April 20 | Early Care and Education Digest

Rebeca Zuniga Advocacy, Community


The FEMA Disaster Recovery Center is now open! There are Federal, State, and County agencies available for assistance to all disaster victims 7 days a week from 9:00am – 7:00pm. Apply for FEMA Assistance today!

For Educators

  • Register for a Town Hall informational session hosted by Community Care Licensing to discuss disaster services specific to Monterey and Santa Cruz counties on Tuesday, April 25 from 6:00pm-7:30pm. Live Spanish interpretation will be available.
  • Want to learn more about how to become a teacher or school counselor in California? The CDE’s Becoming an Educator web page contains a wealth of information and resources to provide pathways and guidance to becoming an educator in California public schools. 
  • Child care stipends will be released in the summer of 2023. Providers who cared for children during the COVID-19 pandemic will receive $1442 per subsidized child in their care.  In order to receive your stipend, you must complete the most recent American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) survey which closes on June 1, 2023. You can also contact MAOF Alternative Payment Program for more information at (831) 755-0775. 
  • Calling all Monterey County licensed family child care educators and centers! Quality Matters Monterey has released the 2023-24 application for new Quality Matters sites. Join a community of ECE professionals, receive coaching, technical assistance, stipends, and resources to support your professional growth. Learn more about Quality Matters and watch this video for highlights.
  • CPIN  provides free ECE classes for educators. Get your professional development hours and learn new ways to work effectively with children and families. Check out their calendar for upcoming events in Region 5, which includes Monterey County. 
  • Family Matters offers tools to help families build awareness of choosing quality early care and education of their choice for a strong start to kindergarten and beyond. Take a look at the resources and training opportunities for families.
  • Need the latest COVID-19 info for early care and education? The most current information from the California Department of Public Health is hereQuarantine and Isolation guidance covers everyone including child care, schools and businesses.
  • ECE Community College students: ECE Career Educational Support grants are available for help with tuition & textbooks. The Child Development Training Consortium is offering these funds on a first come first served basis.

For Families

  • The State is conducting a survey to gather feedback from MyChildCarePlan.org users. As a thank you, at the end of the survey you will have the option to enter a drawing to win one of five $50 Target gift cards. 
  • Confused about Preschool, UPK, and TK? Choosing a quality program for your child is one of the  most important decisions a family can make. Learn about early education and child care options for your child at any of the following Zoom trainings hosted by Monterey County Office of Education from 6:30pm-7:30pm:
  • The parenting Connection of Monterey County invites you to their annual Birth & Family Fair. Save the date-Saturday, May 6 from 11:00am-3:00pm and learn more about resources in our community for pregnancy, birth, postpartum, and the parenting journey. Please help share this opportunity with the community. 
  • It’s not too early to enroll in summer activities! Check out the Y’s offerings including summer camps and other activities
  • Summer Camps have fun activities for kids when school is out. Check out the Spring  Parent Magazine Summer Camp Guide
  • Connect with other moms and their children (0-5) at the Maternal Well-Being play groups. In person and ZOOM groups are being offered. Learn more or call Sandra Avina at (831) 796-6118. 
  • Fun activities for you and your family are happening at the Salinas Library. Check out their calendar of events for times and dates. 
  • Looking for child care? Go to Montereycountychildcare.org or Mychildcareplan.org for help finding the right care for your child. 

For All

  • The Red Cross has immediate financial assistance for households impacted by the floods. Share this information with your community to get them the help they need. 
  • United Way has developed a STORM Community Resource Guide to help those in need which will be updated regularly. Please share widely. 
  • Help those in need through the following Storm Relief Donations:
  • Monterey County needs businesses that support families, both behind the scenes with strong family policies and in the public eye as a service to families. Ready to apply to become a Bright Beginnings Family Friendly Employer? It’s easy! Learn more and certify your business hereChild Care businesses are encouraged to apply!
  • Are you or others you know interested in starting a child care business? MAOF is recruiting potential family child care homes and is offering free training, marketing, and up to $1,000 to new or expanding child care programs in Monterey County. Learn more or call MAOF at (831) 757-0775.
  • Need to find a COVID-19 testing or vaccine clinic in Monterey County? Visit MontereyCountyVaccines.com or find a location in the flyers: Free Testing and Free Vaccination sites.

Monterey County Vaccines By the Numbers

Overall, 81.3% of the eligible population in Monterey County have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. For more details on COVID health data, visit the Health Departments website here. Stay informed on all things COVID-19 on the Monterey County COVID-19 portal.

COVID-19 Information

COVID-19 Vaccine Information ➡️ click here to learn more…

General COVID-19 & Public Health ➡️ click here to learn more…

Resources & Tools

Financial Relief for Families ➡️ click here to learn more…

All Ages Learning & Development Supports ➡️ click here to learn more…

Resilience & Mental Health Resources ➡️ click here to learn more…

Child Care & Education Quality & Business Tools ➡️ click here to learn more…

Policy & Advocacy ➡️ click here to learn more…

Our goal is to ensure that young children have quality, nurturing, and safe child care and education during and post-pandemic. For more information about this effort and the coalition behind it, please visit our web hub here

News and resources are shared below. Previous Weekly Digests are available here

If you have information, flyers, or events you would like to share in this publication, please contact or send information to: Laura@BrightBeginningsMC.org

Want more information from Bright Beginnings? Stay up-to-date and join the mailing list for the BB Weekly Recovery Coalition Digest, Maternal Mental Health Task Force, and the BB Quarterly Update.

It Takes a Coalition

The emergency response providing coordinated solutions for child care and education is led by a coalition of early childhood champions, united under the Bright Beginnings Strategic Framework to better support all young children and their families, to prepare every child for life and school. This coalition is ever-growing:

4th Monterey County Supervisorial District
30th California Assembly District
Building Healthy Communities
Carmel Unified School District
Child Care Planning Council
Child Development Centers and Continuing Development Incorporated
Children’s Council
Early Development Services
First 5 Monterey County
Go Kids, Inc.
Health Department
MAOF Resource & Referral & Alternative Payment Program
Monterey Peninsula Unified School District
Natividad Medical Center
North Monterey County Unified School District
Office of Education – Early Learning Program
Office of Education – Educational Services
Public Health Office
Quality Matters Monterey County
Salinas City Elementary School District
Social Services – Child Abuse Prevention Council
United Farmworkers Foundation
United Way of Monterey County

A special thanks to the coordinating team and major funders: Bright Beginnings Backbone, Child Care Planning Council, First 5 Monterey County, MAOF Resource & Referral, Quality Matters, and the United Way of Monterey County.

For more information, please contact sonja@brightbeginningsmc.org.