May 6 | 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 meeting will be held on Wednesday, May 19 from 1:30-3:30pm as a joint meeting with the Monterey County Child Care Planning Council. To RSVP, email Laurie Ramirez.

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

790 ECE, FFN providers, and families received the COVID-19 vaccine at the March 31, April 17 (Salinas), and April 24 (Greenfield) clinics coordinated by this Coalition.

61% of Monterey County residents have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, as reported here by the County on May 3.


  • Need more reasons to get vaccinated? On May 3, updated public health guidelines regarding fully vaccinated people were released. Updates include new mask-wearing, quarantine, and social distancing guidelines that are less restrictive if you have been fully vaccinated. Check out the CDC update on fully vaccinated people here.
  • Get your second dose! It is important for everyone to become fully vaccinated — if you have received the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine, you will need to get a second dose. Only fully vaccinated people are adequately protected from the virus. Click here to learn about timing, scheduling, and what happens after your second dose. 
  • Monterey County is on the verge of entering the Yellow Tier! If Monterey County continues to improve COVID-19 metrics, including a lower number of positive cases of the virus and fewer hospitalizations, the county could move to the less restrictive yellow tier as soon as May 12. Read more from the Monterey County Herald here
  • What does President Biden’s recovery plan mean for families in California? This EdSource article provides a glance at what may come for the young children in our state. Check out The White House press release here and the Department of the Treasury fact sheet here to see how this act could impact you! 
  • Learn how excluding, suspending, and expelling in our education settings hurts children with long-lasting impacts. Join the conversation by participating in the Creating Brave Spaces in Early Childhood Conversation on May 10 from 6:00-8:00pm. Register here for this second session hosted by Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond. 
  • Starting May 12, Emergency Broadband discounts are available to help people stay connected during the COVID-19 pandemic and through the recovery.Benefits include discounts on broadband services and equipment, up to $50 per month ($75 for those on Tribal lands), and a one-time discount of up to $100 for a laptop, tablet, or desktop computer for qualifying low-income families. See if you qualify for these services and learn more about this opportunity here
  • Check out this interactive map that shows how children are engaged in learning at various school sites. The table includes private, public, and charter schools and the types of learning modes that are being offered. You can look up your child’s school and find out the percentage of hybrid vs. distance learning by clicking here
  • Learn and play at the Monterey Bay Aquarium! Starting May 15, the Monterey Bay Aquarium will be open to all visitors. Plan your visit and get your tickets here. Monterey County Free Libraries have free tickets for County residents, too.

COVID-19 Vaccine Information

  • As of April 15, all people over the age of 16 are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine! Note: only the Pfizer vaccine is approved for people 16 years and older. 
  • You can now get COVID-19 vaccine appointments through or by phone at 1-833-422-4255 (M-F 8:00am-8:00pm, Sa-Su 8:00am-5:00pm).
  • The pause on the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine has been lifted. Take a look at this factsheet to help understand the risks and benefits of this single-dose vaccine. 
  • Wondering what changes once you have been vaccinated? The new Health Recommendations for Fully Vaccinated People from the California Department of Public Health can help answer questions. 
  • Visit for easy steps to finding vaccine appointments and other vaccine-related 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, a message on the safety of the vaccine, and the potential side effects. Click here for the library of videos and share widely! 
  • 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:
    • 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. 
  • 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

  • The California Department of Public Health released new COVID-19 guidance as our community opens back up: Private Venues and EventsIndoor Seated Live Events and Performances, and Private Gatherings.
  • Testing for COVID-19 is still important to track variants and to keep our community safe. Here is where you can get a list of testing sites in Monterey County. 
  • Here is a new quick guide for educators who think a child may be showing signs of COVID-19.
  • There are many opportunities to find financial relief. Visit the Monterey County Health Department website for Emergency Aid Resources here and see the flyer (in English and Spanish) here
    • 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.
    • FEMA is managing a program to offset funeral or burial expenses up to $7,000. Funds are eligible for US citizens, non-citizen nationals, or qualified aliens, though there is no requirement for the decedent to be any of these. Apply by calling their dedicated line at 844-684-6333. Our thoughts go out to those who have lost a loved one during the pandemic. 
  • 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. 
  • Monterey County has reached the Orange Tier! What does that mean? There may be fewer restrictions for businesses, social gatherings, and public places. Check out the latest information on the state guidelines for counties in the orange tier here by entering “Monterey” within the county field. You can also get local information from the Monterey County Health Department here. Great job to everyone for getting to this milestone!
  • 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. 
  • 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 campsschools, and child care providers and CDC’s guidelines for school settings and California Safe Schools for All.


All Ages Distance Learning Supports

  • 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

  • Children may be experiencing a range of emotions, including stress during this time. Parents can help children prepare for stressful moments by talking about feelings with their children to encourage healthy emotional development. Check out this great resource from Child Care Aware. 
  • Are you feeling overwhelmed, sad, angry, or “just not good enough” with your child? Do you know someone who can use additional support including playgroups, classes, and postpartum support? There is help available for parents and guardians who may be dealing with the additional stress of parenting. Please share these important print-ready flyers that include lots of important resources. 
  • April is Child Abuse Prevention month! Check out this inspirational video thanking Monterey County Educators from Monterey County Prevention Council. It features Monterey County kids!
  • 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
  • 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

  • Need more funding this year due to over-earning, or have extra funds to share on a temporary basis? CDE-funded programs have an opportunity to voluntarily transfer funds to another program that may need funds using the VTT process. The VTT allows programs that need extra funding to receive financial support from other CDE programs that have under-earned their contracts. The window for this opportunity is now through tomorrow, April 30. Contact Local Planning Council Coordinator Laurie Ramirez via email ( or at (831) 784-4141.
  • 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.
  • 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 for more information.
  • 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,
  • 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. 

Children’s & Family Activities & Resources

  • 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.
  • 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
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