Child Care for Tier 1 Workers

  • Care for school-aged children, especially those children of workers in critical sectors, will continue to be crucial for frontline workers to continue to confront the pandemic. The state will continue to work with child care providers, school-age programs, schools, and all other child care settings to prioritize this need.

    Executive Order 20-82 indicates that a school district or charter school that operates a hybrid or distance learning model “must provide school-aged care for Eligible Children at no cost during the time those children are not receiving instruction in the school building during regular school hours.”

    This school-age care must be provided for district or school-enrolled school-age children age 12 and under who are children of Tier I critical workers. Children of Tier I workers only will be cared for at no cost during the typical school hours.

    The school-age care for children of critical workers is intended for extreme circumstances in which no parent or guardian is at home, due to employment as a critical worker.

    Tier I industries (see Appendix A for definitions of each industry):

    • Healthcare and public health
    • Law enforcement, public safety and first responders
    • Food and agriculture
    • Judicial Branch (essential services)
    • National Guard (activated under a Governor Executive Order)
    • Educators in pre-K through grade 12 settings
    • School staff providing instruction or caring for children of critical workers
    • Child care and school-age care providers

    During a hybrid or distance learning model when students are not receiving in-person instruction, districts and charter schools should carefully consider their local community needs related to care for children of critical workers beyond Tier I areas. Based on community workforce needs and local staffing and space considerations, school districts and charters may provide care for children of other critical workers and if capacity is limited prioritize enrollment for these families in such programs.

    Fees can be charged for care for children beyond Tier I workers or for any care provided beyond the typical school hours based on your district’s current fee-based model and as capacity, staff and facilities allow given that you must follow MDH health and safety regulations. If the district has capacity to serve more than the children of Tier I workers during the school day during hybrid or distance learning models, this should be done on a sliding fee basis, and utilizing publicly available funding to help make it affordable for families. Priority should be given to those most underserved families in your communities.