Frequently Asked Questions

Below you can find answers to many of your questions about economic supports available to family child care providers, contract matters, and more.

Don't see the answer to your question here? Ask us!

DECAL

Who does DECAL consider as “Essential Services Workforce Priority Group”?


The Essential Services Workforce, as defined by DECAL, includes those employed in the critical jobcategories below.
• Law enforcement, public safety, and first responder personnel (including police officers, fire fighters, emergency medical technicians, paramedics, 911 call center staff, dispatchers, and National Guard)
• Medical personnel who provide direct care to patients and the personnel who support direct care to patients (including sanitation staff, lab technicians, and reception staff)
• Pharmacy personnel (including pharmacists, technicians, pharmacy assistants)
• Child care personnel
See HERE for additional details and to apply (Essenntial Services BFTS, 2020)




How do I File for Unemployment?


If your FCC business has been impacted by COVID 19 and you need to file for unemployment in Georgia, start HERE :
You may be eligible to file for unemployment if…
• You lost your job through no fault of your own
• Your FCC temporarily stops operations because of COVID-19
• You’re quarantined and are expected to go back to work once your quarantine is done
• You leave your job because you may be exposed to COVID-19 at work
4/24/2020 PROJECT REPORT 5
• You leave your job because you’re infected or taking care of a sick family member

How to file...
You can file for unemployment by submitting a claim to the unemployment insurance agency in the state where you worked.
• Depending on your state, you can file online, over the phone, or in person (don’t forget social distancing)
• File ASAP after you’re unemployed so you can get your potential benefits ASAP
• Have some info handy, like the Schedule C from your taxes.

What Happens Next?
Your claim will be eligible for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) which was announced on April 13, 2020. Since most FCC Provider do not meet the ‘normal’ requirements for Unemployment, this program was implemented. This program covers individuals who are self-employed, gig workers, 1099 independent contractors, employees of churches, employees of non-profits, or those with limited work history who do not qualify for state unemployment benefits. Access the full details and process HERE: (Labor, 2020).
When you’ll get your first check...
There’s typically a 2-3 week waiting period before you get your first unemployment benefit check. But some states are working to get checks out faster. (The Skimm, 2020).
Read updates on the PUA from the NAFCC HERE.




What is the Short-Term Assistance Benefits for Licensed Entities (STABLE) grant?


It is a one-time payment available to licensed child care programs in Georgia. The Department of Early Care and Learning (DECAL) received additional funds from the federal government through the CARES act. These funds supplement the existing Child Care Development Block Grant the state receives to administer the CAPS, QR, and instructional supports programs (among others). DECAL chose to disburse these funds through the development of the STABLE grant.

Who can get the grant?

Any license child care provider – family child care or center.

How do I apply for the grant?

Apply through DECAL’s KOALA portal -- https://decalkoala.com/

When can I apply for the grant?

The application period is open May 1 – May 15, 2020.

How much can I get with the grant?

It depends. There is a worksheet to calculate the maximum grant available for each individual program. The amount of the grant is based on February enrollment, whether or not the children were on the CAPS program, and whether or not your program was open or temporarily closed. Programs with private-pay children and that were open will receive the highest rate calculation.

How will DECAL know if I am open or temporarily closed?

All licensed programs should indicate their status on DECAL’s KOALA site.

What is the “date of record” DECAL is using to calculate grant rates?

March 27, 2020, is the date of record DECAL will use as indicated on the KOALA site to determine the rate at which grants are calculated.

I had 4 full time children enrolled and 4 part-time children enrolled in my program in February. How many children count for the grant?

All 8 children will count in the grant calculation. A maximum of 8 children enrolled can be included.

My own children were present and cared for during February. Do I count them as enrolled for the grant?

Yes, as long as they were present in your care at least one day in February.

How do I provide enrollment verification from February?

You can use your CACFP documentation, CAPS documentation, and/or sign-in/out sheets. You can also use copies of tuition receipts.

What can I use the grant for?

