March 3 | Early Care and Education Digest

Rebeca Zuniga Advocacy, Community


For Educators

  • Learn how to effectively support, integrate, and align high-quality, equitable ECE programs within school sites and systems. Monterey County Office of Education is hosting a 2-day event March 20-21.  Register here by Tuesday, March 14. (Yes, it’s a Madera County link – you are in the right place to register for Monterey County!)
  • 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. For more information, click here and share these flyers. 
  • New funding opportunity for child care centers! The California Department of Social Services has released funding for General Child Care (CCTR). For more information and the application, click here. Applications are due March 31. Need help? Contact Laura Keeley-Saldana at
  • Family child care owners, we want to hear from you! Join fellow family child care owners region on Friday, March 17 from 6:30pm-8:00pm at the Watsonville Civic Plaza Community Hall. All in Monterey, Santa Cruz and San Benito counties are welcome. Please help share this event here and register today.
  • 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. For more information, click here. Workshop dates are:
    • Saturday, March 4 9:00am-1:00pm (in person)
    • 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. Register here for the link.
  • Get your professional development hours! California Early Childhood Online (CECO) is offering 12 new online professional development modules designed for early learning and care professionals in all roles and settings.  Sign up here to access free CECO training modules.
  • Get up to $100 reimbursed for required health and safety training for licensed and non-licensed child care and education providers. Get more information here, 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. Get the virtual magazine here.
  • 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 more information and the application for funding, click here

For Families

  • March is National Nutrition Month. Check out these resources including healthy recipes for your family. 
  • Download the California Meals for Kids mobile app today. The app makes it easy for families and caregivers to find afterschool meal locations.Access WIC nutrition support here.   
  • Looking for simple ways to help children with math? Check out these fun videos for all ages.
  • Connect with other moms and their children (0-5) at the Maternal Well-Being play groups. In person and ZOOM groups are being offered. For more information including click here 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.
  • Positive Discipline classes in Spanish are starting on Friday, March 3 from 5:30pm-6:30pm at the Virginia Rocca Barton School in Salinas. For more information call (831) 753-5700 x 4701 or 4702 or click here for flyers. 
  • 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 here for times and dates. 
  • Looking for child care? Go to or for help finding the right care for your child.

For All

  • FREE COVID vaccine clinics will be available at various locations in the month of March. For more information 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. For more information, click here 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