As announced by Governor Gina Raimondo in today's press conference, a reopening for child care providers under new regulations is planned for June 1, 2020.
Accordingly, the State extends its mandated closure of child care sites, family and center, through May 31, 2020 and the Department of Human Services (DHS) will continue its suspension of all child care licenses issued through that date as well pursuant to R.I. General Laws § 42-12.5-1 et seq. DHS is issuing this emergency suspension pursuant to R.I. General Laws § 42-35-14.
The State's plans to reopen child care for June 1st is aligned with the Governor's broader Reopening RI, a phased and flexible plan (see link below) to safely bring Rhode Island and its economy into a place that is stronger and more resilient with fewer restrictions. It is important to note, timelines for Reopening RI are entirely dependent on the status of the COVID-19 crisis and guidance from our public health experts.
The Department's first priority is to protect the health and safety of all children and families served in child care programs statewide. We also recognize the need to reopen child care in a way that is economically viable for child care providers who are small business owners.
Our Department will continue to take steps to help position you to reopen. The Department will continue to honor the following CCAP payment practices until June 1st during the state's mandated closure period.
• Reimburse CCAP subsidies based on enrollment, not attendance
• Waive the allowable absence policy for CCAP families
• Waive all family copays (DHS to cover the cost of these copays in provider payments)
Our Department recognizes the need to thoughtfully reopen safe and developmentally appropriate child care to both support working families and ensure the economic viability of our valued providers. Based on recommendations from our public health experts, RI is exercising additional precautions to protect the health and safety of children and ensure child care programs adhere to public health protections to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
We are asking all providers to develop and submit a COVID-19 plan to the DHS Child Care Licensing team by May 22, 2020 in preparation for reopening on June 1, 2020. To assist you, DHS is having a child care reopening webinar in English on May 6, 2020 at 1PM and in Spanish on May 7, 2020 at 1PM.
For more information, including the application and some answers to questions you may have, go to our Child Care Provider Resources page (see link below).