Retaining or hiring lead and assistant teachers

Retaining or hiring other employed staff

Substitute teachers

Classroom Materials and supplies

Unreimbursed food

Facilities costs

Supplies to adhere to CDC guidelines

Tuition relief for families

Do I have to spread the funds out across all the categories?

No. You can spend 100% of the funds in a single category. You can spend 50% in one category and 50% in another. You can spread it out across as many categories as you choose. Note: the more categories you choose, the more recording keeping will be involved.

I do not technically pay myself a salary or consider myself an employee. Can I use the grant to pay myself like I would if families were paying me?

Yes. The owner can consider him/herself an employee for the purpose of putting an amount in that expenditure category.

Is there a time limit on spending the grant money?

Yes. You must spend all the grant funds you get by September 30, 2020. For example, if you said in the application you would spend 100% of the funds on facilities costs (ie, mortgage/rent), but you spent 25% of the funds on supplies to adhere to CDC guidelines, you document your change and have that documentation available when it is requested.

Will someone check to see if I spent the money the way I said I would?

Yes. You must be able to account for your spending.

What if things change and I end up not spending the money in the ways I listed in the budget table?

You can continue to make changes to the percentages you listed for each category until September 30, 2020.

How will DECAL check on how I spent the grant money?

Be prepared to show receipts, bank statements, cancelled checks, and/or credit card statements if/when you are asked to account for the funds.

I heard DECAL will ask for my private banking information. Is this true?

No. The grant application will require you complete a W-9 and give them your bank routing and account number so that the deposit can be made. No one will be requesting your account access information. No one will be able to log into your bank account to see your personal financial information.

Where can I get more information about this grant?

https://decalkoala.com/

http://decal.ga.gov/documents/attachments/release_STABLE%20funds%20043020.pdf

Where can I ask a specific question about this grant?

stable@decal.ga.gov





Federal Grant/Loan Opportunities

Other Loan Programs and Grant Opportunities

 

Are there CURRENT loans or grants that are not part of the federal stimulus package or C.A.R.E.S. Act?


Yes. New opportunities appear in the media and on the Provider Resource Hub regularly. This page will update when new opportunities arise and when opportunities expire.

What current non-federal loans/grants are available?

  • Hello Alice – Covid-19 Business for All Emergency Grant 

  • Amber Grant 

  • Caleb Brown Grant

What is the Hello Alice Emergency Grant opportunity?
Hello Alice is offering $10,000 grants being distributed immediately to small business owners impacted by the coronavirus as part of their broader missing to ensure Business for All. This grant opportunity expires July 16 25, 2020. ****THIS IS A NEW DEADLINE****

How do we apply for the Hello Alice grant?
Go to https://businessforall.helloalice.com/signup and sign up to apply.

What will the Hello Alice grant pay for?
Apply for grants up to $50,000 to support business growth, including $10,000 emergency COVID-19 Business for All Grants to help small businesses in crisis. Join leaders such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Kristen Bell, Lisa Price, and Zaw Thet to empower every American with an entrepreneurial spirit.


    
What is the Amber Grant opportunity?
Amber grants for women is offering $4,000 grants for women owned business. This grant opportunity expires July 31, 2020. There is a $15 application fee required.

How do we apply for the Amber Grant?
Go to https://ambergrantsforwomen.com/ to apply.

What will the Amber Grant pay for?
You will explain how you want to use the funds when you apply.

What is the Caleb Brown grant opportunity?
The Urban Excellence in Community grant by Caleb Brown offers $1,000 and 500 hours of free business consulting service. Applications are reviewed monthly. Recipients are required to attend business training courses during the first two months of receipt of funds.


How do we apply for the Caleb Brown Grant?
Go to http://calebbrownonline.com/Grant_Application.html to apply.


Who is eligible for the Caleb Brown grant?
Urban business who have been operational for less than 3 years

What will the Caleb Brown grant pay for?
Funds must be used to hire staff or interns within the year.

