State of Delaware Announces Early Childhood Education Updates

Changes include new Associate Secretary for Early Learning Support, new grant funding, doubling of ECAP

WILMINGTON, Del.—Governor John Carney and the Delaware Department of Education on Monday announced a few notable early childhood education updates, ranging from governance updates to additional CARES Act funding to the state’s commitment to double Early Childhood Assistance Program (ECAP) funding.

The state is pleased to announce that Yvette Sanchez Fuentes has been hired as the first Associate Secretary for Early Childhood Support.  This position, created by reallocating existing roles, will oversee both the Office of Early Learning (OEL) and the Office of Child Care Licensing (OCCL), the latter of which recently moved to the department.  This effort to consolidate early childhood governance has been a priority of the administration’s and has been supported by numerous early childhood advocates and leaders.  Ms. Sanchez Fuentes served as the director for the Office of Head Start in the Obama Administration and served for two years as the President of the National Alliance for Hispanic Families.  She will start Nov. 9.

The state is also announcing the creation of the Child Care Remote Learning Grant to support licensed child care facilities that are supporting school-age students’ remote learning.  Licensed child care centers and homes are going above and beyond to help care for school-age children during remote learning, often times incurring additional costs to do so.  The state has set aside $1 million in federal CARES Act funds for the grants, which will range between $500 and $7,500 depending on the need of the child care provider.

This grant is in addition to the Enhanced Reimbursement Program Delaware created in April.  The Enhanced Reimbursement Program provides additional funding to hundreds of child care homes and centers each month. Through September, child care centers and homes received more than $75 million in Enhanced Reimbursement funding.  This funding helps keep staff paid, helps child care providers meet strict health guidance, and assists with increased operating costs child cares face due to the pandemic.

“Providers have stepped up to fill an important need for Delaware families, and this grant funding will help them with the additional costs they face to expand their operations to support school age students,” said Governor Carney.  “I’ve seen firsthand the challenge these child care providers are dealing with to support remote learning.  Our state is grateful for our remarkable early childhood workforce, and we are excited to offer these grants to support our providers who are serving school age children.”

The Child Care Remote Learning Grants can be used to pay or reimburse providers for specific expenditures they’ve made or are making necessary to assist remote learning for school age children.  Many child care providers are serving children from more than one district/charter, making their work doubly hard.  The application will be available on www.de.gov/coronavirus by the end of the week.

“The Delaware Institute for Excellence in Early Childhood at the University of Delaware is excited to partner with the state on this important initiative and to administer the grant,” said Rena Hallam, DIEEC director.  “These funds will help early childhood professionals support effective remote learning for school-age children in early care and education programs.”

Secretary of Education Susan Bunting noted that whether districts and charters opened for some in-person instruction or full remote learning, the need for a safe place for children to complete their remote learning is critical.

“These centers and homes are providing students a safe environment in which to engage in remote learning while their parents work in order to provide for their families,” said Secretary Bunting. “We appreciate how they have supported our students during this time and need to support their efforts.  Many child care providers have been working through this pandemic to provide care to children of essential personnel, and we are grateful for their contributions to our state and our children every single day.”

Finally, the state recently announced a settlement in the ongoing education funding lawsuit.  Among the provisions of the settlement, Delaware commits to doubling the funding dedicated to the Early Childhood Assistance Program (ECAP).  The ECAP program is Delaware’s state-funded pre-k for disadvantaged children.  Beginning in FY 2024, funding for ECAP will have a new floor of $12.2 million.

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Governor Carney, DPH, DEMA Announce Community COVID-19 Testing Sites

Agencies Encourage COVID-19 Testing

WILMINGTON, Del. – Governor John Carney, the Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH), and the Delaware Emergency Management Agency (DEMA), announced a substantial list of community testing sites this week. Testing locations include pop-up and Curative trailer sites.

“Testing for COVID-19 is the best way to track the spread of the virus and respond to potential outbreaks,” said Governor Carney. “Whether or not you have symptoms, we encourage you to get tested for COVID-19 at a site near you, and to continue to follow basic health precautions so we can slow the spread. Keep wearing your masks in public. Wash or sanitize your hands frequently. Keep your distance and avoid gatherings with those outside of your household. Stay home if you’re sick.”

