July 31| 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, 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) — 4 more since last week.

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

620 referrals completed since the start of shelter-in-place — 24 more since last week.

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

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

$395,668 has been disbursed for emergency supplies.

$65,853 is still available for emergency supplies.

News

  • 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.
  • Considering reopening your child care program? Use the Decision Tree, published by the Center for Disease Control, when deciding if it is safe to reopen. 
  • The majority of formal child care and education in Monterey country is provided by small businesses – the 320 Family Child Care Homes that care for thousands of children. They are essential, yet hard hit financially during this pandemic. Across the country, the nearly 700,000 childcare businesses across the country are experiencing significant financial stress as a result of COVID-19 and are at risk of closing permanently. Watch this video from the US Child Care Foundation to learn more and spread the word. 
  • Members of our Coalition are reaching out to their business networks, such as Monterey Bay Economic Partnership, Central Coast Human Resources Association, Monterey Bay Aquarium, and Monterey County Vintners Association, as a shared community responsibility to care for our kids. Find resources for employer sponsored pop-up child care here. This site will be updated regularly as we gather and develop resources, so check back frequently!
  • Child care is a hot topic among employers, as many parents wonder how and if they can juggle their jobs and support their child’s distance learning. Here is an FAQ for employer-sponsored pop-up care
  • Back to school: We are starting off the new school year with distance learning, and many schools are asking teachers to conduct online teaching from their classroom — it’s a familiar background for students, and teachers have access to more technological tools to make their work easier and more effective. Many schools will offer safe, supportive child care and distance learning support for all ages to the children of their staff. Here is an FAQ for school administrators on how to set up pop-up care. Members of our Coalition have been sharing best practices on how to blend funding for early and school aged care. Thank you MCOE for hosting these forums.
  • Interested in getting an update from Community Care Licensing during COVID-19? Join Quality Matters on August 10 for an update session. Register here
  • Thanks to the work of those in the Child Care & Wellbeing COVID Response & Recovery Coalition, we had the data that Congressman Panetta needed as he advocated for young children and their families earlier this week.
  • 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.
  • The California Department of Education has rescinded fees for families enrolled in Emergency Child Care for the months of July and August (see the CDE Management Bulletin 20-14, released July 13.) And just released July 30, the CDE Management Bulletin 20-15 for alternative payment child care voucher program administrators on how to compensate child care and education providers that serve families with vouchers, whether or not care is provided.

Resources

  • 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.