City ECE centers can apply for a waiver to remain open

Governor Wolf has mandated the closure of child care centers and commercial group child care programs. (Note: This requirement does not apply to family child care homes or residential group homes at this time. Although you may choose to close, you do not need a waiver to remain open at this time.)

In Philadelphia County, there is a two-step approval process to be granted a waiver:

  1. You must first get approval from the state -The Department of Human Services recognizes the temporary closure of child care facilities is a burden for all Pennsylvania families who depend on this service. Because it is especially burdensome for essential services personnel such as health care workers, first responders, direct health care staff and long term care facility staff who must have safe and stable care options for their children to report to work, OCDEL has implemented a waiver process for child care facilities serving these families. Operators seeking a waiver from the commonwealth’s temporary closure order should contact OCDEL. Child Care Certification staff will respond to requests as quickly as possible.Your email subject line should read, “Waiver Request –Philadelphia County”. (Be sure toinclude information about your program in the body of the email to streamline the approval process.)
  2. The state then sends approved waivers to the Mayor’s Office of Education. Staff in the Mayor’s Office will follow-up with programs that were granted a waiver by the state. They will send you a link to a more detailed information sheet. You must return this information sheet in order be considered for waiver approval from the Mayor’s Office of Education. They will only approve sites that will serve:

            a. Children of medical, police, fire, and essential city employees
            b. Children of all other essential services (list here)

You must wait for approval from the Mayor’s Office before reopening your center.


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