DEMA has coordinated 15 community sites this week in addition to sites at Walgreens and at various hospitals and health care locations. Delawareans can view a full list of COVID-19 testing locations and reserve a spot at de.gov/gettested.

“Testing continues to be critical to us slowing the spread of COVID-19,” said Dr. Karyl Rattay, Director of the Delaware Division of Public Health. “We are grateful to our community partners for engaging in thoughtful conversations around the need for testing and providing feedback on the accessibility of locations.”

“Since May, we have tested over 300,000 people through community sites,” said A.J. Schall, Director of the Delaware Emergency Management Agency. “With the use of both pop-up and static sites, we continue to refine our testing plan. New trailers were recently added to ensure that there is convenient testing for those who need it, when they need it.”

Delawareans are encouraged to check the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services’ social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram) for testing location updates due to inclement weather.

New Castle County Pop-Up Testing Locations

  • Monday, October 26 from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.: Woodlawn Library (2020 W 9th Street, Wilmington, DE 19805)
  • Monday, October 26 from 2:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.: Thomas McKean High School (301 McKennans Church Road, Wilmington, DE 19808)
  • Tuesday, October 27 from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.: Pulaski School (1300 Cedar Street, Wilmington, DE 19805)
  • Tuesday, October 27 from 2:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.: Frawley Stadium (801 Shipyard Drive, Wilmington, DE 19801)
  • Wednesday, October 28 from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.: Warner Elementary (801 W. 18th Street, Wilmington, DE 19802)
  • Wednesday, October 28 from 2:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.: Brandywine High School (1400 Foulk Road, Wilmington, DE 19803)
  • Thursday, October 29 from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.: Hudson SSC (501 Ogletown Road, Newark, DE 19711)
  • Friday, October 30 from 2:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.: Wilmington University Brandywine Campus (10 Beaver Valley Road, Wilmington, DE 19803)
  • Saturday, October 31 from 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.: Claymont Elementary (3401 Green Street, Claymont, DE 19703)
  • Saturday, October 31 from 12 p.m. – 4 p.m.: People’s Settlement Association (408 East 8th Street, Wilmington, DE 19801)

Kent County Pop-Up Testing Locations

  • Monday, October 26 from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.: Bethel AME Church (229 E Commerce Street, Smyrna, DE 19977)
  • Tuesday, October 27 from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.: Mt. Enon Baptist Church (600 N Church Street, Milford, DE 19963)
  • Wednesday, October 28 from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.: New Beginnings AME (99 Jackson Street, Frederica, DE 19946)
  • Thursday, October 29 from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.: Woodbridge Early Childhood Education Center (400 Governors Ave, Greenwood, DE 19950)
  • Friday, October 30 from 12 p.m. – 4 p.m.: Harrington Casino (18500 S Dupont Hwy, Harrington, DE 19952)

Sussex County Pop-Up Testing Locations

  • Monday, October 26 from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.: Selbyville Fire Company (30 N Main Street, Selbyville, DE 19975)
  • Tuesday, October 27 from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.: Delmar Town Hall (12 E State Street, Delmar, MD 21875)
  • Wednesday, October 28 from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.: Rehoboth City Hall (229 Rehoboth Avenue, Rehoboth Beach, DE 19971)
  • Thursday, October 29 from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.: Delaware Technical Community College, Owens Campus (21179 College Drive, Georgetown, DE 19947)
  • Friday, October 30 from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.: La Red (300 High Street, Seaford, DE 19973)

Anyone with a question about COVID-19, whether related to medical or social service needs, should call Delaware 2-1-1. Individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing can text their ZIP code to 898-211. Hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. 

Download COVID Alert DE in the App Store or Google Play

Report a business for COVID-19 non-compliance using this form.

DPH will continue to update the public as more information becomes available. For the latest on Delaware’s response, go to de.gov/coronavirus.

