COVID-19 and Your Business: Essential Tips and KidKare Resources for Independent Centers

Important! This article contains information for independent center users only. All sponsored centers and home providers should follow guidance provided by their sponsors.

The coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has demonstrated how incredibly connected the world has become and how “in-it-together” we all are. KidKare by Minute Menu wants to affirm our commitment to continue supporting our valued customers and lead with transparency during this ever-changing situation. Check the FNS's Program Guidance on Human Pandemic Response (external link) for the most up-to-date food program guidance.

We have prepared this list of tools and processes that can help you navigate this ever-changing situation and will update it as needed.

Handle Capacity Changes

Some states may temporarily adjust the capacity allowed for center care during the pandemic. Contact your State agency for more information as the situation arises. Should your State decide to make capacity adjustments, you can change your capacity on the Site Details page. 

Required Permissions: You must have the Site Details permission enabled on your account to edit site details.

  1. From the menu to the left, click Setup and select Site Details.
  2. Click Edit in the License section.

For more information about updating your site information, see Update Your Site Details.

Mark School Out

With public schools across the nation closing to prevent the spread of COVID-19, children who would normally be in school will be out of school. As of this writing, you must mark children as out of school individually while taking attendance. If you need school marked out for all children for an extended period of time, email success@kidkare.com with the date range you need marked as school out.

Meal Pickup

On March 25, 2020, the USDA Food and Nutrition Service issued a nationwide waiver to allow parents to pick up meals for their children from childcare sites.  You can read the full text of the waiver here. Contact your state agency to confirm whether they are applying this waiver before taking further steps.

Your staff should record meals as they normally would. To track the number of meals picked up, record menu notes stating the number of meals picked up for a particular meal time. For example, you could list each child for whom a parent picked up a meal in the menu comments. Determine how you wish to proceed, and communicate your guidelines with your staff.

Run the Center Weekly Menu report for the month on which you are reporting and review the notes for each menu to see how many parents took advantage of the waiver and picked up food (based on recorded notes). 

Required Permissions: You must have the Meal & Attendance (Reports) permission enabled on your account to run the Center Weekly Menu report.

To print this report:

  1. From the menu to the left, click Reports.
  2. Click the Select a Category drop-down menu and select Meals & Attendance.
  3. Click the Select a Report drop-down menu and select Center Weekly Menu.
  4. Click Select Day box and select the first of the month.
  5. Select Infant or Non-Infant.
  6. Select Entire Month.
  7. Click Run. A PDF downloads.

Meal Times National Waiver

The Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) has issued a nationwide waiver on meal times in the CACFP, SFSP, and other child nutrition programs. This waiver is meant to support access to nutritious meals while limiting potential exposure to COVID-19. Click here to read the full text of the waiver.

This means you can claim outside of meal times, as needed. You may need to adjust your meal times on the Site Details page.

Unavailable Food Items

On March 25, 2020, the USDA Food and Nutrition Service issued a nationwide waiver to allow meal pattern flexibility in child nutrition programs. You can read the full text of the waiver here. Contact your state agency to confirm whether they are applying this waiver before taking further steps. Should your state apply this waiver, add foods that are designated as unavailable due to COVID-19. For example, you could create a milk item called No Milk Available - COVID.

Required Permissions: You must be assigned to the Director or Administrator role to access the Food List page.

To do so:

  1. From the menu to the left, click Food List. The Food List page opens.
  2. Click New Food.
  3. Click the Category drop-down menu and select Milk.
  4. Click the Name box and type No Milk Available - COVID.
  5. Click the Food Type drop-down menu and select Milk.
  6. Adjust any other options, as needed. For more information, see Add and Edit Foods.
  7. Click Save.

Follow Steps 1-10, above for other affected foods. Remember to select the proper categories and use a naming convention, such as adding COVID to the end, that allows you to easily find and remove these unavailable foods once the waiver is lifted. Communicate these changes to your staff as you implement them.

Reporting

Run the Center Monthly Menu Plan report to look for foods created for the claim month for which you are reporting. 

Required Permissions: You must have the Meal & Attendance (Reports) permission enabled on your account to run the Center Monthly Menu Plan report.

To access this report:

  1. From the menu to the left, click Reportfrom the menu to the left.
  2. Click the Select a Category drop-down menu and select Meals & Attendance.
  3. Click the Select a Report drop-down menu and select Center Monthly Menu Plan.
  4. Click the Select a Month box and select the month on which you are reporting.
  5. Select Infant or Non-Infant.
  6. Click Run. A PDF downloads.
  7. Open the PDF.
  8. Press Ctrl + F on your keyboard.
  9. Type the food name. The number of occurrences displays in the Find window in Acrobat.

Estimated Attendance & Food Forecasts

You may begin seeing attendance outside of the norm. We recommend that you use the Estimate Attendance and Menu Production Record features to estimate how attendance changes impact your food needs. For more information, see Estimate Attendance and Menu Production Record. Note that appropriate user permissions apply to both functions.

60 Day Reporting Requirements Waiver (January & February 2020)

On April 1, 2020, the USDA Food and Nutrition Service issued a nationwide waiver for 60 day reporting requirements for the January 2020 and February 2020 claim months. You can read the full text of the waiver here. Should your state choose to implement this waiver, we recommend that you continue calculating claims in KidKare as you usually would and submit claims to the state only when you're ready.

Grants & Financial Support

The following is a list of grant and financial support resources for child care and small businesses. We will continue to update this list as needed.

Additional Resources

The following is a list of additional resources regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and CACFP. We will continue to add to this list, as needed.