February 16 | Early Care and Education Digest

Rebeca Zuniga Advocacy, Community


For Educators

  • Family childcare business owners, we want to hear from you! Join fellow family childcare business owners in the Tri-County region on Friday, March 17 from 6:30pm-8:00pm at the Watsonville Civic Plaza Community Hall. El Pajaro will be available to offer new educational and capital resources, and an opportunity to discuss your business needs. Please help share this event here and register today.
  • Family child care homes, do you need help with your taxes? Register for the free webinar being held on Wednesday, February 22 from 6:00pm-8:00pm that is designed for child care businesses. Register here for the Spanish session, and contact El Pajaro at info@elpajarocdc.org for English webinars. 
  • Celebrate Early Childhood Math through exploration, play and conversations at the free virtual Early Math Spring Seminar. Discover math for young children through playful and engaging activities on Thursday, February 23 from 6:00pm-8:00pm. The first 400 people who register will receive a free children’s literature book! Register here
  • Get your professional development hours! California Early Childhood Online (CECO) is offering 12 new online professional development modules designed for early learning and care professionals in all roles and settings.  These modules offer engaging, interactive online learning experiences that present current and relevant content. Sign up here to access free CECO training modules.
  • Learn about the latest requirements and information for your licensed family child care home or center at the next Community Care Licensing Webinar on Tuesday, March 28 from 6:00pm-7:00pm. Put a hold on your calendar for the next ones on June 27, September 26 and December 12. Register here to get the link.
  • Get up to $100 reimbursed for required health and safety training for licensed and non-licensed child care and education providers. More information here, or call MAOF at (831) 757-0775. 
  •  Professional development opportunities are available for ECE providers at the Monterey County Office of Education’s Early Care and Education Department. Get the virtual magazine here.
  • 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 more information and the application for funding, click here

For Families

  • February is National Children’s Dental Health Month. Good oral hygiene and regular dental exams are essential to children’s health. For more information, visit the Smile, California website here
  • Connect with other moms and their children (0-5) at the Maternal Well-Being play group. In person and ZOOM formats are being offered. For more information including dates and locations, click here or call Sandra Avina at (831) 796-6118. 
  • Families are invited to join the free Stay and Play time followed by story time at various Monterey County Free Libraries. There are three convenient times and locations; share this flyer:
  • Want to track your child’s developmental milestones? Check out the milestone tracker app from Learn the Signs, Act Early to track your child’s development and seek resources if you have a concern.
  • Positive Discipline classes in Spanish are starting on Friday, March 3 from 5:30pm-6:30pm at the Virginia Rocca Barton School in Salinas. For more information call 831-753-5700 x 4701 or 4702. For more information, click here
  • Fun activities for you and your family are happening at the Salinas Library. In person and online events including Toddler Tales, Lego Master Builders, Kids Eat Right, and Family Crafternoon are available. Check out their calendar of events here for times and dates.  
  • Save the date for the Marina CDC Resource Fair on Thursday, May 4 from 5:00pm-7:00pm. Raffles, give-aways and connecting with others will be part of the fun. Be sure to be there and bring your family- 3066 Lake Drive, Marina
  • Looking for childcare? Go to Montereycountychildcare.org or Mychildcareplan.org for help finding the right care for your child.

For All

  • MCOE will be hosting two FREE COVID vaccine clinics at the MCOE Main Campus. Below are event details:
    • Tuesday, February 21 from 3:30pm to 6:30pm in Meeting Room D
    • Tuesday, March 21 from 3:30pm to 6:30pm in Meeting Room D
    • There will also be flu shots available. Please share these event details and flyers with school staff, community, family members, and on social media.
  • The Home Energy Assistance Program provides a credit on energy bills for low-income households. Check out the flyer or call 1-888-728-3637 for more information. 
  • Calling UPK Leaders! MCOE is hosting a 2 day Tri-County leadership event supporting P3 alignment through play- based and inquiry driven learning. Register by Tuesday, March 14 and share the flyer with colleagues. 
  • 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 in addition to offering free training, marketing, and up to $1,000 in support to new or expanding child care programs in Monterey County. Share these flyers with your friends and family or call MAOF at (831) 757-0775 to learn more.
  • This Winter season, let’s gather in ways that limit the spread of respiratory viruses like respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), flu, and COVID-19. Check out ways to keep your family health by visiting the new HEALTH tab on the montereychildcare.org website. 
  • 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, 81.2% 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.