Overview and News
As of 2:00PM on April 2, Missouri has had 1,834 confirmed cases of COVID-19; 19 deaths have been attributed to the virus.
Updates from the Governor’s Office from this week:
- On March 30, Governor Mike Parson announced he approved a reciprocity waiver to allow health care professionals to provide care without having barriers of licensure issues. Additionally, Gov. Parson has waived various regulations for advanced practice registered nurses.
- On March 31, Governor Mike Parson announced several items including: potential alternate care sites, overcrowding of certain state parks, and how the Dept. of Corrections was working to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
- On April 1, Governor Parson announced $180 million in FY2020 expenditure withholds.
- Governor Parson’s daily press updates have been moved to a virtual format. Typically, this update is held at 3:00PM and can be found on his facebook page.
Filing for August 2020 primaries closed on March 31. Rep. Elaine Gannon filed to join what will be a 3-way Republican primary. Sen. Bill Eigel received another primary opponent, Eric Wulff. In total, 52 House districts will have no Democratic candidates and there are 30 districts with no Republican candidates.
The Kaiser Family Foundation released updated data of those who are most at-risk. They estimate that more than 40% of adult Missourians are at risk for serious illness if they obtain COVID-19.
April 1st was Census Day! As of April 3, Missouri’s self-response rate is 43.2% compared to the national average of 41.3%. Encourage your networks to fill out the census as soon as possible!
“Phase 3:” Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act:
- Signed into law last Friday (March 27)
- The Missouri Budget Project has released a report on how Missouri benefit from various economic relief initiatives seen through the CARES Act
- Overview of child care provisions from the First Five Years Fund
- Overview of homeless youth provisions from SchoolHouse Connection
- Georgetown University Health Policy Institute blog on health care and the CARES Act
- Overview of K-12 education provisions from Education Week
- Missouri Dept. of Labor COVID-19 resource page for unemployment insurance
Missouri General Assembly
- What we know:
- This week was a COVID-19 spring break extension.
- The legislature is expected to convene next week to pass the FY2020 Supplemental (HB 2014) and a bill to extend the FRA.
- The Senate Appropriations Committee plans to convene on Tuesday, with a floor vote on the FY2020 supplemental budget on Wednesday.
- The House plans to convene Wednesday and pass the amended version either Wednesday evening or Thursday.
- Legislative leaders have put a screening process in place for the public seeking to attend legislative proceedings, but they are urging the public to not attend.
- What we don’t know:
- What the FY2021 budget process looks like going forward. It currently is awaiting House Perfection but will need to be adjusted for updated economic growth projections.
- What, if any, policy solutions may be fast-tracked.
FY 2020 Budget
Due to the COVID-19 impacts on the economy combined with extending the income tax filing deadline to July 15, Gov. Parson anticipates a $500 million shortfall in this fiscal year. Approximately $300 million in federal funding this year may help with the funding shortfall. To address the gap, Gov. Parson announced $180 million in withholds for the FY2020 budget this week, including:
- $61 million from 4-year higher education institutions
- $54 million from the facilities maintenance reserve fund transfer
- $12 million from community colleges
- DSS announced child care providers who see a decline in attendance in subsidy children would see no less than the three-month average of their payments from December 2019 through February 2020.
- The CDC offered updated guidance for schools and child care programs this week.
- DHSS’s Section for Child Care Regulation has released a communication on how stay-at-home orders impact licensed child care providers.
- As a part of Missouri’s Preschool Development Grant B-5, the strategic plan submitted has been approved by the federal agency and is going through final branding edits before public release.
- Today, CLASP published a fact sheet to help child care owners navigate the small business loans made available from the federal CARES Act. Many of these loans are forgivable if the funds are used to keep staff employed and operations afloat.
- First Five Years Fund also has this great resource available for child care centers (and other small businesses or non-profits) with information on all of the loan programs available through the federal relief programs.
- On April 2, CLASP published a fact sheet for state CCDF administrators with an overview of federal flexibility.
- On March 30, the Administration for Children & Families offered additional clarification on the flexibility they are offering to states and grantees.
Missouri Child Care Licensing
- DHSS has published a website, where they are placing COVID-19 licensing updates.
- DHSS is issuing temporary emergency licenses.
- The website has a survey for child care providers who have made the decision to close.
- Child Care Aware of Missouri is updating this GoogleMap twice daily on licensed child care closures.
Missouri Child Care Subsidy
- Children’s Division’s Early Learning Section is placing updates on the DSS COVID-19 website.
- DESE has provided this guidance to continue delivering Parents as Teachers services.
- Parents as Teachers National Center has released a blog on turning to telehealth to provide support to families during the pandemic.
- HRSA has indicated that during the emergency, MIECHV funded home visiting programs may use telehealth methods of contacting families.
- Office of Child Care has provided guidance allowing for flexibility of Child Care Development Block Grant funding. Kids Win Missouri is urging the Parson Administration and Children’s Division to utilize this added flexibility like paying providers on enrollment instead of attendance, providing quicker payment to child care providers for care, suspending co-pays, and more.
- Child Care Aware of America has published a website with resources including:
- Webinar on COVID-19 and how child care providers can react
- Flow-Chart on: Should I close my child care program?