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Governor Carney Announces Compassionate Champion Award Recipients

Compassionate Champion Award recognizes individuals, organizations providing trauma-informed services

WILMINGTON, Del. – Governor John Carney on Friday announced the recipients of the Compassionate Champion Award, the State of Delaware’s trauma-informed care recognition program that highlights outstanding achievement by individuals and organizations that provide trauma-informed services.

“We have many dedicated workers across the state who serve their fellow Delawareans, and who have been leaders and advocates in the trauma-informed approach,” said Governor Carney. “The Compassionate Champion Awards provide an opportunity to highlight the outstanding achievement by individuals and organizations that make our state stronger and healthier using the trauma-informed approach. We thank them for their compassion, leadership and commitment to our state and our citizens.”

Compassionate Champion Award Recipients:

Individual‌ ‌Champion

  • First‌ ‌Responder/‌Medical: ‌ Dr. David Chen, Christiana Care, Hospital Violence Intervention Program
  • Education: Kelley Lumpkin, LPCMH, Children & Families First Delaware

Emerging‌ ‌Champion‌ ‌

  • Community: Project New Start, Inc.Priscilla Turgon
  • Community: Center for Child Development—Lisa Savage
  • Education: ‌ The Bayard School – Victoir Cahoon

Compassionate‌ ‌Champion‌ ‌

  • Community: Delaware Guidance Services—Shana Powell, Jill Rogers, Tiffany Jester
  • Government: ‌ Delaware Department of Services for Children, Youth, and Their Families, Division of Youth Rehabilitative Services—Brandi Ciamarra, Dr. Linda Friedman, Dr. Jacqueline McMichael, Dr. Katharine Powers, Dr. Jamey Rislin, Dr. Simah Waddell, Tina Walls, Dr. Rebecca Richmond
  • First Responder/Medical: ‌ Nemours, Center for Pediatric Traumatic Stress at A.I. duPont Hospital for Children – Anne Kazak, Melissa Alderfer, Meg Frizzola, Jennifer Pendley

On Thursday, October 29, at 5:00 p.m., Governor Carney will premiere a video recognizing the award winners. The video will be publicly available on the Governor’s YouTube Channel and Facebook page.

The Compassionate Champion Award recognizes individuals or teams in government, non-profit and private organizations, first responder professions, education, and other agencies that have taken steps toward providing services in a manner consistent with trauma-informed care criteria in the Delaware Developmental Framework for Trauma Informed Care, a document that outlines best practices for trauma-informed care. The Framework was adapted from the Missouri Model of trauma-informed care, and was produced in collaboration by the Family Services Cabinet Council ACEs Subcommittee and the Compassionate Connections Partnership

Since 2018, the Family Services Cabinet Council has worked to implement Executive Order #24, which launched efforts to make Delaware a trauma-informed state. The Family Services Cabinet Council released in November 2019 a Trauma-Informed Care Progress Report and Action Plan for State of Delaware agencies. The plan serves as a progress report of each agency’s work to implement Executive Order #24, which tasked the Family Services Cabinet Council to lead efforts to make Delaware a trauma-informed state. The Family Services Cabinet Council is a cabinet-level group reestablished by Governor Carney in February 2017 to coordinate public and private services for Delaware families.

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COVID Alert DE Surpasses 50,000 Downloads of App

Exposure notification app is supplementing Delaware’s contact tracing efforts

WILMINGTON, Del. – Governor John Carney, the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS), and the Delaware Department of Technology and Information (DTI) announced that COVID Alert DE has surpassed more than 50,000 downloads among Delawareans.

About 9 percent of people who have tested positive and were interviewed by members of Delaware’s Contact Tracing Team since the exposure notification app was launched on September 15 have said they downloaded the exposure notification app on their phone. Among their close contacts, 16 percent told contact tracers that they also had COVID Alert DE on their phones.

“COVID Alert DE is another tool to help slow the spread of the virus in our state,” said Governor Carney. “As more and more Delawareans download the app, we know that it is successfully supplementing our contract tracing efforts through anonymous and secure exposure alerts. That will help us keep our transmission rates low going forward – and make even more progress getting more children back to school, and more Delawareans back to work.”

