May 25 | Early Care and Education Digest

Rebeca ZunigaAdvocacy, Community


For Educators

  • Stipends for child care educators/providers are headed to you! See if you are eligible to receive $1,442 per subsidy child and complete the required ARPA survey by August 15, 2023. 
  • Safe Spaces is a learning hub for school and child care settings with a focus on Trauma Informed Practices. Professional Learning Modules will be launched this summer for free in English and Spanish.
  • Early Math Symposium is open for Educators! Learn more about early math fundamentals and how to incorporate tools into your classroom/home on Friday, June 23 from 9:00am-3:00pm. It’s virtual and free!
  • You are invited to complete a brief Early Math Initiative Field Survey on your experiences and perspectives as an educator, care provider, or professional learning staff (e.g., coach, trainer, mentor) who supports educators. The survey will help inform future professional development activities for ECE professionals and will be available until 5:00pm on Friday, June 2. Another survey is from the PreK in Family Child Care Project; stipends are available upon completion. 
  • MPC is offering online summer courses in ECE! Register for Child Growth and Development, Principles and Practices of Teaching Young Children, and Child, Family, and Community.
  • The R&R Network is conducting surveys to better understand what is important to families and child care providers. The survey is in English, Spanish, and Chinese. They are especially interested in the feedback from Family Child Care Homes. Be sure to share with your families!Family Surveys
    English Parent Survey
    Spanish Parent Survey
    Chinese Parent Survey

    Provider Surveys
    English Provider Survey
    Spanish Provider Survey
    Chinese Provider Survey
  • Several flexibilities for child care programs are ending as of Friday, June 30. The California Department of Social Services (CDSS) has recently posted the following document on its Internet website: CCB 23-09: Expiration of COVID-19 Flexibilities: COVID-19 Related Paid Nonoperational Days, Waived Family Fees, Hold Harmless with Respect to Reimbursement.
  • Calling all Monterey County licensed family child care educators and centers! Quality Matters Monterey has released the 2023-24 application for new Quality Matters sites, due Thursday, June 15. Join a community of ECE professionals, receive coaching, technical assistance, stipends, and resources to support your professional growth. Learn more about Quality Matters and watch this video for highlights.
  • 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

  • Check out the Salinas Library calendar of events for June. Fun activities include Wee Ones in the Woods for children ages 4-7, Toddler Tales and more!
  • Farmworker Resource Program to address the needs of agricultural workers in our community is being organized. To better understand the needs of agricultural workers, we kindly request that you share this message with the agricultural workers in your network and encourage them to take a few minutes to fill out the survey.
  • Breastfeeding support groups in Salinas and Soledad! Get the latest information on nutrition and child care as well as support with other mothers. Save the date for the Breastfeeding Walk in Salinas and Soledad on August 1 and 3. 
  • Now Enrolling! Hartnell College ECE program welcomes you and your child to quality child care on the Hartnell Campus. Morning and afternoon sessions are available.
  • Choosing a quality program for your child is one of the most important decisions a family can make. Family Matters offers tools to help families build awareness of choosing quality early care and education of their choice for a strong start to kindergarten and beyond. Informational Webinars – New Dates:
    • Saturday, May 27 9:30am-10:30pm (Spanish)
    • Thursday, June 8 6:30pm-7:30pm (English)
  • It’s not too early to enroll in summer activities! Check out the Y’s offerings including summer camps and other activities
  • Summer Camps have fun activities for kids when school is out. Check out the Spring Parent Magazine Summer Camp Guide
  • 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. 
  • Fun activities for you and your family are happening at the Salinas Library. 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

  • Today is the last day for public comment on The Monterey County mental health services 3 year plan. Your input will help the Monterey County Health Department decide how funds are distributed and used from fiscal year 2023-2026, including critical services for children 0-5. Your comments can be submitted via email to: or
    • The Monterey County Health Department
      Attn: Behavioral Health Administration – MHSA PUBLIC Comments
      1270 Natividad Road
      Salinas, CA 93905
    • TONIGHT: You can also provide your comments by attending the meeting in-person or virtually. You can find a copy of the agenda here.
    • Thursday, May 25, at 5:30PM
      In-person: The Public Hearing
      Monterey County Behavioral Health Commission
      1270 Natividad Road, Salinas CA
  • Make a difference and join the Environmental Justice Committee for Monterey CountyThis committee of 20 members will work closely with the local government and environmental agencies to ensure community perspectives are heard.
  • The Red Cross has immediate financial assistance for households impacted by the floods. Share this information with your community to get them the help they need. 
  • Monterey County programs offer public assistance including WIC, Medi-Cal, Breastfeeding support, and CalFresh. Help families in need apply for services.
  • 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, 81.4% 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