March 16 | Early Care and Education Digest

Rebeca ZunigaAdvocacy, Community


For Educators

  • STEAM Starters: Tinkering for Early Learners Online Training Modules Available Now! This training provides practical online learning experiences that help build confidence in planning, facilitating and launching tinkering activities with children that stimulate STEM learning. Register through CECO here
  • CPIN  provides free ECE classes for educators. Get your professional development hours and learn new ways to work effectively with children and families. Check out their calendar for upcoming events in Region 5, which includes Monterey County. 
  • Want to join the CA Early Childhood Mentor Program? Join your colleagues in the 4-session Regional ECE Mentor Community of Practice series focused on leadership. Share these flyers and register here.  
  • Launch young readers through Reading Rockets! Explore this great resource to help little ones as they learn literacy skills. Includes Pre-K thru 3rd grade strategies. 
  • You may be eligible for the 2023 ECE Higher Education Stipend, if you are taking courses and are working in an early education site or licensed child care home. Applications now available. Learn more and help share these flyers. 
  • New funding opportunity for child care centers! The California Department of Social Services has released funding for General Child Care (CCTR). Learn more and apply today. Applications are due Friday, March 31. Need help? Contact Laura Keeley-Saldana at
  • Want to improve your computer skills for your child care business? El Pajaro is offering a workshop in Spanish to help you learn Microsoft Office, video conferencing, email, and social media. Workshop dates are:
    • Saturday, March 18 9:30am-11:30am (virtual)
    • Saturday, April 4 9:30am-11:30am (virtual)
  • Learn about the latest requirements and information for your licensed family child care home or center at the next Community Care Licensing Webinar on Tuesday, March 28 from 6:00pm-7:00pm. Put a hold on your calendar for the next ones on June 27, September 26 and December 12. 
  • Get up to $100 reimbursed for required health and safety training for licensed and non-licensed child care and education providers. Learn how, or call MAOF at (831) 757-0775. 
  • Professional development opportunities are available for ECE providers at the Monterey County Office of Education’s Early Care and Education Department. Check out their virtual magazine.
  • ECE Community College students: ECE Career Educational Support grants are available for help with tuition & textbooks. The Child Development Training Consortium is offering these funds on a first come first served basis.

For Families

  • Save the date for the King City Spring Carnival Resource Fair. Bring your family and enjoy arts, crafts, giveaways and resources. Special Kids Connect will be hosting the event on Saturday, March 25 from 11:00am-1:00pm at King City High School
  • March is National Disability Awareness Month. San Andreas Regional Center provides services to children and adults with disabilities including assessments, interventions and support. Connect with other moms and their children (0-5) at the Maternal Well-Being play groups. In person and ZOOM groups are being offered. Learn more or call Sandra Avina at (831) 796-6118. 
  • Families are invited to join the free Stay and Play followed by story time at various Monterey County Free Libraries. There are three times and locations; share this flyer:
  • Want to track your child’s developmental milestones? Check out the milestone tracker app from Learn the Signs, Act Early to track your child’s development and seek resources if you have a concern.
  • Fun activities for you and your family are happening at the Salinas Library. In person and online events including Toddler Tales, Lego Master Builders, Kids Eat Right, and Family Crafternoons. Check out their calendar of events for times and dates. 
  • Looking for child care? Go to or for help finding the right care for your child.

For All

  • Help those in immediate need through the following Storm Relief Donations
  • Free technology workshops on two separate dates! Learn email functions and internet safety on Tuesday,  March 21 on Zoom from 5:30pm-7:30pm and learn ZOOM with a computer and cell phone via ZOOM on Monday, April 3 from 5:30pm-7:30pm. Register and help share flyers
  • Maternal Mental Health Forum is coming! Register to join Monterey County’s Maternal Mental Health Task Force for an in-person webcast of the live forum on Thursday, March 23 and Friday, March 24 from 9:00am-3:00pm at one of the convenient locations in Salinas, Soledad and Watsonville. Get more information and register by Friday, March 17. 
  • Many changes regarding face coveringsvaccinations and COVID-19 isolation will be occurring soon. An updated order  from disease control and prevention will be in effect starting Monday, March 13. Click on the links to see what’s different and when the changes will go into effect. 
  • FREE COVID vaccine clinics will be available at various locations in the month of March. For details click here. 
  • Monterey County needs businesses that support families, both behind the scenes with strong family policies and in the public eye as a service to families. Ready to apply to become a Bright Beginnings Family Friendly Employer? It’s easy! Learn more and certify your business here. Child Care businesses are encouraged to apply!
  • Are you or others you know interested in starting a child care business? MAOF is recruiting potential family child care homes and is offering free training, marketing, and up to $1,000 to new or expanding child care programs in Monterey County. Learn more or call MAOF at (831) 757-0775.
  • Need to find a COVID-19 testing or vaccine clinic in Monterey County? Visit or find a location in the flyers: Free Testing and Free Vaccination sites.

Monterey County Vaccines By the Numbers

Overall, 81.2% of the eligible population in Monterey County have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. For more details on COVID health data, visit the Health Departments website here. Stay informed on all things COVID-19 on the Monterey County COVID-19 portal.

COVID-19 Information

COVID-19 Vaccine Information ➡️ click here to learn more…

General COVID-19 & Public Health ➡️ click here to learn more…

Resources & Tools

Financial Relief for Families ➡️ click here to learn more…

All Ages Learning & Development Supports ➡️ click here to learn more…

Resilience & Mental Health Resources ➡️ click here to learn more…

Child Care & Education Quality & Business Tools ➡️ click here to learn more…

Policy & Advocacy ➡️ click here to learn more…

Our goal is to ensure that young children have quality, nurturing, and safe child care and education during and post-pandemic. For more information about this effort and the coalition behind it, please visit our web hub here

News and resources are shared below. Previous Weekly Digests are available here

If you have information, flyers, or events you would like to share in this publication, please contact or send information to:

Want more information from Bright Beginnings? Stay up-to-date and join the mailing list for the BB Weekly Recovery Coalition Digest, Maternal Mental Health Task Force, and the BB Quarterly Update.

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
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

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