Any Delawarean with the COVID Alert DE app will receive an anonymous exposure notification alert if they are identified as a close contact of a COVID-positive individual in Delaware or three other states. Delaware’s app is interoperable with COVID Alert PA in Pennsylvania, COVID Alert NJ in New Jersey and COVID Alert NY in New York. Users should download the application in the state where they are currently living and expect to be tested for COVID-19. The exposure notification apps are built on Bluetooth technology from Apple and Google.

COVID Alert DE is available in the App Store or Google Play.  

“I want to urge more Delawareans to download the COVID Alert DE app as a way to keep themselves and their loved ones safe, especially if you work in a front-line job or are living on a college campus,” said Molly Magarik, Secretary of the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS). “If you already have the app, I urge you to use the symptom tracker every morning, especially with flu season expected to intermingle with COVID-19 during the fall and winter.”

The app is not a substitute for basic public health precautionary measures – including mask-wearing, social distancing in public, avoiding crowds and frequent handwashing. Additionally, those who have the app are still asked to speak with contact tracers from the Division of Public Health if contacted.

Download the app:

Apple Store

Google Play

Visit de.gov/covidalert for additional information about COVID Alert DE, or send questions to DPHCall@delaware.gov. 

Are you a business, nonprofit, or organization interested in COVID Alert DE? Email questions about partnership opportunities to DHSS_TownHall@delaware.gov.  

Anyone with a question about COVID-19, whether related to medical or social service needs, should call Delaware 2-1-1. Individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing can text their ZIP code to 898-211. Hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. 

Questions can also be submitted by email at DPHCall@delaware.gov.

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Governor Carney Announces Health Care Relief Fund 

$100 million CARES Act fund will support Delaware health care providers 

WILMINGTON, Del. – Governor John Carney and the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) on Tuesday announced the creation of a Health Care Relief Fund to support Delaware health care providers through the COVID-19 crisis.

The $100 million fund will support providers throughout the health care industry that have been on the front lines fighting COVID-19 in Delaware. This includes home health care agencies, intellectual and developmental disability providers, nursing homes and assisted-living facilities, behavioral health service providers, and Delaware’s hospital systems.

Healthy Communities Delaware – a statewide public-private partnership that works to address social determinants of health – also will receive funding for distribution to Delaware communities that have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19.

Additional details about the Health Care Relief Fund will be available at de.gov/coronavirus.

Questions about the Health Care Relief Fund can be emailed to DHSS_CaresQuestions@delaware.gov.

“Delaware’s health care workers have been looking out for the most vulnerable Delawareans since the beginning of this crisis. We owe them our support,” said Governor Carney. “This Health Care Relief Fund will make sure that Delaware’s health care providers can safely deliver important health care services as we continue to fight this virus. But we all need to do our part. Avoid large crowds. Wear a face mask in public settings. Wash or sanitize your hands frequently. Stay vigilant and we’ll get through this.”

Funding from the Health Care Relief Fund can be used to support COVID-19 related investments, including technology upgrades, purchases of personal protective equipment (PPE), and environmental modifications in health care facilities.

“Like other industries, we know health care providers have had a difficult year balancing their regular services with the uncertainty created by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Molly Magarik, Secretary of the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services. “We also know that some of our low-income and minority communities have borne the brunt of this pandemic. That’s why we’re excited to announce an additional $100 million in funding that will support providers and entities to address the gaps and continued need for such resources as telehealth equipment and personal protective equipment.”

Individuals with questions about COVID-19 should call Delaware 2-1-1; individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing can text their ZIP code to 898-211, or email info@delaware211.org. Hours of operation are 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Monday through Friday; 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Medically related questions regarding testing, symptoms, and health-related guidance can be submitted by email at DPHCall@delaware.gov. Questions regarding unemployment claims should be emailed to UIClaims@delaware.gov.

Individuals who have complaints about individuals violating public gathering restrictions should contact state or local law enforcement. Concerns that a business may be violating operating restrictions should be directed to HSPContact@delaware.gov. Questions related to business re-openings or operations as businesses re-open should go to COVID19FAQ@delaware.gov.

DPH will continue to update the public as more information becomes available. For the latest on Delaware’s response, go to de.gov/coronavirus.

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