    

EXPIRED opportunities

Georgia Foundation for Early Care and Learning Greater Atlanta COVID-19 Response and Relief Fund. EXPIRED APPLICATION PERIOD

PAACT Fund for Quality Stabilization Grants. EXPIRED APPLICATION PERIOD

Verizon Small Business Recovery Fund/LISC Grant – VERIZON fourth round. EXPIRED APPLICATION PERIOD

Citizens Bank Small Business Recovery Program. EXPIRED APPLICATION PERIOD

U.S. Chamber Foundation Save Small Business fund. EXPIRED APPLICATION PERIOD

For more information about expired grant/loan programs, please contact us.
 

Questions About Georgia Government Programs

DECAL

Who does DECAL consider as “Essential Services Workforce Priority Group”?


The Essential Services Workforce, as defined by DECAL, includes those employed in the critical jobcategories below.
• Law enforcement, public safety, and first responder personnel (including police officers, fire fighters, emergency medical technicians, paramedics, 911 call center staff, dispatchers, and National Guard)
• Medical personnel who provide direct care to patients and the personnel who support direct care to patients (including sanitation staff, lab technicians, and reception staff)
• Pharmacy personnel (including pharmacists, technicians, pharmacy assistants)
• Child care personnel
See HERE for additional details and to apply (Essenntial Services BFTS, 2020)




How do I File for Unemployment?


If your FCC business has been impacted by COVID 19 and you need to file for unemployment in Georgia, start HERE :
You may be eligible to file for unemployment if…
• You lost your job through no fault of your own
• Your FCC temporarily stops operations because of COVID-19
• You’re quarantined and are expected to go back to work once your quarantine is done
• You leave your job because you may be exposed to COVID-19 at work
4/24/2020 PROJECT REPORT 5
• You leave your job because you’re infected or taking care of a sick family member

How to file...
You can file for unemployment by submitting a claim to the unemployment insurance agency in the state where you worked.
• Depending on your state, you can file online, over the phone, or in person (don’t forget social distancing)
• File ASAP after you’re unemployed so you can get your potential benefits ASAP
• Have some info handy, like the Schedule C from your taxes.

What Happens Next?
Your claim will be eligible for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) which was announced on April 13, 2020. Since most FCC Provider do not meet the ‘normal’ requirements for Unemployment, this program was implemented. This program covers individuals who are self-employed, gig workers, 1099 independent contractors, employees of churches, employees of non-profits, or those with limited work history who do not qualify for state unemployment benefits. Access the full details and process HERE: (Labor, 2020).
When you’ll get your first check...
There’s typically a 2-3 week waiting period before you get your first unemployment benefit check. But some states are working to get checks out faster. (The Skimm, 2020).
Read updates on the PUA from the NAFCC HERE.




What is the Short-Term Assistance Benefits for Licensed Entities (STABLE) grant?


It is a one-time payment available to licensed child care programs in Georgia. The Department of Early Care and Learning (DECAL) received additional funds from the federal government through the CARES act. These funds supplement the existing Child Care Development Block Grant the state receives to administer the CAPS, QR, and instructional supports programs (among others). DECAL chose to disburse these funds through the development of the STABLE grant.

Who can get the grant?

Any license child care provider – family child care or center.

How do I apply for the grant?

Apply through DECAL’s KOALA portal -- https://decalkoala.com/

When can I apply for the grant?

The application period is open May 1 – May 15, 2020.

How much can I get with the grant?

It depends. There is a worksheet to calculate the maximum grant available for each individual program. The amount of the grant is based on February enrollment, whether or not the children were on the CAPS program, and whether or not your program was open or temporarily closed. Programs with private-pay children and that were open will receive the highest rate calculation.

How will DECAL know if I am open or temporarily closed?

All licensed programs should indicate their status on DECAL’s KOALA site.

What is the “date of record” DECAL is using to calculate grant rates?

March 27, 2020, is the date of record DECAL will use as indicated on the KOALA site to determine the rate at which grants are calculated.

I had 4 full time children enrolled and 4 part-time children enrolled in my program in February. How many children count for the grant?

All 8 children will count in the grant calculation. A maximum of 8 children enrolled can be included.

My own children were present and cared for during February. Do I count them as enrolled for the grant?

Yes, as long as they were present in your care at least one day in February.

How do I provide enrollment verification from February?

