Stay up-to-date on the latest parent and child care provider recommendations regarding COVID-19. View Announcements

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COVID-19 Announcements

The South Carolina Department of Social Services (DSS) has created this page to help Child Care 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.

Best Practices for Staying 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

Information for 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

Resources for Parents

Open Child Care Facilities
Coronavirus Disease-2019 (COVID-19) and Children 

Information for Child Care Providers

Caring for Children During COVID-19

Watch the following Caring for Children During COVID-19 videos which present critical guidance related to keeping children and staff safe in early childhood settings from the national Office of Child Care.

Caring for Children in Group Care During COVID-19 

 

Caring for Children in Group Settings During COVID-19: A Follow-Up 

If you have questions about Caring for Children During COVID-19 please contact us at safechildcare@dss.sc.gov

The American Academy of Pediatrics provides additional Guidance Related to Child Care during COVID-19  https://aap.org

 

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.

NEW GRANT OPPORTUNITY

A one-time grant is available to licensed or registered child care providers.  License-exempt providers enrolled in the ABC Quality program and not operating in a school building are also eligible.  The purpose of this grant is to allow providers to clean and sanitize their child care facility which may allow them to reopen; or to continue to purchase additional cleaning supplies or services necessary to keep the center or child care home safe and sanitary.  To apply, please complete the application form and email to: COVID19cleangrant@dss.sc.gov.

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
Lancaster, SC
Union, SC
Dillon, SC
Mannin, SC - Paxville Hwy
Port Royal, SC 14th St
Bishopville, SC 
Newberry, SC
McCormick, SC
Gaffney, SC
Chester, SC
Allendale, SC
Ridgeland, SC - Grays Hwy
Bamberg, SC
Myrtle Beach, SC 
Summerville, SC
Sumter, SC - Manning Ave.
Hilton Head, SC
Orangeburg, SC
Hartsville, SC
Kingstree, SC
Abbeville, SC 
St. Matthews, SC 
Lexington, SC
Mullins, SC
Greenwood, SC

CDC Guidelines
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has posted a Supplemental Guide for Child Care. Written in collaboration with the Offices of Child Care and Head Start for a variety of child care settings, this resource provides guidance specific to child care on issues such as:

  • Social distancing;
  • Child pick up and drop off procedures;
  • Cleaning and disinfecting of toys and bedding;
  • Safely caring for infants and toddlers; and
  • Food preparation and meal service

In addition, the Guidance document provides numerous links to resources that provide even greater detail, including information regarding children’s risks concerning the coronavirus (COVID-19). The Supplemental Guide for Child Care can be found here.

Resources for Child Care Providers
CACFP COVID-19 Updates
CACFP Waivers
CDC Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19
CDC Guidance for Open Child Care Programs
COVID-19 Quick Facts
Frequently Asked Questions and Answers: Coronavirus Disease-2019 (COVID-19) and Children
Facility Poster: Stop the Spread of Germs
Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) and You (pdf)
SC Voucher Policy Updates