provide a notification to licensees when an individual qualifies to work supervised. This typically appears in the additional information letter sent to providers and applicants by the department.
If care is being provided in a disaster relief childcare center temporarily housed in a school building or under a temporary provisional license, a minimal background check on the staff using Internet Criminal History Access Tool (ICHAT) and Michigan Public Sex Offender Registry (PSOR) check.
To encourage currently licensed family and group homes to continue to provide childcare during the state of emergency, LARA will relax the regulatory requirements of the following administrative rules:
All other administrative rules and related provisions of Public Act 116, as amended, are required to be met to maintain compliance.
Once the state of the emergency is lifted, licensed Family and Group Homes for Childcare will need to comply with all the regulatory requirements, including the administrative rules listed above.
To encourage currently licensed childcare centers to continue to provide childcare during the state of emergency, LARA will relax the regulatory requirements of the following administrative rules:
All other administrative rules and related provisions of Public Act 116, as amended, are required to be met to maintain compliance.
Once the state of the emergency is lifted licensed Childcare Centers will need to comply with all the regulatory requirements, including the administrative rules listed above.
Childcare Licensing will allow a 60-day extension of the expiration date for all refresher/update CPR and first aid trainings with a written acknowledgement by the childcare provider agreeing that they will complete the training as soon as reasonably possible after the state of emergency order has been lifted. If you are a licensed childcare provider, contact your licensing consultant to discuss an extension.
For new staff that don’t have previous first aid or CPR trainings, online training can be utilized now with the understanding that they will complete the in-person skills test once the state of emergency order is canceled.
Note: Executive Order 2020-30 states the following: “For individuals who hold professional certifications in basic life support, advanced cardiac life support, or first aid, such certifications shall continue to remain in effect while the emergency declaration is in effect, even if they are otherwise due to expire during the emergency.”
The childcare provider must complete a written acknowledgement that these types of inspections and tests need to be completed as soon as reasonably possible after of the state of emergency order is canceled.
If a fingerprinting location in your area is closed due to the state of emergency you may need to travel to another location to complete a fingerprint. If this is not possible the CDC office will be granting extensions. If you have questions about getting an extension, please contact the Child Care program at 866-990-3227.
Because license exempt provider payments rely on the completion of this training, the temporary virtual GSQO training will be offered in place of in-person training. In addition, during this state of emergency, Great Start to Quality Resource Centers will provide First Aid and CPR training (infant, child, and adult), and suspend CPR and First Aid certification, which requires a practical skills component. Providers will not be certified in CPR and First Aid. The goal is for you to meet the needs of the providers in your service area who are waiting to be paid for care they are providing. Refer to specific communication and guidance issued from ECIC to the Great Start to Quality Resource Centers.
During this time, Great Start to Quality Resource Centers should indicate on the training sign in sheet the method of delivery for the training and that you offered CPR/First Aid training. Note, if a provider would like to become certified in the future, he/she could attend a stand-alone CPR/First Aid certification class and receive credit toward level two.
Between the period of March 16, 2020 and June 12, 2020 we are placing a moratorium on these visits. License-exempt providers will be given the option of a phone call to address a portion of items on the health and safety checklist, followed by the in-person portion to complete the visit. During the moratorium proper documentation must be maintained and submitted to the Department, including the reason for the visit not being completed.
All child care providers play a critical role in providing safe places for children to grow and learn while supporting families in the community. We recognize the significant financial impact many providers have experienced during this state of emergency.
To help maintain licensed and licensed-exempt child care options throughout the state of emergency and beyond, the State will continue to make child care subsidy payments throughout the state of emergency for all enrolled subsidy-eligible children.
During the time period of March 16, 2020 – June 12, 2020 (Pay Periods 007, 008, 009, 010, 011 012, 013), providers should bill regular child care subsidy hours for all subsidy eligible children enrolled in their care.
Providers will need to document on their time attendance records the following statement: Billing regular child care hours due to state of emergency declared by Governor Whitmer (COVID 19).
With the physical closure of K-12 public schools for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year, the Michigan Department of Education realizes that school age children may need to attend a childcare program for additional hours. Effective Pay Period 007 (March 15 – March 28, 2020) all school age child subsidy authorizations have been increased to 90 hours biweekly to allow providers to bill for the additional care provided.
The increased authorizations will remain on the approved CDC subsidy case until the end of the 12-month authorization period. Ongoing, you should only bill for a school age child when they are in your care outside of regular school hours.
If you are currently open and serving essential workers, bill for the time you are serving a subsidy-eligible school-age child.
If you are closed and you had a subsidy-eligible school-age child in your care, you may only bill for the hours the child was in attendance prior to the closure of your program.
Yes. The billing instructions related to bill regular hours applies to all subsidy providers.
Yes. Families can still apply for the Child Development and Care program (commonly called the Childcare Subsidy) at newmibridges.michigan.gov.
Yes. In order to not disrupt the continuity of care, MDE and DHHS will be working together to suspend CDC case redeterminations for these two months.
March 31, 2020 redeterminations will be extended to September 30, 2020
April 30, 2020 redeterminations will be extended to October 31, 2020
May 31, 2020 redeterminations will be extended to November 30, 2020
June 30, 2020 redeterminations will be extended to December 31, 2020
Yes. The Child Care Relief Fund is a grant program that helps child care providers cover costs during the COVID-19 state of emergency. The goal of the program is to help you stay in business and make child care more affordable for Michigan families. These grants are non-competitive and funds do not need to be repaid.
Providers can apply by visiting www.michigan.gov/childcare on your computer or mobile device. The application takes less than 10 minutes to complete! See our website for more information on how to apply. HINT: Using the resources at the website will help ensure your application is complete and accurate, which will help avoid processing delays.
All childcare providers play a critical role in providing safe places for children to grow and learn while supporting families in the community. We recognize the significant financial impact many providers have experienced during this state of emergency and are working to support you through:
No. Due to the COVID-19 crisis, all face to face training should stop through June 30. We encourage you to explore offering training virtually to meet the needs of the providers in your service area. If this is not an option within your area, we recommend working with your Early Childhood Support Network (ECSN) to suspend trainings during the stated period and rescheduling as soon as possible after June 12, 2020 to ensure you meet the requirements within your scope of work. Decisions made to suspend trainings must be documented in the ECSN monthly report document submitted to MDE.
Programs with ratings that expire(d) between March 16-July 9 will have their ratings extended by 15 weeks.
Application review and approval and Validations are still occurring during the state of emergency.
Between the period of March 16, 2020 and June 12, 2020 we are placing a moratorium on these visits. During the moratorium proper documentation must be maintained, including the reason for the visit not being completed.
After the Stay Home, Stay Safe executive order expires, we anticipate that schools will make allowances for staff members to access the building. If your rating expires before you are able to access your materials, questions can be answered during the application call and also submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org to help you maintain your rating.
Between the period of March 16, 2020 and June 12, 2020 coaching visits and cohorts (to the extent possible) should be conducted via phone or email. Case notes/documentation should indicate why any coaching visits were postponed.
Note: The questions and answers on this page include the same content as the guidance documents below.