~ Our Mission: To ensure safeguards and enhance quality for children in out-of-home care. ~

As of June 15, 2020, all Delaware families may access child care and all licensed child care providers may operate, provided they follow applicable DELACARE regulations as well as the additional health and safety requirements developed by the Office of Child Care Licensing and the Division of Public Health.

Families in need of child care may use the Office of Child Care Licensing "search for child care" map, recognizing that not all providers may have reopened at this time or may have limited enrollment or hours. Please contact the program directly to inquire about their current availability of care.

For more information about child care during COVID-19, providers and families should go to coronavirus.delaware.gov/child-care.

January 29, 2020

Division of Public Health Information Regarding 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)

With recent cases of 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) reported in several countries including the U.S., Delaware health officials are increasing monitoring efforts to identify potential cases. The Division of Public Health (DPH) has posted information on its website https://dhss.delaware.gov/dhss/dph and is issuing this statement to provide details about its activities related to the outbreak.

While the available information suggests a low immediate health risk for the general public, we consider any new infectious disease a serious concern and are working with health care providers to promptly identify and evaluate any suspected cases. It is important to recognize that the current investigation and response are dynamic, and new information about the disease may impact the approach to this disease. DPH will keep you updated as the situation evolves.

Here is what you need to know about 2019-nCoV for your Early Learning Center:

Currently the risk to the general public is considered low. At this time, there are a small number of individual cases in the U.S. Risk is based on exposure. As you know we are in the heart of flu and respiratory disease season, and with over two-thousand cases statewide, most of the population is at greater risk of contracting seasonal influenza than coronavirus. Those staff or children/students with recent travel to any area of China or contact with someone who has recent travel and is ill, have an increased risk for becoming ill. DPH is not recommending exclusion from work/school of asymptomatic persons arriving from China.

For staff and children/students without an associated travel risk, it should not be assumed that most respiratory illnesses are coronavirus. Symptoms of coronavirus are most similar to lower respiratory infections with patients having fever, cough, and shortness of breath. While in some cases illnesses can be severe and require hospitalization, many individuals infected with 2019-nCoV recover by resting, drinking plenty of liquids and taking pain, and fever-reducing medications.

Any administration or health care staff with questions can call the DPH Office of Infectious Disease Epidemiology 24/7 at 1-888-295-5156. Ill children who report symptoms consistent with 2019-nCoV and have associated travel risk or close contact with someone who does, should be taken to a private room (three walls and a door) with the door closed, until the child’s parents can be contacted. Health care personnel entering the room should use standard infectious disease control precautions. Specific guidance regarding infectious disease control in childcare facilities can be found at http://dhss.delaware.gov/dph/chca/files/childcaremanual.pdf.

When a new disease is circulating, it’s natural for people to ask what they can do to protect themselves and their families. The best guidance at this point is to advise patients to take the same precautions recommended for avoiding colds and flu:

  • staff and students should stay home when they are sick;
  • teach students to cover their coughs and sneezes with tissues, or to cough or sneeze into their inner elbow;
  • practice good hand washing with soap and water as often as possible, and if soap and water are not available, use alcohol-based hand sanitizers;
  • encourage flu vaccination among both staff and students;
  • clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces in classrooms.

Parents and staff who have concerns about their, or their child’s exposure risks should contact their health care provider. DPH is holding frequent internal calls to ensure a constant flow of communication, and we are developing materials such as flyers to help the public understand what this virus is, and what they can do to protect themselves. Feel free to post the attached flyer around your school so that everyone learns more about this virus and how they can prevent the spread of germs and infection overall.

July 10, 2019

By November 1, 2019, in order to comply with the new regulations for centers, family child care homes, and large family child care homes, you must have someone onsite at all times who is certified to administer medication. In order to meet the demand for this training, the Office of Child Care Licensing is now working with a contractor to develop an online training. We had hoped this training would be ready for use months ago, but unfortunately it wasn’t. We will notify all licensed providers as soon as the training becomes available. We cannot give an anticipated release date, but rest assured it will be weeks before the deadline. We apologize for the inconvenience.

November 30, 2018

The Office of Child Care Licensing (OCCL) has a new Self-Study Guide for the Administration of Medication that includes many updates. This guide includes diagrams showing how to administer diazepam, an EpiPen®, and Glucagon®. In addition, it now includes the specific procedures for administering medication. The guide also explains the process that child care providers must complete in order to administer non-intravenous medication to children in care. Lastly, the guide now includes two types of Medication Administration Records; one used for routine or limited time use medication and one for medication that is given as needed or for emergency use.

OCCL is working toward having an online payment system for testing registration. We will keep you posted when this change occurs.

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