Families with Children
For those parents who receive assistance for childcare, here are some options:
- Parents with children in subsidized care could temporarily transfer their children to another center to remain in care
- Use a relative provider on a temporary basis during an epidemic, as long as the potential relative provider completes an agreement with the Early Learning Resource Center (ELRC)
- If you do choose to stay home to care for your child, the ELRC could temporarily suspend care requirement and the family would remain eligible for subsidized child care during this time.
- If parents must stay home to take care of their children, they may qualify for a one-time only payment under TANF cash assistance (called Diversion) through the County Assistance Office. They would need to be out of work without income for a minimum of 30 days to qualify.
The school closure order for Pennsylvania schools has been extended until further notice.
What staff may schools deem essential?
- These decisions should be made locally, in the context of school and community needs.
- Examples of essential responsibilities may include, but are not limited to, school administration, food preparation and distribution, information technology, and continuity of operations (e.g., payroll, and building operations).
Will Early Intervention services be offered while schools are closed?
- Preschool Early Intervention programs should suspend all services to children and families in alignment with public K-12 closures.
- If the Preschool Early Intervention administrative offices are open while Preschool Early Intervention services are suspended, referrals to Early Intervention should continue to be managed by the program; once services resume, referrals can proceed.
Are PA Pre-K Counts and Head Start Supplemental Programs expected to close?
- PA Pre-K Counts (PKC) and Head Start Supplemental Assistance Program (HSSAP) Grantees operating within a K-12 building should close in alignment with the closure of all public schools.
- Those grantees operating PKC or HSSAP in community-based settings have the discretion to continue to operate unless the county is under aggressive social distancing guidelines (Montgomery, Delaware, Bucks, and Chester counties as of March 14).
- In order to track program impacts, closures must be reported to both the Preschool Program Specialist assigned to each grant and to the Office of Child Development and Early Learning.
How will students access meals while schools are closed?
- Pennsylvania sought and received approval from the Federal government to allow schools the option to distribute meals at no cost while schools are closed.
- Districts/schools that want to act on this Federal approval must apply to PDE.
- PDE has begun and continues to expedite approvals.
- Districts/schools may utilize essential staff to ensure students have access to meals.
- PDE is partnering with the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services, the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency, other state agencies, the American Red Cross, and public and private partners to expand these efforts.
CAN MY KIDS TO GET TOGETHER AND PLAY WITH THEIR FRIENDS?
Parents should first determine if anyone in the house (yours or theirs) is sick. Take everyone’s temperature. Keep the number of participants and attendees low, and make sure everyone washes their hands or uses hand sanitizer when the walk in the door and when the leave. Sanitize any toys or other items regularly. And, if the weather cooperates, playing outdoors is preferable to playing indoors.
Who should I contact about complaints regarding a hospital/doctor mistreating me?
Complaints about hospitals and healthcare facilities can be made by phone at 1-800-254-5164 or through the website.
I WANT TO HELP BY VOLUNTEERING. HOW CAN I GET INVOLVED?
Many service providers are looking for volunteers to help with some of their outreach programs, including meal delivery. Please contact RSVP if you’re interested about current opportunities:
Phone: 610-834-1040 ext 123
SHOULD I AVOID ALL PRODUCTS COMING FROM CHINA OR OTHER COUNTRIES WHERE COVID-19 CASES ARE WIDESPREAD?
No. Coronaviruses generally have poor long-term survivability on surfaces, so there is likely very low risk of spread from products or packaging that have been shipped over a period of days or weeks at ambient temperatures.