January 8 | 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 in order to slow the spread of COVID-19.

The next Coalition Call will be held on Wednesday, January 13, 2021 from 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

96 local child care centers are operating now (80% of total registered) — no change since December 20.

280 local child care homes are operating now (86% of total registered) — 3 less since December 20.

984 families requested a referral since the start of shelter-in-place — 23 more since December 20.


News

  • The COVID-19 vaccine is being distributed throughout California in various stages. Depending on the county, Early Childhood Educators may be included in the First Tier of vaccines going out. Help inform the public with information about the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine from these fact sheets, available in multiple languages. 
  • Think you might have been exposed to COVID-19? Here is a chart that outlines the steps you can take to limit the spread. 
  • The Monterey County Health Department has a FAQ page that answers many questions related to COVID-19. Check out their site here, which may help you understand how Monterey County is addressing the pandemic. 
  • The COVID-19 pandemic has presented a significant challenge to small businesses, employers, and employees. A Small Business Majority survey data found that 44% of small businesses are at risk of shutting down and minority-owned businesses are disproportionately impacted. Small businesses and nonprofits are eligible to apply for grants up to $25,000 from the California Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program. Apply here by January 13, 2021.  
  • Are you a small business needing support during the pandemic? A summary of additional resources for small businesses are available here
  • Join us for a Virtual Child Care Advocacy Day on January 21 to support children and families, end child poverty, and support child care in California. Learn more and register here
  • Attached you will find the Governor’s 2021-22 state budget proposal, which includes additional funds for Early Childhood Education. On Monday, January 11 at 2:30pm the California State Assembly will be holding a hearing on the Governor’s proposed 2021-22 budget overview. The hearing chamber video can be accessed here on January 11!

Resources

All Ages Distance Learning Supports

  • Need help with distance learning for your school-age child? Families and providers in Monterey County who need help with distance learning can get support from their school district’s technology department. Click here for a list of district online tech support links. 
  • Need support helping your child with special needs during distance learning? Click here for an article from the Greater Good Science Center that may help, and feel free to subscribe — it’s free! 
  • As a community, we 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 few resources (available in multiple languages soon): 

Public Health

  • The California Department of Public Health has released new guidance that could reduce the quarantine time for those who have come in contact with individuals who have tested positive with COVID-19. See the latest guidance here.
  • In California, there is much debate about who should receive the COVID-19 vaccine first. Where should teachers be on the priority list? Read the current guidelines for prioritization by the California Public Health Department here.
  • The World Health Organization has developed a guide to help prioritize global distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine and suggests a process for roadmap development, prioritization of distribution, community engagement, and other decision making. Click here for the entire document. 
  • Want to go to your local park or playground? Here is a link to city parks that will help you plan your trip. Some parks are still closed, so please check the park listing before you go! The state Public Health Department has released guidelines for use of public playgrounds
  • The California Department of Public Health has provided clarification on staff and cohort sizes in child care settings. In this guidance, staff working with children under age five are able to work with children in one or two cohorts. This allows staff who typically work in the morning and afternoon sessions to continue to work with both groups, if needed. Substitutes who are covering for a staff member are only able to work with one cohort of children per day. 
  • Monterey County Office of Education and the Monterey County Health Department have provided a 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. 
  • Find the most recent guidelines from the California Department of Public Health for day campsschools, and child care providers.
  • Pajaro Valley Unified School District released information about the COVID-19 in Mixteco — watch the video here and please share!

Resilience & Mental Health Resources

  • The Department of Health Care Services has released the draft of their ACEs Aware Trauma-Informed Network of Care Roadmap. The roadmap serves as a guide to improve collaboration and coordination among health care providers, social workers, ECE providers, and others. Public comment is welcome through January 15. Click here to see the Roadmap and the link for public comment.
  • Does your child need more emotional or mental health support than you can provide? The Kinship Center Mobile Response Team provides immediate services to families with a child or youth (ages 0-21) experiencing a mental or emotional health crisis – big or small. Services are available M-F 8:00am-10:00pm, S-S from 11:00am-9:00pm and by hotline 24/7 at (831) 687-4379
  • 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:
  • 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 schools with equity-focused strategies as we move forward toward healing. 

Child Care & Education Quality & Business Tools

  • The State Master Plan for Early Learning and Care has been submitted to the Governor. The plan includes recommendations for pay equity, quality enhancements, training and education paths, better outcomes for children, and other important elements. Our own local representative, Sonia Jaramillo, is a member of the ECPC providing input and a voice in the development of the plan. Click here to access the entire report. 
  • The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation released their report on the Importance of Child Care to U.S. Families and Businesses and cross-sector solutions to recover from COVID-19. Feel free to use this publication in your efforts. Click here to see the report.
  • Community Care Licensing has released best practices for child care educators who are serving school-age children. The information includes ways to enhance communication with families, the importance of schedules, support for distance learning, free meals, and other tips. Click here to learn more.
  • Interested in starting a Family Child Care program? CAPSLO can help you with design, paperwork, and tips to get you started! Contact Daisy Jacuinde at (831) 821-1593 or djacuinde@capslo.org for more information.
  • Early Start provides free services to infants and toddlers (0-3 years) with disabilities and their families. The San Andreas Regional Center serves Monterey County and can provide speech, occupational and physical therapy, nutrition, nursing, and other services. Flyers and information to share with providers and parents are available to help understand the importance of early intervention and prevention. Click here for more information. 
  • The statewide Resource and Referral Network released a report highlighting the impacts of COVID-19 on family child care arrangements, plans, and preferences. Earlier in 2020, over 12,000 parents responded to a statewide survey. Click here to access the report.

Children’s & Family Activities & Resources

  • The Monterey Bay Aquarium has online family-friendly science activities to encourage wonder and connection to the natural world. Check out these amazing resources here! They also offer online courses in English and Spanish here
  • Unable to pay rent due to COVID-19? The Attorney General has provided a simple form for tenants to notify their landlords about their inability to pay rent. Click here for the form. 
  • An Alisal Union School District Kindergarten teacher created a Spanish and English site called Kinder Rockets, full of fun, music-filled learning activities. It’s gone nationwide!

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 Monterey County
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.