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News and Announcements

COVID-19 Announcements

The South Carolina Department of Social Services (DSS) has created this page to help Providers and Parents stay up-to-date on the latest recommendations regarding the Coronavirus.  Please review the information below and take steps to help yourselves, your staff, and the children in your care stay healthy.

We understand that you may have concerns about how the virus may impact our schools and childcare centers.  Here are some additional suggestions/recommendations to consider:

  1. Make sure children, staff, and visitors are washing hands as directed by SC DHEC.
  2. Clean and disinfect all surfaces within the facility regularly.
  3. Practice social distancing when possible.
  4. Consider changing your sign in procedures for parents and other visitors (e.g., move handoffs closer to the front door to minimize parents coming into the classroom space and avoid possible exposure to children and caregivers).
  5. Limit visitors to the facility.
  6. The careful handling of your food service to children is important.  Please limit communal sharing of food, and donations where possible.

As with other emergency situations, DSS staff will be contacting all child care facilities to determine plans for closure and/or relocation.

General questions about COVID-19 can be directed to the DHEC Care Line at 1-855-472-3432 on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.  For the most up to date information about the Coronavirus, visit DHEC’s website at scdhec.gov/COVID19

Parents

During this uncertain time, the Early Care and Education staff is working at hard to track the facility closures as they are reported.  To see the most up to date list click here

Providers

The Governor has declared a State of Emergency for the COVID-19 emergency, and emergency plans for child care licensing are in effect. 

If your facility has plans to close, please contact Child Care Licensing by phone,1-888-825-7174, or by email, centralofficechildcare@dss.sc.gov.  Please have the name of your facility, your permit number, the number of enrolled children, and the dates of your closure ready when you call.

If you are a licensed child care center and would like to expand your capacity to serve foster children, children of DSS staff and First Responders or displaced children, please contact Child Care Licensing by phone,1-888-825-7174, or by email, centralofficechildcare@dss.sc.gov as soon as possible.

If your organization has the ability to set up a temporary child care site, please contact Child Care Licensing by phone,1-888-825-7174, or by email, centralofficechildcare@dss.sc.gov.  You may be allowed to operate without a license for a maximum of 30 days in accordance with state law (63-13-440).  Child Care Licensing must grant approval for temporary child care arrangements.

SC Voucher Provider Update: 

  • For parents that are approved for full and half-time voucher, the school age children’s half-time voucher will be changed to a full-time voucher during the COVID-19 emergency time period of March 16, 2020 – March 31, 2020.  Providers are encouraged to call the SC Voucher Program at 1-800-262-4416 to ensure all services for school aged children are changed to full time when eligible.
  • If an ABC Quality child care provider closes during the COVID-19 emergency and a voucher eligible parent needs to move to another provider in order to continue to work, the voucher child will be immediately disconnected from the closed provider and moved to a new provider in order to in order for the parent to continue to have child care. 
  • If an ABC Quality provider is closed during March 16 – March 31, 2020 and is charging a weekly rate to their private pay parents, then the voucher will continue to be paid.  If the provider is not requiring private pay parents to pay weekly rates during this time then the voucher will not continue to be paid. Provider should call the 1-800-262-4416 line to let SC Voucher staff know if they are charging private pay or not.
  • Child care providers that operate private 4K classrooms paid for by South Carolina First Steps through CERDERP funding, cannot be doubled paid by a voucher, private pay, etc. for the same children.
  • For the period of March 16, 2020 – March 31, 2020, the SC Voucher program will not be dropping children after 10 consecutive absences.

Identigo Location Closures

Location Name 
Saluda, SC-RL Sawyer MD Dr
Hanahan, SC-Old Murray Ct
Manning, SC-Paxville Hwy
Walterboro, SC-Black St
Ridgeland, SC-Grays Hwy
Port Royal, SC-14th St
Sumter, SC-Manning Ave
Anderson, SC
Chesterfield, SC 
Orangeburg, SC
Greenwood, SC

 

Additional information and materials for use in your facility: