March 26 | 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 in order to slow the spread of COVID-19.

The next Coalition Call will be held on April 7 from 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

98 local child care centers are operating now (82% of total registered) — no change since last week.

302 local child care homes are operating now (95% of total registered) — 6 more since last week.

Over 350 ECE/FFN have signed up for the March 31 COVID-19 vaccine at MCOE.

108,815 Monterey County residents have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine as of March 22 (28% of the population in Monterey County over age 16).


News

  • Rent, utility, food, and cash assistance are available for those who qualify for COVID-19 relief through United Way Monterey County. Call 211 to find out more and share these flyers with families in need.
  • The CDC is requesting that ECE and child care providers complete this quick survey to understand the attitudes and behaviors of the workforce regarding the COVID-19 vaccines. Please share this survey with those in the ECE and FFN communities. 
  • Fully vaccinated persons who do not need to quarantine should still watch for COVID-19 for 14 days after exposure and continue to follow safe and health guidance. See the quarantine guidance from the California Department of Public Health here
  • The California Department of Public Health has updated their framework and guidance for schools. Find out what is needed to move forward with in-person learning. Click here for more information. 
  • Now that Monterey County is in the red tier, less restrictive guidance can be followed. Although this has not changed since July 2020, it still provides advice and recommendations on cleaning, group sizes, and plans for the classrooms. The guidance for Child Care Programs and Providers is located here
  • Enrollment in TK and Kindergarten has begun at many schools. It is important to enroll age-eligible children as soon as possible to guarantee a spot. Encourage parents to start the process. Contact your local school for more information.

COVID-19 Vaccine Information

  • It’s your turn! All early care and education providers, formal and informal, are eligible for the vaccine. Visit www.montereycountychildcare.org for easy steps to finding vaccine appointments and other vaccine related information.
  • A new group of individuals are now eligible to get the vaccine! As of March 17, people over the age of 16 who have a medical condition or disability that puts them at high morbidity and mortality as defined by CDPH can now sign up to receive their vaccine. See the list here for more information. 
  • Help spread the word about the importance of vaccinations in your community. Here are tools and examples of some short and impactful messages for the Spanish-speaking community that can help.
  • Check out a whole library of vaccine information in indigenous languages! Centro Bilingual and Western Center for Agricultural Health and Safety at UC Davis created multilingual videos with three important messages for our community: to look in their county for when it’s their turn, message on the safety of the vaccine, and the potential side effects. Click here for the library of videos and share widely! 
  • Quality Matters invites you to attend their free information sessions on the COVID-19 Vaccine for the early childhood community on March 18 and April 22 via Zoom. Download posters here and share with others in your community. Each session will be held in English and Spanish! Educators, caregivers, and family members welcome!
  • Vaccines are safe and important to help stop the spread and reach herd immunity against the COVID-19 virus. Bilingual posters from Yolo County are available here to download and share!
  • More information on COVID-19 and the vaccine is available from Community Care Licensing:
    • Informational sessions on the COVID-19 virus and vaccines: One session in Spanish only is being provided on March 29. Click here to access the information and links to the sessions that are available to you.
    • General info about COVID-19 vaccine for child care providers: frequently asked questions, web links to vaccines, and other information that may be helpful. Directors, managers, and supervisors are encouraged to share this information with their staff and others working with children. Please feel free to copy and share this information. 
  • Have you been vaccinated and wondering about face coverings and socializing? Continue to wear face masks in public and you can socialize with other fully vaccinated people! View more guidelines from the CDC here
  • The CDC has released information on the safety of COVID-19 vaccines. Click here for the safety information and here for the myths and facts about COVID-19 vaccines.

General COVID-19 & Public Health

  • Think you might have been exposed to COVID-19? Here is a chart that outlines the steps you can take to limit the spread. 
  • The CDC now recommends all persons who have been exposed to COVID-19 quarantine for 10 days instead of 14 days. For the updated guidance (released February 18), click here
  • The Monterey County Health Department has a FAQ page that answers many questions related to COVID-19. Check out their site here, which may help you understand how Monterey County is addressing the pandemic. 
  • Monterey County Office of Education and the Monterey County Health Department have provided a scenario map to help programs respond to cases of COVID-19 on site. Use this communication and action sheet to help you make the right decisions for families and children in your community. 
  • Find the most recent guidelines from the California Department of Public Health for day camps, schools, and child care providers and CDC’s guidelines for school settings and California Safe Schools for All.