You can use your CACFP documentation, CAPS documentation, and/or sign-in/out sheets. You can also use copies of tuition receipts.

What can I use the grant for?

Retaining or hiring lead and assistant teachers

Retaining or hiring other employed staff

Substitute teachers

Classroom Materials and supplies

Unreimbursed food

Facilities costs

Supplies to adhere to CDC guidelines

Tuition relief for families

Do I have to spread the funds out across all the categories?

No. You can spend 100% of the funds in a single category. You can spend 50% in one category and 50% in another. You can spread it out across as many categories as you choose. Note: the more categories you choose, the more recording keeping will be involved.

I do not technically pay myself a salary or consider myself an employee. Can I use the grant to pay myself like I would if families were paying me?

Yes. The owner can consider him/herself an employee for the purpose of putting an amount in that expenditure category.

Is there a time limit on spending the grant money?

Yes. You must spend all the grant funds you get by September 30, 2020. For example, if you said in the application you would spend 100% of the funds on facilities costs (ie, mortgage/rent), but you spent 25% of the funds on supplies to adhere to CDC guidelines, you document your change and have that documentation available when it is requested.

Will someone check to see if I spent the money the way I said I would?

Yes. You must be able to account for your spending.

What if things change and I end up not spending the money in the ways I listed in the budget table?

You can continue to make changes to the percentages you listed for each category until September 30, 2020.

How will DECAL check on how I spent the grant money?

Be prepared to show receipts, bank statements, cancelled checks, and/or credit card statements if/when you are asked to account for the funds.

I heard DECAL will ask for my private banking information. Is this true?

No. The grant application will require you complete a W-9 and give them your bank routing and account number so that the deposit can be made. No one will be requesting your account access information. No one will be able to log into your bank account to see your personal financial information.

Where can I get more information about this grant?

https://decalkoala.com/

http://decal.ga.gov/documents/attachments/release_STABLE%20funds%20043020.pdf

Where can I ask a specific question about this grant?

stable@decal.ga.gov





Questions About Contracts

Can I ask families to pay during extended closures?


If your contract already stipulates that you charge during extended closures, yes, you can ask families to pay. If not but you want to charge, you can change your contract, and as long as famil ies sign, you can ask families to pay.
However, many providers are deciding not to charge, or to charge a reduced rate, because they know many families are in difficult financial situations due to the pandemic. No matter how much the families want to honor the contract with their provider, they may not be able to.
You have the flexibility to decide what to do, but remember that your clients can always decide to terminate their contract with you. This document (https://bit.ly/2WgvLIu) suggests many ways that families can support their providers, and not just financially. (All Our Kin, 2020)




How legitimate is a contract in this disaster situation? How can I word my contract so I don't have to write a new one every time something like this happens?


Your contract is still legitimate, even in a disaster situation. You don’t need to write a new contract every time something changes; rather you can make edits to your exis ting contract. Remember, all clients must re-sign an edited contract for it to be legitimate. (All Our Kin, 2020)




How should I write my contract so that it’s clear that I run like the public schools, so if the public schools are closed, I am closed?


You have 100% control over your business and you are not required to be open. If you want to run on the public school schedule, just state that clearly your contract. (All Our Kin, 2020)




Is it possible to prepare a short term contract?


We don’t recommend putting an end date on your contract, even if you expect it to be short term, in case that date passes without you realizing it and you end up without an agreement. You should have a clear termination clause that explains how either party can end the contract whenever they choose to. Remember, if you're caring for children of essential workers, you may want to keep their business after this pandemic ends! (All Our Kin, 2020)




I have struggled with families actually reading and understanding the contract. Are there any tips to get them to really read it?


Responses received from other Providers, which you may find use ful, include: (All Our Kin, 2020)

  • “I personally go over my handbook and contract during every interview.”
  • “Give them a quiz and if they pass the quiz they get a free day of childcare.”
  • “Have them initial every page or paragraph and go through it with them.”
  • “The last page of my contract they have to return back to me signed acknowledging they receive it and that it was their responsibility to read it and ask any question they might have.”
  • "I keep the contract to two pages so that it’s not too overwhelming.”




