August 7 | Weekly Digest: COVID-19 Response & Recovery for Child Care & Wellbeing

BB Comms 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 12, 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

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

287 local child care homes are operating now (89% of total registered) — 3 more than last week.

623 referrals completed since the start of shelter-in-place — 3 more since last week.

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

  • 37 child care centers, 281 child care homes, and 37 family, friends & neighbors

$403,707 has been disbursed for emergency supplies.

$57,814 is still available for emergency supplies.

1,200 new users visited www.MontereyCountyChildCare.org in the last two weeks of July. This is about twice as many as in past months.


News

  • Many thanks to the Monterey County Public Health Officer Dr. Ed Moreno who dropped into last week’s call to listen to the successes and challenges of child care providers. Dr. Moreno also happens to be co-chair of the Bright Beginnings Early Childhood Development Initiative. Here is the updated state-issued guidance for Child Care Programs, issued July 17, 2020, as discussed with him during that call.
  • All kids count! Today is the conclusion of All Kids Count Week, but it is not too late to complete the Census online at my2020census.gov or by phone in English: 844-330-2020 or Spanish: 844-468-2020. If you received a form by mail, simply fill out it and stick it back in the mail. An accurate Census count helps secure important funding for services like child care and education for families. Please spread the word in your networks.
  • Employer-supported child care: Several school districts and the Monterey Bay Aquarium are exploring ways they can support their employees with young and school-aged children by providing child care and distance learning resources. They are sharing this bilingual flyer to help find child care, and this starter tool for those exploring the option to provide pop-up care. 
  • Children in our agricultural community need special attention and support in education, health, and behavioral/mental health. Understanding their unique needs can help us focus our priorities on the youngest children in Monterey County. Efforts are underway to make child care a priority and leaders in the agriculture community are advocating for additional support for children and families. Lideres Campesinas is a statewide group of women who are working to make changes in California and help farmworker families connect with critical resources. Locally, the Watsonville Campesino Appreciation Caravan brings supplies, resources, and lunch to those working in the fields. Learn more by visiting their Facebook page, and get inspired by these videos
  • Agriculture workers are essential and vulnerable: Monterey County’s Growers and Shippers Association is helping slow the spread of the virus amongst this group that is hardest hit by the ramped-up testing in the agricultural community and providing temporary housing for workers. Learn more here.  
  • There is a growing concern regarding Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome (MIS-C) and other long-lasting effects from COVID-19 among children. The California Department of Social Services Community Care Licensing has provided an updated Provider Information Notice 20-18 regarding this rare yet serious condition.
  • The Monterey County Food Bank has seen a large increase in families seeking food and other items — quadrupling over the last few months. As unemployment soars, family instability has increased along with uncertainty around food staples, especially for children, seniors, and service industry workers. The Monterey County Food Bank serves the community through 54 distribution sites. Click here for more information.

Resources

  • Engage children with the Census activity book in both English and Spanish. Is quite cute and fun! Find more information through First 5 Monterey County here
  • 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.  
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Emergency supplies vouchers for all types of child care providers (except those a part of school districts) are still available and are valid through September 30. To apply for funds, complete this form as soon as possible and email it to RRMC@maof.org. A specialist will follow up to confirm your application and details for receiving funds, as available. More information for school districts is coming soon.
  • 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:
  • Resiliency supports for parents, educators — just about anyone, really — are available through the Health Department’s Forward Together Initiative. Click here for more information.
  • 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
CAPSLO
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
YMCA

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.