August 28 | 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, September 9, 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

By the Numbers

75 local child care centers are operating now (29% of total registered) — no change from last week.

11 child care centers have permanently closed this year.

287 local child care homes are operating now (89% of total registered) — 4 less since last week.

737 referrals completed since the start of shelter-in-place — 16 more since last week.

357 early childhood education providers enrolled for supplies vouchers — no change since last week.

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

$414,118 has been disbursed for emergency supplies.

$47,744 is still available for emergency supplies.278 new users have accessed the Monterey County Child Care Website between August 1 and August 15.


News

  • Monterey County Office of Education and the Monterey County Health Department have provided a quick scenario map to help programs respond to cases of COVID-19. Use this communication and action sheet to help you make the right decisions for families and children in your community. 
  • Enrollment for school-based early learning is still open! Families enrolled in preschool, transitional kindergarten, and kindergarten are eligible for free meals and have access to learning tools. Some schools are online, some are packet-based, some are a blend. Contact your school to find out more. Enroll in MCOE Early Learning Programs (Head Start & State Preschool) here
  • Guidelines for cohorts of children were released on August 25 by the California Department of Public Health with more information shared on group sizes including those in licensed child care and exempt child care programs on school campuses. A cohort is defined as no more than 14 children and no more than 2 adults for in-person supervision and limited instruction. Click here for an overview of guidance for group sizes and face coverings.
  • Community Care Licensing released a FAQ on August 25 regarding exempt and non-exempt licensing requirements and waivers. The FAQ provides information on different scenarios that private and public schools may be considering as they think about learning hubs and after school programs in their school districts. 
  • The California Department of Education released guidance for re-opening CDE funded child care programs. This guidance was released in anticipation of upcoming  Management Bulletins which follow legislation and direction from the state. Program Directors received this information via email, so be sure to review the information in your inbox. 
  • Supporting informal caregivers! United Way, CAPSLO, and Go Kids received a grant from the Packard Foundation for family, friend, and neighbor caregivers to provide 100 iPads to support access to services and distance learning of the school-aged children they care for.  
  • As of late August, there were over several hundred active fires throughout California with three of those raging in Monterey County. First 5 Monterey County is here to support the health and safety of our community. Check out their Wildfire Resources webpage for information for families as we navigate through this challenging time.
     
  • Quality Matters is offering new professional development opportunities for all child caregivers and educators:

Resources

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.
       
  • 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.
  • Enrollment for school-based early learning is still open! Families enrolled in preschool, transitional kindergarten, and kindergarten are eligible for free meals and have access to learning tools. Some schools are online, some are packet-based, some are a blend. Contact your school to find out more. Enroll in MCOE Early Learning Programs (Head Start & State Preschool) here
  • An Alisal Union School District Kindergarten teacher created a Spanish and English site full of fun, music-filled learning activities called Kinder Rockets. It’s gone nationwide!

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.
  • Interested in joining the AmeriCorps for Monterey County? United Way is looking for 12 people to join the Preschool Service Corps. This position is for 11 months and includes a stipend adding up to $16,000 for the year, health care, and child care benefits. There is a high need for members in King City, Greenfield, and Salinas. Adults living in the community or outside of Monterey County are encouraged to apply. Part-time and full-time opportunities available. 
  • 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

  • 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.