Updates from the Child Development Division

28 May 2020

We recognize this is a challenging time, and we appreciate your patience as we navigate these changes together. We are working on resources for your programs as you work to reopen your business. Below are updates on a variety of subjects. Each section identifies who you can contact with your questions.

You will find the following in this post:


Updated Health Guidance from the Vermont Department of Health

 

The Vermont Department of Health (VDH) has updated the health guidance for child care programs that is effective June 1st. The new guidance is available on the VDH website. A direct link to the document is https://www.healthvermont.gov/sites/default/files/documents/pdf/COVID19-Health-Guidance-Childcare-Summer-Programs.pdf (link to PDF)

The Vermont Department of Health has public health nurses available to child care and summer programs to answer health related child care and summer programs from 8:00 AM to 3:00 PM Monday through Friday. Call: 802-863-7240, select the option for “Providers of Child Care and Summer Program”. After hours there will be a child care and summer program question mailbox to leave a message and Health staff will return your call the following business day.


Family Fact Sheet on Health Guidance

 

The Vermont Department of Health in partnership with the Department for Children and Families, Child Development Division has developed a fact sheet for families on what they can expect from child care programs as you are operating under the COVID health guidance. The fact sheet is available on the VDH website under  “Resources for Families with Children.” A direct link to the document is https://www.healthvermont.gov/sites/default/files/documents/pdf/COVID19-Resources4Families-Childcare-Summer-Programs.pdf (link to PDF).


 Helpful Posters


Supplies Available and Pick Up Options

The Child Development Division has worked with the State Emergency Operations Center to access supplies for you. We have developed a webpage for updates and information about supplies: https://dcf.vermont.gov/cdd/covid-19/cc-programs/supplies.
 
Some supplies have come available and will be distributed to regulated child care and school age summer programs that are opening between June 1st and July 6th or will continue to remain open. Programs are eligible for supplies even if they did not request a ReStart Stipend.  
 
The supplies that will be available at the sites will include liquid hand soap and cloth facial coverings. Programs can pick up supplies at the following locations/times:
 
Agency of Transportation Sites and Date/Times:
 
Monday, June 1st – 4:30 PM – 8:00 PM
Agency of Transportation Garage
5 Barnes Avenue
Colchester, Vermont 05446

Monday, June 1st - 4:30 PM – 8:00 PM
Agency of Transportation Garage
870 US Route 5
Dummerston, Vermont 05301

Tuesday, June 2nd - 4:30 PM – 8:00 PM
Agency of Transportation Garage
1098 US Route 5
St. Johnsbury, Vermont 05819

Tuesday, June 2nd - 4:30 PM – 8:00 PM
Agency of Transportation Garage
125 State Place
Rutland, Vermont 05701
 
 
We anticipate many programs at each site and ask that you are patient with us as we distribute the materials.  You will be asked to follow the traffic signs. When you get to the pick up point, you will need to identify your program and open your trunk. Volunteers will load the supplies into your vehicle, and we ask that you stay in your vehicle during that time. You must wear a facial covering to the distribution site.
 


 Cleaning Options

Programs can clean with a soap and water mixture, with no specific soap requirements.  An economical and accessible option for disinfecting is a bleach and water mixture.  Bleach is less expense and more readily available in stores.  Be sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions for measuring and mixing the bleach and water solution.  Remember that bleach and water mixtures need to be made fresh each day to maintain the effectiveness as a disinfectant.
 
Questions about options for cleaning and compliance with the regulations can be directed to the Licensor of the Day at 802-241-0837 or ahs.dcfcddchildcarelicensing@vermont.gov.
 


 Stabilization and Essential Person Deadline Reminder

The Child Development Division has been operating a child care stabilization and essential persons program that regulated child care programs are eligible to apply to receive funds.  These programs are for all families, regardless of income. The program started 3/16/2020 and ends on 5/30/2020. The deadline to submit invoices for the programs is June 7th at 11:59 PM. Links to invoices and information about the program is available on the CDD website: https://dcf.vermont.gov/cdd/covid-19/cc-programs-invoices

Questions about the program can be sent to AHS.DCFCDDInfo@vermont.gov or by calling 802-241-3110.


COVID Exposure Control Plan

Vermont Occupational Safety and Health Agency (VOSHA) has developed training and other materials to inform Vermonters on appropriate safety measures necessary to return to work amid the COVID-19 pandemic: https://labor.vermont.gov/vosha

You will note in the training that there is a COVID-19 Exposure Control Plan requirement. The Vermont Department of Health (VDH), Child Development Division (CDD) and the Agency of Commerce and Community Development (ACCD) worked together to develop and finalize the VDH Health Guidance for Childcare, Afterschool, and Summer Programs  and agree, in conjunction with existing childcare regulations, it serves as the COVID-19 Exposure Control Plan for regulated child care and school age programs, as required by VOSHA and ACCD. 

This plan requires a health officer, programs can make the decisions about how to address this need. One way that programs can address this requirement is that regulations identify someone must be responsible for the day to day operations of the program.   Having staff familiar with your policies and procedures is also a part of the regulations. Under the regulations, programs will ensure their staff are familiar with the VDH Guidance as well as any new policies/procedures related to implementing the health guidance.


Building Bright Futures Resources

Building Bright Futures (BBF) has a collection of resources for early childhood professionals and families on COVID including links to trainings, webinars, and forums. You can explore the resources on their site here: https://buildingbrightfutures.org/covid-19/

BBF has an upcoming forum on VT Early Childhood Forum on Mental Health: Tools for Professionals. Information in on their site.


Vermont Afterschool

Vermont Afterschool has resources for providers who serve school age children. They hold weekly virtual roundtables, are sponsoring training, and have a collection of resources for programs. Check out their website: http://www.vermontafterschool.org/coronavirus/


Northern Lights at CCV

Northern Lights has resources for professional development and career advising. They have trainings on a variety of topics including how to navigate change, curriculum, communication and more. Check out the training opportunities here: https://northernlightsccv.org/training/training-calendar/
You can also call your regional resource advisor for information. A list of staff is available on their website:  https://northernlightsccv.org/about-us/contact-us/
 


 Do you have openings? Talk to your child care referral specialist

As families make choices around their child care needs this summer and fall, child care programs may have openings that are temporary or permanent. Child care referral specialists in your local area can help refer families to your program. Call your child care referral specialist and let them know what openings you anticipate. A list of the Child care referral agencies is available at https://dcf.vermont.gov/cdd/cccsa


PreK Learning from Home Supplemental Resources for Educators

The Agency of Education (AOE) Early Education Team has released a PreK Learning from Home Supplemental Resources for Educators (5/28) document. This document serves as a supplemental early educator resource to the Instruction in a Remote Learning Environment: Universal Principles and Recommended Practices (April 8, 2020). The resources listed align with the Vermont Early Learning Standards (2015), and support social emotional wellbeing and relationships of educators, children and families, as referenced in the Agency of Education’s Prekindergarten Education and Continuity of Learning, (April 13, 2020).

 
The above educator resource document can be found on the AOE Early Education webpage, along with other early education Covid-19 guidance and resources. Also found on this page are the back issues of the UPK Café, the early education team weekly e-newsletter.