August 14 | Weekly Digest: COVID-19 Response & Recovery for Child Care & Wellbeing

Bright Beginnings Advocacy, Community

COVID-19 Response & Recovery Plan

Our goal is to ensure that young children have quality, nurturing, and safe child care and education as physical distancing and other guidelines continue, to slow the spread of COVID-19.

The next Coalition Call is Wednesday, August 26, 1:30-2:45pm. If you are not already receiving calendar items, please RSVP here

For more information about this effort and the coalition behind it, please visit our web hub here.

This Week’s Highlights

A few highlights from this last week are shared below. Previous Weekly Digests are available here

By the Numbers

60 local child care centers are operating now (29% of total registered) — 21 more since last week.

11 child care centers have closed this year.

289 local child care homes are operating now (89% of total registered) — 2 more than last week.

673 referrals completed since the start of shelter-in-place — 50 more since last week.

357 early childhood education providers enrolled for supplies vouchers — 8 more since last week.

  • 37 child care centers, 283 child care homes, and 37 family, friends & neighbors

$404,761 has been disbursed for emergency supplies.

$56,760 is still available for emergency supplies.

LOTS of supplies donated by: First 5 California, California Department of Education through MAOF, and Chevron through United Way. 

  • 768 Disinfectant Spray
  • 384 All Purpose Cleaner
  • 12,000 Adult Masks
  • 1,400 Child Masks  36,000 Gloves
  • 2,650 Hand Sanitizer
  • 300 Personal Disinfectant
  • 1,272 Liquid Hand Soap
  • 655 Protective Visors


All Ages Distance Learning Supports

  • It is estimated that 97% of all students will engage in distance learning starting in the fall.
    • Distance learning looks different for every school, every grade, and every family. Quality Matters has shared resources for families and child care and education providers, click here and scroll to the bottom to learn more. 
    • PVUSD released “8 Tips for Families During Distant Learning in Mixteco” — watch the video here and please share.  
    • The California Department of Education has partnered with T-Mobile and Apple to help 1 million students in need to enhance distance learning. 
  • We as a community are getting creative on how to provide child care and distance learning supports for children of all ages. While we don’t have all the solutions to this complex puzzle, here are a couple resources (available in multiple languages soon):  
  • Monterey Peninsula Unified School District is leading the way in providing child care to its employees. Read more in the Monterey Herald, and check out a FAQ for Temporary, School-sponsored Child Care.

Child Care & Education Quality & Business Tools

  • Quality Care & Education Matters! 
    • Join the next Quality Matters cohort! All licensed Family Child Care Educators and Centers can apply by September 7 to become a Quality Matters child care setting. Participants will receive coaching, technical support and materials to improve their child development program, and will become part of the Quality Matters community. This program is free and open to all educators in Monterey County. 
    • There are also numerous professional development activities available to all types of child caregivers and educators in Monterey County. 
  • The California Department of Public Health has recently updated their guidelines for day campsschools and child care providers, refining the language on face coverings and group sizes.
  • Child Care & Education Businesses: There are still funds available through the Monterey County Works-Small Business Rapid Response Grant Fund. Small business owners can receive grants up to $2,500 to support their operations during the COVID-19 pandemic. Find the grant guidelines and application here

Children’s Activities

  • An Alisal Union School District Kindergarten teacher has created a Spanish and English site full of fun, music-filled learning activities called Kinder Rockets. It’s gone nationwide!
  • Engage children with the Census activity book in both English and Spanish. It is quite cute and fun! Find more information through First 5 Monterey County here
  • COVID-19 Child Care & Wellbeing Response & Recovery coalition partners have posted valuable resources on how to talk about diversity and racism with young children. Check out what First 5 Monterey County has shared:

Resilience and Mental Health Resources

  • Dr. Susan Swick from Ohana, Montage Health’s new child/adolescent behavioral health program, offers several videos for parents to support their children during the pandemicClick here and scroll to the bottom of the page to find videos on topics like managing tech time or handling strong emotions.
  • Social Emotional Learning is a critical part of supporting the children and families in our community. This Social-Emotional Roadmap provides critical practices for reopening with equity focused strategies as we move forward toward healing.
  • Resiliency supports for parents, educators — just about anyone, really — are available through the Health Department’s Forward Together Initiative. Click here for more information.

Public Health

  • PVUSD released information about the COVID-19 in Mixteco — watch the video here and please share!
  • PGUSD high school students are making free protective visors for Monterey County. Place your order here.
  • Free COVID-19 testing is available. Child care and education providers are strongly encouraged to get tested. Appointments are required. Register by clicking here or by calling 888-634-1123. More information, including times and locations, can be found here on these posters — please post and share within your networks.

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
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