The North Carolina Division of Child Development and Early Education (DCDEE) would like to share some important updates related to updated health guidance, reopening application, and health and safety certificates for open providers.
Updated Health Guidance
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NC DHHS) has updated the Interim Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Guidance for Child Care Settings with new information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In accordance with Executive Order 138, child care facilities may only be open if they operate in full compliance with these updated health guidelines and other guidelines issued by NC DHHS.
Key changes to the health guidelines are shown in red in the link above and include:
- Updated symptoms list for daily health screening
- Updates on social distancing strategies, including language on cloth face coverings
- Updates on sanitation and hygiene practices
- New guidance for facilities that are reopening after extended closure
DCDEE has also updated door signs in English and Spanish to match the updated symptom list. Please print these updated door signs and post at your facility.
DCDEE has authorized that all child care programs can reopen as of May 11, 2020, under new emergency child care licensing regulations. As North Carolina moves into Phase 1, some licensed/regulated child care providers that have been closed are planning to reopen their facility to begin serving children. If you previously submitted an Emergency Child Care Application, you do not need to reapply, but please understand that you now need to:
- Follow the updated health and safety guidance and
- Post the COVID-19 Health and Safety Certificate. This will be emailed to you.
If your licensed/regulated child care facility is planning to reopen:
- You will need to submit a Child Care Provider Reopening Application in which you must agree to meet the health and safety guidelines before reopening.
- Providers who have remained open and completed a COVID-19 Emergency Child Care Provider Application will not need to fill out the Reopening Application unless they closed after submitting the emergency application.
- After submitting an application, your child care consultant will reach out to discuss your facility's plan to meet the updated health and safety guidelines and answer any questions about reopening.
- DCDEE encourages you to proactively reach out to your child care consultant if you have questions about meeting the updated health and safety guidelines.
COVID-19 Health and Safety Certificate for Open Providers
DCDEE will be providing COVID-19 Health and Safety Certificates to open child care facilities to indicate that your facility is approved to operate and has agreed to be in full compliance with the health and safety guidelines for child care facilities issued by NCDHHS. Child care consultants will email the certificate to providers who were approved to serve as emergency child care providers in April, as well as to providers who are approved to newly reopen in May. Once you receive your certificate, you must post it at your facility while the current emergency regulations are in effect.