From the staff at DECAL:
Dear Child Care Advocate:
In February, Governor Brian Kemp and Commissioner Amy M. Jacobs announced plans for $1,000 supplemental payments to all eligible early learning professionals and staff here in Georgia. Now known as POWER, for Providing Our Workforce Essential Recognition, these payments are a small yet significant way to recognize the dedication and hard work shown during the COVID-19 pandemic. POWER is funded through the federal Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
After several weeks of planning, we are pleased to say it is almost time to turn on the POWER, and we could use your help in getting the word out to everyone!
As you know, the early learning workforce here in Georgia represents more than 65,000 individuals who are not on the DECAL payroll, which is closer to 700 people. This means creating a system practically from scratch to make these payments as quickly and securely as possible.
A key part of our distribution of payments will be the Georgia Professional Development System, known as GaPDS, our workforce registry, which can be accessed at https://gapds.decal.ga.gov/. It is imperative that every eligible employee have a PDS number to receive their payment. Directors should be encouraging any employee who does not have a profile to register on GaPDS immediately.
Next, from May 17-June 11, 2021, directors will have a four-week application (verification) period for confirming all eligible employees. The director will print out a POWER specific notarized affidavit for verification of lawful presence and employment for each employee, have them complete the verification with supporting documentation, and then upload this information into the DECAL KOALA application.
Beginning in June, employees will receive an e-mail and survey from Care Solutions explaining next steps for receiving their payments. It is important that employees check their computer filters and spam files to make sure they receive this e-mail.
DECAL will continue to communicate with the early learning workforce through our website at decal.ga.gov, as well as e-mails and social media.
If anyone has questions, they can reach us at email@example.com. This e-mail is regularly monitored, and each question will be answered in the timely manner. We have also posted Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) on our website which are regularly updated.
Thank you for your support of quality early childhood education here in Georgia throughout the year, but especially during this public health emergency. The dedication and passion of this workforce for children and their families is really what’s “unprecedented.”
The DECAL Team