DHS Releases New Guidance and Contract Opportunities for Child Care

Posted on May 26, 2020 in NEWS

May 26, 2020

DHS Releases New Guidance and Contract Opportunities for Child Care Facilities

Honolulu, Hawai’i – The Department of Human Services (DHS) has released new guidelines for minimizing the risk of COVID-19 to children, staff and families when resuming or continuing child care operations. The guidelines are based on public health guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Hawai’i Department of Health.

Every child-care facility and home that continues to operate or reopens shall establish and follow written operational policies that address the guidelines consistent with Governor Ige’s Eighth Supplementary Emergency Proclamation. Minimizing the risk of exposure to the COVID-19 virus to children in care depends on every facility and home consistently applying these public health practices.

The Guidelines for Child Care Facilities (click here) that cover public health measures include the following areas:

     1.  Cleaning and sanitizing      4.   Facility safety
     2.  Physical distancing      5.   Parent and child expectation
     3.  Health and safety      6.   Employee support

“As the state continues to re-open, we know that childcare is essential. Without a safe place for their children, many people will have a hard time returning to their work,” said Gov. David Y. Ige.


DHS Launches Contract Opportunity for Child Care Providers

Eligible child care providers may now apply for $11.9 million of additional federal funds to increase the safety and protect the health of children in their care. Congress appropriated the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) block grant award as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act passed in March.

DHS has issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for Emergency Child Care Services and will award contracts to eligible providers to cover cleaning and sanitation of the child care facility or home or other activities necessary to maintain or resume the operation of the child care, including health and safety measures for the facility, health and safety measures for the child in care and for staff or caregivers.  All licensed and registered child care facilities and homes, as well as organizations contracted by the Department of Education (DOE) to operate A+ sites at elementary school campuses, are eligible to apply. The deadline to apply is July 31, 2020.

This RFP will help the state meet the goal of having every child care facility and home meet the standards established in the guidelines.

Documents below can be found on the DHS GUIDANCE AND RESOURCES FOR CHILD CARE FACILITIES AND HOMES DURING COVID-19 (click here) page on the DHS website.

  • The Application and Proposal form for DHS Emergency Child Care Services Contract. 
  • The Agreement for DHS Emergency Child Care Services. 
  • Frequently Asked Questions About the DHS Emergency Child Care Services Contracts.

“DHS values all that child care providers do for our families and children, and we recognize the vital importance of child care for Hawaii’s economic recovery. We look forward to partnering with providers as they take the necessary public health measures to minimize the risk of exposure to children, staff, and families,” said Pankaj Bhanot, director, Department of Human Services.

For more information, visit https://humanservices.hawaii.gov.


Media Contact:
Amanda Stevens, Public Information Officer
Department of Human Services
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 586-4892