July 2 | 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 will be a joint meeting with the Child Care Planning Council on July 15, 1:30-2:30pm (the Council will conduct its separate business until 3:30pm). 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

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

284 local child care homes are operating now (86% of total registered) — 3 more since last week.

514 enhanced referrals completed since the start of shelter-in-place — 14 more since last week.

310 early childhood education providers enrolled for supplies vouchers — 6 more since last week.

  • 34 child care centers, 254 child care homes, and 22 family, friends & neighbors

$368,456 has been disbursed for emergency supplies.

$93,066 is still available for emergency supplies (to be disbursed by end of 2020).

News & Coming Soon

  • IMPORTANT REGARDING CHILD CARE GROUP SIZES & FACE COVERINGS IN CHILD CARE SETTINGS: We are working with the Monterey County Health Department to clarify and/or update guidance and mandates regarding group sizes and face coverings in child care settings. We understand that information feels (and sometimes is) contradictory, and we want to ensure that everyone has the most accurate information in these difficult times. Please keep an eye out for more information via email as soon as possible. 
  • 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. 
  • 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. 
  • Child Development programs previously under CDE are now being transferred to the CA Department of Social Services (CDSS), except the CA State Preschool Programs (CSPP).
  • Child care and learning centers are slowly reopening: This coalition is putting together a virtual space for supervisors and administrators of various care and learning settings to connect regularly to learn about the newest mandates and guidances that affect their work and provide tools on health and safety protocols, in addition to other resources.
  • The coalition is working on supports for working families, and for each type of child care setting. If you are interested in joining one of those work groups, please email sonja@brightbeginningsmc.org.

Resources

  • The Monterey County Health Department has shared protocols on what to do if there is a potential of COVID-19 exposure. Available here in both Spanish and English.
     
  • 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:
  • Local 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). Note: Our Public Health Officer has called for stable group sizes of 12 total (combined adult and children), with children maintained in the same group for at least four weeks and siblings and/or COVID-19 frontline health care workers grouped together.  
  • Resiliency supports 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.
  • United Way launched an Emergency Early Care and Education Response to support child care during COVID-19. Check out the video here. Please share with your networks — donations are being accepted on an ongoing basis.
     
  • 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.

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.