July 17 | 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, July 29, 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

36 local child care centers are operating now (29% of total registered) — 2 more since last week.

287 local child care homes are operating now (89% of total registered) — no change from last week.

580 enhanced referrals completed since the start of shelter-in-place — 34 more since last week.

338 early childhood education providers enrolled for supplies vouchers — 19 more since last week.

  • 35 child care centers, 277 child care homes, and 26 family, friends & neighbors

$390,990 has been disbursed for emergency supplies.

$70,531 is still available for emergency supplies.

News

  • Good news for emergency child care! The California Department of Education (CDE) has released an additional 90 days of emergency child care subsidies through the voucher program for those families that are already enrolled. Contact MAOF Alternative Payment Program for more information at (831) 757-0775. CDE Management Bulletin 20-14 provides details on family fees and recertification.
  • More good news! First 5 California will be providing an additional wave of supplies for young children and their families, and for child care and education providers this late summer and fall. More details to come!
  • Child care and education centers are re-opening! This is good news for the wellbeing of children and parents, and we are grateful for the grace and care with which teachers and staff are navigating new protocols and ways of creating nurturing environments in light of physical distancing. You are heroes — thank you! If you or someone you know is looking for child care, please go to www.MontereyCountyChildCare.org to find openings. 
  • Updates on ratios and group sizes in licensed care: On July 15, the California Department of Social Services Community Care Licensing Division released Provider Information Notice 20-15. This guidance supersedes previous COVID-related guidelines in PIN 20- 06-CCP and PIN 20-04-CCP as it pertains to the staff to child ratio requirements.
  • Every Child California has published a guide for Child Care Opening and Reopening. This can be used for all early care and education practitioners, but is particularly useful for child care centers. During this week’s call, we had time in small groups to share how various care and education providers are finding ways to handle sometimes difficult changes in the classroom, while integrating joy and caring for children and adults alike. We plan to continue these kinds of supports for those taking care of our youngest in the community. 
  • FDA released an update on the risk of using hand sanitizer with methanol, especially for children. Please check your supplies, and discontinue use of any sanitizer that contains methanol. Some products that do not list methanol are showing trace amounts when tested. Here is the list — please discontinue use if you happen to have these products.

Resources

  • Quality Matters has a series of trainings for early learning educators, including support for programs that are re-opening.
     
  • The Monterey County Health Department has shared a useful flow chart on COVID-19 Exposure FAQFind the bilingual chart here.
  • Wondering how various activities compare in likelihood of exposure to COVID-19See this bilingual guide from the Texas Medical Association.
  • A bilingual “Find Child Care” flyer is available here in color and here in black and white (for easy copying). A badge for your web page or social media, like the purple one at the top of this digest, is also available here. It links to www.MontereyCountyChildCare.org with the most up-to-date information regarding child care for parents and providers. 
  • California has a signed budget. Review the Health and Human Services and K-12 Education budget summaries. Funds will be available to help child care programs reopen, reconfigure, and sustain through various methods. The Child Care Planning Council and MAOF Resource & Referral will have more information as it becomes available.
  • 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:
  • Guidance for Summer/Day Camps! You can find the state guidance here and local guidance here (all accessible through the Monterey County page for industry-specific guidance during the pandemic).
  • 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.