Resources

All Ages Distance Learning Supports

  • The CDC has released new school guidelines (updated February 22) to help protect students and staff from COVID-19. Check out the new Reopening In-Person Instruction Framework & Public Health Guidance for K-12 Schools in California, 2020-2021 School Year here and School Guidance Checklist here
  • Need help with distance learning for your school-age child? Families and providers in Monterey County who need help with distance learning can get support from their school district’s technology department. Click here for a list of district online tech support links. 
  • The CDC has released an immunization and developmental tracker for children 0-6 years. Click here to download the CDC tracker.

Resilience & Mental Health Resources

  • Practicing some simple mindfulness activities with your children can help both adults and children when they are feeling anxious or stressed. Zero to Three provides some easy activities to do with your children that can be fun and beneficial for your emotional health! Check out their activities here
  • Shake off that stress with a livestream video and instruction featuring Forza Vital. This fun and motivational group activity is being offered by MAOF every Tuesday and Thursday from 6:45-7:20pm. Contact MAOF at 831-757-0775 to register.
  • The California Department of Education, in partnership with the Great Kindness Challenge® (GKC), encourages all teachers, staff, child care centers, family child care, and preschools to participate in GKC whenever is convenient for you. Access the free materials for your agency here.
  • Does your child need more emotional or mental health support than you can provide? The Kinship Center Mobile Response Team provides immediate services to families with a child or youth (ages 0-21) experiencing a mental or emotional health crisis – big or small. Services are available M-F 8:00am-10:00pm, S-S from 11:00am-9:00pm and by hotline 24/7 at (831) 687-4379.
  • 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:
  • 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 schools with equity-focused strategies as we move forward toward healing.

Child Care & Education Quality & Business Tools

  • Are you interested in starting a child care business in your home? There are funds available to help you get started and a new learning cohort is starting soon. Contact MAOF at 831-757-0775 and share this flyer with your friends and family.
  • The Golden State Stimulus Package was signed by the Governor. This is great news for those impacted by the COVID-19 virus that are in need of funds and support. Read the information from Senator Anna Caballero’s office here.
  • Workers who have questions about their rights including unemployment, keeping workplaces safe, temporary housing, and other questions during the pandemic can call the California COVID-19 hotline at 1-833-422-4255 or go to the California for All COVID-19 page here
  • California’s recovery starts with child care! Read and share this fact sheet with advocates to support the early childhood workforce and recovery efforts. Get the fact sheet here
  • Community Care Licensing has numerous FAQs related to COVID-19 and ECE settings. Be sure to check the website for the most updated information here
  • The State Master Plan for Early Learning and Care has been submitted to the Governor. The plan includes recommendations for pay equity, quality enhancements, training and education paths, better outcomes for children, and other important elements. Our own local representative, Sonia Jaramillo, is a member of the Early Childhood Policy Council (ECPC) providing input and a voice in the development of the plan. Click here to access the entire report. 
  • The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation released its report on the Importance of Childcare to U.S. Families and Businesses and cross-sector solutions to recover from COVID-19. Feel free to use this publication in your efforts. Click here to see the report. 
  • Community Care Licensing has released best practices for child care educators who are serving school-age children. The information includes ways to enhance communication with families, the importance of schedules, support for distance learning, free meals, and other tips. Click here to learn more.
  • Interested in starting a Family Child Care program? CAPSLO can help you with design, paperwork, and tips to get you started! Contact Daisy Jacuinde at (831) 821-1593 or djacuinde@capslo.org for more information. 
  • Early Start provides free services to infants and toddlers (0-3 years) with disabilities and their families. The San Andreas Regional Center serves Monterey County and can provide speech, occupational and physical therapy, nutrition, nursing, and other services. Flyers and information to share with providers and parents are available to help understand the importance of early intervention and prevention. Click here for more information. 
  • The statewide Resource and Referral Network released a report highlighting the impacts of COVID-19 on family child care arrangements, plans, and preferences. In 2020, over 12,000 parents responded to a statewide survey. Click here to access the report.

Children’s & Family Activities & Resources

  • The California Department of Public Health released new guidance on outdoor and indoor sports for adults and children on February 26. It includes guidelines on numbers of participants, observers and mask requirements, as well as a table of perceived risk by type of sport activity. Click here for the guidance.
  • The Monterey Bay Aquarium has online family-friendly science activities to encourage wonder and connection to the natural world. Check out these amazing resources here! They also offer online courses in English and Spanish here
  • Want to go to your local park or playground? Here is a link to city parks that will help you plan your trip. Some parks are still closed, so please check the park listing before you go! The California Public Health Department has released guidelines for use of public playgrounds.
  • Unable to pay rent due to COVID-19? The Attorney General has provided a simple form for tenants to notify their landlords about their inability to pay rent. Click here for the form. 
  • An Alisal Union School District Kindergarten teacher created a Spanish and English site called Kinder Rockets, full of fun, music-filled learning activities. It’s gone nationwide!

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 Monterey County
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.