- The National Association of Education of Young Children has published a website with resources including:
- A survey for Child Care programs
- An online community for child care providers to interact around COVID-19 concerns
- How to talk to children about COVID-19
- Aggregated COVID-19 Resources by Topics:
- The Home Visiting Model Alliance released a joint resource for guidance on all home visiting models
- HRSA provided updated guidance to the home visiting community on March 25
- Child Care Aware of America: Emergency Funding Resources that Child Care Providers Can Use Now
Kids Win Missouri Activities:
Kids Win Missouri sent this letter to Governor Parson, urging action on policies relating to child care, health care, SNAP, and WIC. Missouri is not maximizing all the flexibility allowed by federal law.
- March’s labor report showed that the U.S. lost 701,000 jobs in March. However, the report only accounts for job numbers through the second week of the month. Unemployment benefit numbers released since then indicate that the job losses reported in the future will be much larger.
- On Thursday, more than 6.6 million people applied for first-time unemployment benefits, doubling the numbers from the prior week. For Missouri, more than 104,000 people filed claims, up from more than 42,000 applications the previous week.
- Parson announced on March 30 that he has approved reciprocity agreements for health care providers, expanded flexibilities for APRNs, and provided an update on the state’s efforts to procure personal protective equipment (PPE).
- The DHSS COVID-19 website is updated daily with testing results.
- DSS’s “Provider Hot Tip” website includes changes/updates for health providers regarding telemedicine, e-prescribing, and more.
- The DSS COVID-19 website is updated with FSD, Child Care, MoHealthNet, Children’s Division, and Division of Youth Services.
- DMH’s Division of Developmental Disabilities has provided this guidance for their providers.
- Missouri’s 1135 Waiver was approved by CMS on March 25. Georgetown’s Center for Children and Families has a 1135 Waiver tracking page comparing states’ requests.
- From our partners at Youth In Need and the Missouri Coalition of Children’s Agencies this was created of how to best identify and respond to children’s mental health needs during the pandemic.
- CMS published this FAQ for Medicaid Programs & CHIP agencies.
- CMS will be updating their COVID-19 partner toolkit.
- The Georgetown Center for Children & Families has released this FAQ for what states can do.
- • Kaiser Family Foundation released: How Can Medicaid Enhance State Capacity to Respond to COVID-19?
- • Georgetown Center on Children and Families also published detailed information on how “Phase 2” helps states, people, and public health.
- Missouri KidsFirst has launched the #Essential4Kids campaign to spread the word to protect children from abuse during the COVID-19 crisis.
- Kids Win Missouri inquired about P-EBT (benefit for families who have a child on free and reduced lunch at school) as it relates to additional burdens placed on foster parents during this timeframe. Once approved by the federal agencies, CD will be providing a list of names to Family Support Division so outreach can be made with an application to be eligible for these benefits. We’re continuing to monitor this issue and are in conversation with Family Support Division on outreach to families that qualify for free and reduced lunch.
- In addition to the PSNAP for kids who exited foster care or kids whose adoption or guardianship agreement ended during this COVID period are eligible for an additional 90 days of Medicaid coverage. That adjustment is being made by MO HealthNet to avoid any overpayments on the child welfare side.
- The Department of Social Services created this flyer to help families determine if they are eligible for SNAP, TANF, Medicaid and Child Care benefits and this flyer to help families access benefits.
- Children’s Division issued this guidance for resource parents on March 24
- Children’s Division issued this guidance for viritual visits for their staff on March 24
- Children’s Division leaders are concerned with a 50% decline in child abuse and neglect hotline calls and asking for extra vigilance
- Children’s Division’s memos website where you can find updates with case management providers
- DSS created this FAQ for SNAP beneficiaries, with details on how families are elgibile for the maximum benefit during March and April.
- Children’s Division’s memo sent to caseworkers, investigators, and case managers on March 19 as a response to COVID-19
- Jefferson County’s Court Order to partially suspend in-person contact as of March 19.
- In a March 25 update, the USDA issued a nationwide waiver to allow parents and guardiance to pick up meals for children
- No Kid Hungry is responding by offering emergency grants to ensure food security for children
- The USDA has released this website on Food & Nutrition
- Missouri has applied for the ability to serve meals in non-congregate settings
- Missouri has applied for a waiver for flexibility for quality control interviews for SNAP
- DESE shared a PowerPoint with school leaders on April 1 as part of a webinar and was followed-up with an email. This includes an update on the CARES Act, information on statutory waivers, food and nutrition updates, childcare for health professionals, school closure, and more
- On March 27, an administrative memo was released by DESE on calendaring and attendance, and notifying districts of possible future withholding.
- Missouri’s Dept. of Mental Health has provided family mental health resources here.
- DESE has published this website as guidance for school districts. This website includes updates on special education, First Steps, use of buses, viritual education food and nutrition and more.
- As of Friday, March 20, all of Missouri’s 555 districts/charter schools have closed
- DESE Commissioner Margie Vandeven announced on DESE’s Facebook page that Missouri is cancelling statewide required assessments for the school year.
- Missouri School Boards’ Association has created a resource list for school districts
- MOREnet is ensuring school districts are aware they have access to remote learning opportunities including: Zoom, magazines, eBooks, and online practice tests.
- EdWeek is tracking national school closures.
- The US Department of Education issued supplemental guidance on providing appropriate education to students with disabilities during the pandemic and the Education Law Center posted an update with commentary on the guidance.