June 26 | Weekly Digest: COVID-19 Response & Recovery for Child Care & Wellbeing

Bright Beginnings Advocacy, Community

Emergency 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.

Our next community call is on Wednesday, July 1 from 1:30-2:45pm. 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.

281 local child care homes are operating now (86% of total registered) — 2 less since last week.

500 enhanced referrals completed since the start of shelter-in-place — 23 more since last week.

371 children have been served with emergency child care for essential workers, and emergency funding has been completely allocated — no change from last week.

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

$361,670 has been disbursed for emergency supplies.

$99,852 is still available for emergency supplies (to be disbursed by end of 2020).

3,676 packages of diapers, 800 packages of baby wipes, and 500 cans of baby formula were distributed to the community by First 5 Monterey County.

Coming Up

  • Mandates on face coverings for children: Last week, Governor Newsom issued a mandate requiring face coverings in public spaces – with exception of all children under two, and anyone with a medical, physical, or mental condition that prevents wearing a face mask. Stay tuned as we are working with local health officials to craft supplementary guidelines for young children in child care settings for Monterey County. 
     
  • Child care and learning centers are slowly re-opening: This coalition is putting together a virtual space for supervisors and administrators of various care and learning settings to connect regularly to learn about newest mandates and guidances that affect their work, and provide tools on health and safety protocols, in addition to other resources.
     
  • Bright Beginnings has received funding from the Monterey County Health Department to roll out a healing-centered, trauma-informed practices program for early childhood and to support businesses in becoming family friendly, approved this week in the Monterey County Budget for FY2020-21. We are grateful to the Board of Supervisors; even in a very difficult budget year, they chose to invest in early childhood as a way to support our community in recovering from the pandemic and to address structural racism. Thank you!

Resources

  • 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:
  • Emergency supplies vouchers for all types of child care providers (except those 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.
  • 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.  
  • Monterey County has allowed all child care providers to open for all families. You can find state guidance here. For additional help opening your program, contact the MAOF Resource & Referral at (831) 757-0775. We expect more local guidance for informal child care next week (fingers crossed).
  • Resiliency supports are available through the Health Department’s Forward Together Initiative. Click here for more information.
  • The “Find Child Care” purple badge (like the one at the top of this digest) is available here. It links to www.MontereyCountyChildCare.org with the most up-to-date information regarding child care for parents and providers. Updated flyers will be available next week.
  • Free COVID-19 testing is now 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.

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.