Is it appropriate to charge clients since I chose to close my business?


Responses received from other Providers via a Poll Results include: (All Our Kin, 2020)

  • 39 % said "Don't charge because you made the decision to close."
  • 32% said "Charge families a reduced rate."*
  • 22% said "Other."*
  • 7% said "Charge only until your vacation and personal days run out."




What should I say to my clients to explain to them why I should be paid for my vacation time?


Responses received from other Providers, which you may find useful, include: (All Our Kin,2020)

“In my contract I get 20 PTO's paid time off. I tell them during the interview that I get paid whether their child is here or not.”

“I don’t charge for my vacation as they have to pay another provider at that time and usually double what I charge. I do charge for THEIR vacations as they get paid for them.”

“I charge 50 weeks a year, giving parents two weeks’ vacation they don't have to pay. They cannot use their two weeks when I'm using mine.”

“After 17 years of providing care I finally decided to add 1 week paid vacation. It went well, only wish I would have done it sooner.”




What do I say in my contract if I want to hold a slot for a famil y until after the pandemic?


If you want to hold a slot, specify in your contract whether or not you will charge (full fee, reduced fee, or no charge) and until when. However, you don't have a guarantee that your client will come back, and you may foreclose revenue if you turn away paying clients because of the saved spot. One solution may be to say "I will hold the spot for you, and if another paying client wants to enroll, I will give you first choice if you want to take that spot at cost." (All Our Kin, 2020)




If I am contracting with a hospital to take care of children of healthcare workers, does the contract with the hospital supersede the terms I put in my usual contract with families?


You should clarify your expec tations in a contract with families, even if you have another contract with their employer (like a hospital). In this case of two contracts, they shouldn’t have conflicting terms, and each term should appear only once between them. If you don’t like the terms of the contract with the employer, you can negotiate with them or decide not to agree to it. (All Our Kin, 2020)




Is the parent handbook considered part of the contract?


No, the handbook is usually not considered part of the contract. Contracts include terms related to time and money, handbooks include other, non legally binding terms like what supplies families should bring, expectations for a typical day, and toileting policies. (All Our Kin, 2020)




If my parents can't pay their weekly fee because they have no income now, what do I say to them during this time?


You can decide what to say. You can ask them whether they’d like to terminate their
contract, or stay on as a n on paying client until they’re back in work, unless you are able to enroll a paying client during this time. It’s a good idea to be understanding of the situation they’re facing and maintain a strong relationship with your clien ts. State and federal govern ments are currently working to help small business owners like yourself make up for lost income (like your families’ tuition) through grants and loans. (All Our Kin, 2020)




What if you're open but they are choosing not to attend? Should they have to pay?


Not necessarily. Many states recommend that families keep their children at home if parents are not essential workers, and many families are facing financial losses due to the coronavirus. If your contract explicitly states it, you may choose to enforce family payments while they keep their children home, but it may be a better solution to take advantage of other forms of financial relief. (All Our Kin, 2020)




If a parent is not working and still decides to bring the child, can I decide not to accept this to protect the child and myself from COVID19?


Yes, you can ask a family not to bring a child in to protect the child and yourself from COVID19. This would not be co nsidered illegal discrimination. (All Our Kin, 2020)




If you want to charge for your own vacations, what do you say to parents who have to pay a backup provider while you're out?


It’s up to you to find the line between being empathetic to their situation and protecting your paid vacation days. You could decide not to charge them. You could hold a hard line on your paid vacation policy. You could split the difference. Try to give fa milies your vacation days far in advance (perhaps in January of each year) so they have time to plan alternative care . (All Our Kin, 2020)





Disclaimer: The information in this document may change subject to additional legislation, guidance from Congress and other federal agencies, legislation-guidance from the state of Georgia, and other circumstances.  This document is for informational purposes only and should not be considered as legal advice.

To our family child care provider community: In the midst of this crisis, we know you are doing your best. We are trying our best too, and we appreciate your patience.

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©2020 Professional Family Child Care Alliance of Georgia, Inc.