DSS offering temporary certifications to meet childcare needs during e-learning

Published: Aug. 28, 2020 at 5:13 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WMBF) – When many South Carolina students start the school year working from home, some could go without adult supervision.

The Department of Social Services has developed a way to help those families. Right now, organizations can apply for a certificate of temporary operation through the agency.

The certification is for organizations interested in providing school-time care, e-learning care, virtual learning care, and/or extended school time care due to schools not providing in-classroom instruction, the DSS website states.

Since it launched on Aug. 1, 37 organizations have been successfully approved, explained Connelly-Anne Ragley, director of communications and external affairs for DSS.

“We’re still collecting those applications and to give you a snapshot, we’re seeing them from faith-based groups, churches. We’re seeing them from children’s museums. I know the Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry, the Children’s Museum of the Upstate, both in Greenville and Spartanburg are participating in this program,” Ragley explained.

As of Friday, one business in Horry County - Super Kicks of Conway - received approval for its certificate of temporary operation, according to Ragley.

“The health and safety of children is our priority and so we want to make sure parents are really asking the right questions as they make plans for people to care for their children if they’re unable to keep them at home or if they are unable to work from home and still have the children, you know, in their eyesight,” Ragley said.

The CTO lasts for 90 days, but organizations can renew them up to four times.

As DSS works to approve more applications, those interested in finding a facility can search for those nearby here on the DSS website.

Organizations interested in welcoming students during distance learning can fill out the application below and can read more about the program here.

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