COVID Related Absences
COVID-19 continues to challenge consistent attendance; positive COVID cases cause children to be quarantined or facilities to temporarily close. When a facility is closed due to COVID, or a child is quarantined during COVID, DSS will now allow the provider to request reimbursement for these days at full time authorization based on “normal” attendance. Providers can retroactively request these payments through the Payment Resolution Request (PRR) process for August 1, 2020 through May 31, 2021. Under “Reason for Review” on the PRR indicate “E” for Other. Then, in the comments, enter either “child quarantined” or “provider closed due to quarantine”. DSS will randomly monitor the absences and may contact providers, and/or parents. Providers may access the CD-147, Payment Resolution Request at: https://dss.mo.gov/cd/info/forms/word/cd147.dotx
Disproportionate Share Providers
DSS understands COVID-19 and the frequency of children coming in and out of care may make it difficult for providers receiving Disproportionate Share to achieve the requirement to have over 50 percent of the children in care receiving subsidy and is waiving that requirement through May 31, 2021. This waiver will allow providers to accept additional private pay children temporarily and not lose the 30 percent rate differential. However, DSS will be monitoring providers to ensure the level of subsidy children in care does not change and will be in contact with providers where there are large changes.
Non-Disproportionate Share Providers
For non-Disproportionate Share child care providers, DSS understands that child care providers have suffered due to children being in and out of care. DSS will be paying a 20% rate differential for subsidy children in care from January 1, 2021 through May 31, 2021.
School Aged Children in Care
The Department of Social Services is extending full-time Child Care Subsidy benefits January 1, 2021 through May 31, 2021 for eligible school-aged students who are distance learning in Missouri. The extension of this benefit, ensures children remain safe, supervised, and supports working parents during the school day. This benefit is available to parents who have a valid need including working from home.
CCBIS is being updated to reflect 23 allowable days of full-time attendance. CCBIS currently allows all providers to collect full-time days and actual attendance for school age children even though the authorizations appear to only be for 5 days with part-time or half-time units. Therefore, all providers should continue to collect actual attendance for all children. Prior to the end of January, the system will accurately reflect the authorization.
Accurate attendance records for all authorized children must be maintained in CCBIS in order for the provider to receive accurate and timely payment. All children should be added to CCBIS immediately upon enrollment. Once the child care authorization is entered, the attendance can be merged and submitted for payment rather than submitting a Payment Resolution Request. Information on merging records can be found here.
Grants for Virtual Learning
The Department of Social Services will provide up to $2.5 million in grants for up to $25,000 each for childcare providers to serve school aged children who are virtually learning. These grants will allow child care providers to submit a budget and budget narrative outlining the detailed proposal which must include serving at least 20% of virtual learners be subsidy children. Items that may be included are additional rental/leased space through the end of the school year, supplies, laptops/tablets, power packs, personal protective equipment, additional staff costs for serving at a lower ratio than is paid through subsidy, and potentially other items. These grants are not to be used to renovate or modify childcare facilities. DSS is in the process of completing the grant request application, and encourages all providers who can meet the need to serve these students to apply. More information will come out in early January.
DSS is aware that Summer Programs are still in operation. All child care providers must use the CCBIS system to record actual attendance, and then must submit a PPR for payment. Child care providers may access the CD-147, Payment Resolution Request at: https://dss.mo.gov/cd/info/forms/word/cd147.dotx
If you have questions, please contact the DSS Early Childhood Section at: firstname.lastname@example.org