R 202115 MAR 20
FM COMDT COGARD WASHINGTON DC//CG-DCMS-DPR//
SUBJ: COAST GUARD CHILD DEVELOPMENT SERVICES OPERATIONS DURING THE CORONAVIRUS DISEASE
2019 (COVID-19) PANDEMIC
A. Coast Guard Child Development Services, COMDTINST M1754.15 (series)
B. Coast Guard Non-Appropriated Fund Personnel Manual, COMDINST M12271.1 (series)
1. In light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing limitation to community activities, rising concerns for workforce safety, and access to support services, COMDT (CG-11), in concert with our DOD counterparts, has established emergency operational guidance for Coast Guard childcare programs. This effort addresses the wellbeing of the families and staff while supporting a mission ready work force.
2. The Coast Guard continues to protect the Nation’s economic, national and border security, and childcare programs are critical to those Coast Guard members who conduct and support our vital missions. While we expect unit commanders to make the best decisions for their workforce, our intention is to keep the agency functioning and provide the services required to keep our highly trained team performing their missions. In order to support both force protection and mission execution our intent is to scale down CDC operations to that needed to support only missions essential functions.
3. Commands with Child Development Centers will employ the following practices to maximize resiliency and efficiency of our child care services during the COVID-19 pandemic:
a. Cancel all Hourly Childcare unless emergency/mission essential (Required)
b. Suspend new Childcare enrollments (unless emergency/mission essential) (Required)
c. Verify operational impacts of child care availability, including tenant commands, to inform decision making
d. Require parents to care for their own children at home when on a full-time telework agreement; parent fees will be waived and their child’s space reserved for when they return
e. Parent fees will be waived/saved space for all personnel who elect to voluntarily withdraw their child temporarily for at least two weeks or until programs resume normal operations
f. All training requirements are postponed
g. All Teacher in-Service Days are canceled
h. Consider requiring daily sign-in for next-day care to determine daily needs, and schedule staffing.
4. In addressing emerging staffing shortages, Commanding Officers in concert with their CDC Directors should consider the following options:
a. Limit childcare services to CG and DOD Single/Dual Active Duty, Single/Dual CG CIVs and Active Duty with working spouses who cannot execute mission essential duties via telework/self-care for own children
b. Single ratio group sizes implemented (e.g. Preschool classrooms have a group size of 24 children and a child:staff ratio of 1:12, implementing single ratios limits classroom size to no more than 10 children)
c. Explore modified hours options to accommodate critical missions.
5. Commands must ensure that all childcare center staff and in-home Family Child Care (FCC) providers follow the most up-to-date Center for Disease Control and Protection Guidance for School Settings, make the patrons aware of these guidelines,and ensure the CDC guidance is followed if anyone in a childcare program comes in contact with someone that has been diagnosed or exposed to COVID-19. CDC Guidance is found at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/schools-childcare/index.html. Providers must engage in these best practices:
a. Increased handwashing and sanitation practices (for example; cleaning door handles, hard surfaces, etc.)
b. Minimize visitors (e.g. postpone all non-critical facility maintenance)
c. Staff shall complete all sign in/out protocols
d. Discontinue Family Style Dining (staff will plate food for children)
e. Discontinue Tooth Brushing and Use of Sensory Tables
6. Any reduction of services that substantially impact support to members performing mission essential functions, to include the closure of any CDC, must be approved by the base or unit Commander after consultation with the program, medical experts and Community Services Command via the facility closure process facilitated by the National Command Center.
7. Any decision to close childcare programs should take into consideration the human resource requirements for releasing employees and their payroll status, alternate work schedules options, telework, etc. Commands must ensure that the CG Community Services Command (CSC) - Human Resources COVID-19 Guidance for Supervisors of NAF Employees, 3/17/2020, are considered and all decisions are in accordance with the REF (B).
8. As childcare services are limited to mission-essential personnel only or suspended, families not receiving services will not be charged.
9. Notification of any closures, modification of services, or transmission events (exposure to COVID-19) should be made as soon possible to DCMS Watch at D05-SMB-DCMS-Watch@uscg.mil, families impacted, and impacted commands. The most up-to-date Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) from the HSWL-Service Center Work Life program and local SOPs for reporting incidents and closures should also be followed.
10. Subsidy Program: If community-based (private) childcare programs are requiring families to pay for their childcare spaces, and families are not able to attend, invoices submitted to the CG Childcare Subsidy Program will be paid.
11. Family childcare (FCC) home providers are considered private business owners and, as such, will determine when it is appropriate to operate their program, or suspend services. All FCC providers must report closure of their programs to their HSWL Regional Practice program coordinator. The program coordinators will follow the HSWL-Service Center Work Life program and local SOPs for reporting incidents and closures.
12. Point of contacts are Renee L. Podolec, Child Development Services, Program Manager, at (202) 475-2160, firstname.lastname@example.org, or Rose Neel Chief, Family Services, CG-1112, email@example.com, (202) 475-5157.
13. RADM P F. Thomas, Deputy for Personnel Readiness, sends.
14. Internet release is authorized.