To our valued providers
CCR is available to help during this challenging time. Due to the rise in COVID-19 cases, our office is closed to the public and we are no longer taking appointments. Our CCR team will continue to be available during our regular business hours to assist you by phone, email, fax, and mail. If you would like to drop off paperwork, you can use the drop box in the alley located behind our building.
We will not be scheduling site visits or offering fingerprint services during Phase 2 unless instructed to do so. Workshops will continue via Zoom for now unless we are able to offer the workshop outside. Online training is a great option – always at distance and available to you 24/7.
We know these changes are uncomfortable, inconvenient, and less friendly than we prefer. We are doing our best to keep you and our staff as safe as possible. Thanks for your patience while the CCR crew does our best to meet your needs remotely.
We’ll continue to post updates here and communicate with you via email. If you do not receive our e-newsletter, please email us and ask us to add you to our distribution list.
Communication from the State of Montana
- Governor Bullock’s Emergency Child Care Directive
- March 2020 Message from ECSB – Patty Butler regarding scholarship payments
- April 2020 ECSB Frequently Asked Questions
- June 2020 ECSB FAQ – Scholarship COVID-19 Invoice Backpay — Licensed providers that suspended operations during the pandemic and have reopened, please check this FAQ for details!
- July 2020 ECSB Frequently Asked Questions
CARES Act Grants Update
Great news! ECSB has announced that they will be providing an additional CARES Act Grant payment to licensed and registered child care programs to cover increased operating costs and decreased revenue, and to support providers ability to stay in business long-term providing continuity for children’s care. Additional payments will be:
- $2,500 for Family Child Care
- $3,500 for Group Child Care
- $5,500 for Centers
This is in addition to the Licensed Care Grants that were awarded over the past few months. No application is necessary! Awards will be based on previous applications and payments will be processed at the end of July. Providers should expect to see the money starting in August. Click here for more information from ECSB.
Other CARES Act Grants – Montana also has grants to businesses, social service nonprofits, and to individuals who are having trouble paying housing costs due to the pandemic. These grants are competitive. Applications open on May 7th. A comprehensive information resource and application portal is available at COVIDRelief.mt.gov. To prepare for the application, businesses and non-profits should have their tax ID, proof of business registration, a brief description of how the grant will be spent, and a brief description of how COVID-19 has impacted their operations. Homeowners and renters should have bank account information available and verification of job or income loss.
Montana has accepted federal CACFP waivers which create flexibility for participating child care facilities. Specifically, facilities participating in CACFP may:
- forego the Montana requirement for a Family Style Meal service effective through June 30, 2020, or upon expiration of the declared public health emergency, whichever is earlier;
- be approved to serve breakfast, lunch, or supper without milk, when emergency conditions prevent an institution or facility from having a normal supply of milk;
- or may be approved to provide service of meals without milk-provided an equivalent of canned, whole dry or fat-free dry milk is used in the preparation of the components of the meal when unable to obtain a supply of milk on a continuing basis.
If your home child care is participating in CCR’s CACFP contact Claudette for more guidance. If you are participating with a different sponsor or the state you must contact them to obtain approval.
New COVID-19 Resources:
- COVID-19 Health Policy Template for child care businesses
- Working with Infants and Toddlers
- Social Emotional Well-being
- Check In / Check Out Protocols
- Disinfecting and Sanitizing
- Mixed Age Groups (for centers)
- Outdoor Activities with Children
- Child Care Licensing COVID-19 Child Care Facility Daily Checklist
- Guidance from the Missoula City/County Heath Department on Phase 2 in child care facilities
- Centers for Disease Control
- Child Care Aware of America Flowchart on considerations for re-opening child care or transitioning to serving more children
- Field Guide for Camps on Implementation of CDC Guidance from American Camp Association and YMCA of the USA
We recently delivered non-contact thermometers to facilities in our region. Here are some additional resources that you might find helpful:
- Calibration Instructions & Quick Start Guide
- Manual of Medical Infrared Thermometer
- YouTube Tutorial
Face Coverings in Child Care
Missoula County: The Missoula City-County Health Department issued a directive effective July 9 for face coverings in indoor spaces. In addition, Governor Bullock issued a statewide mask mandate effective July 15 for counties with at least 4 active COVID-19 cases, but recommended in all counties. If you are a provider in Missoula County, you must follow the more restrictive measures of each mandate. Face masks are required in child care facilities because they are a business and subject to this order. Employees and children ages 12 and up must wear a mask indoors. Children under 2 should never wear them. Exceptions include when children and adults are engaged in strenuous exercise or other conditions where it would be unsafe or impractical. Parents must also wear them at drop off and pick up. Face shields are also not permitted as a replacement for a cloth face covering.
Ravalli & Mineral County: Governor Bullock issued a statewide mask mandate effective July 15 for counties with at least 4 active COVID-19 cases, but recommended in all counties. Providers in Ravalli and Mineral County can use a face shield as an acceptable form of face covering. Governor Bullock also announced in an FAQ that employees and children in a child care are not required to wear a face covering, however it is strongly recommended wherever possible. This is listed under “Mask/Face Covering FAQ” and “Restaurants and Other Business” tab.
And remember, wearing a face covering does not replace the need to continue all other health and safety measures.
- Missoula City/County Health Department guidance on face coverings in child care
- Guidance from the CDC and DIY instructions for making cloth face coverings
- Video: Why the New Face Mask Recommendations
- Video: How to Make Your Own Face Covering
- Video: For Kids – Wearing Masks
Resource – Social Stories
Business and Financial Support
- Communicate honestly, clearly and often with your families, employees, venders and lenders.
- Review your contract regarding payment and cancellations.
- Unemployment – under the CARES Act, there is no waiting week and there is a $600/week supplemental benefit amount. And, importantly, self employed workers, including child care business owners, are eligible. The Department of Labor unemployment phone is busy and you could be on hold for hours. The website is overtaxed and sometimes problematic. It works best between 8:00 PM and 6:00 AM. Apply here.
- The Small Business Administration has loan programs designed specifically to support businesses during this crisis, including nonprofit businesses. Learn more about these programs:
- More information at the SBA website.
- The Families First Act requires employers to offer paid sick leave in response to the coronavirus. Because most child care businesses employee fewer than 50 people, it is possible to obtain an exemption. Learn more here.
Also, it’s a good time to get some annual training hours:
- Discounted rates on ChildCareTraining.org! currently being offered at half price through June! Please visit the Course Catalog for a full listing.
- Courses via Video Conference – Check out our training calendar to register. Registrants will receive a link to these courses via email. These courses are free through June.
- Child Care Licensing and ECP have approved this online First Aid/CPR certification training from Simple CPR during this crisis.