JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – According to the Mississippi Department of Human Services (MDHS), the Childcare Crisis Assistance in Isolation Response Plan (CCAIR) has grown into an essential resource since March.
CCAIR was initially designed at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic by MDHS and the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) as a plan to establish temporary, safe child care options for emergency and essential personnel.
In April there were only two CCAIR trained centers, and now 585 licensed child care centers have completed CCAIR training.
“CCAIR gives a framework for child care centers to incorporate the best known safety practices into their daily child care routines to protect children, staff, and families from the spread of COVID-19,” said Dr. Chad Allgood, Deputy Director of the MDHS Division of Early Childhood Care and Development. “We will continue to provide this resource free of charge to all child care providers as long as the coronavirus threat is imminent.”
Allgood added that they periodically update the training to be responsive to the most current CDC guidance. The following three new training modules have been produced to train more trainers:
- Preventing the spread of COVID-19
- Creating a safe and warm environment
- Staying healthy during play
A toolkit will be included for those trained to deliver this content to providers. MDHS is also partnering with the Mississippi Department of Education (MDE) to make the training available to pre-k learning collaboratives in school districts across the state.
“We’re proud to be able to provide this support for parents who are trying to earn a living during such challenging times,” MDHS Executive Director Robert G. “Bob” Anderson said. “We want to do whatever we can to help child care centers remain open while also giving parents confidence that their children will be safe.”
MDHS is issuing emergency child care certificates for children of first responders and essential workers. A full list of employment conditions that qualify as first responder or essential workers can be viewed at https://secac.ms.gov/covid19/. First responders and essential workers included in this list should visit https://www.apps.mdhs.ms.gov/ccis/NewApplication/AppStartPage.aspx to apply.
Emergency certificates can only be used at a CCAIR trained child care center. To locate CCAIR trained child care centers, visit https://www.mdhs.provider.webapps.ms.gov/ccsearch.aspx and select “Emergency CCAIR” as the provider type.
To learn more about the Division of Early Childhood Care and Development and how to receive CCAIR training, visit https://www.mdhs.ms.gov/early-childhood-care-development/.