May 7 | Weekly Digest: COVID-19 Response & Recovery Coalition

Bright Beginnings Advocacy, Community

Emergency Response & Recovery Plan

Welcome to the second weekly digest summarizing highlights from the emergency and recovery response effort for child care and wellbeing in Monterey County. Our goal is to ensure that the young children of essential workers have quality, safe child care and education during the COVID-19 emergency measures — regardless of the caregiving setting — and are resilient beyond the emergency. 

For more information about the effort and the coalition behind it, please visit our web hub here. You’ll find an invitation to our weekly Tuesday morning community calls and minutes from the last two months.


This Week’s Highlights

A few highlights from this week are shared here, by no means is this a comprehensive list of all the resources available nor the work happening behind the scenes. Previous Weekly Digests are available here.

For Early Childhood Educators 

  • Free COVID-19 testing is now available for all essential workers, including child care and education providers. Appointments are required. Register by clicking hereor calling 888-634-1123. More information, including times and locations, can be found here.
  • Health and Safety Training schedules for May have been posted by the Child Care Resource Center here. Quality Matters created a helpful video on implementing social distancing and other health and safety tips for programs open or about to open, found at the bottom of their COVID-19 resource page
  • Monterey County received $494,000 for Cleaning & Supplies for Childcare Providers (CSCP), legislated through Senate Bill 89 COVID-19 Early Learning and Care Response Funds and administered by MAOF Resource & Referral (R&R). With support from the coalition, MAOF R&R is implementing guidelines so that early learning providers can quickly access resources through cash reimbursements and direct disbursement of supplies. For more information and to complete the required self-certification, call (831) 757-0775. The form is available here
  • Drafted and issued a first-ever joint letter to all child care and education providers with COVID-19 related updates and resources, including access to health and safety trainings, cleaning and supplies, and information about vouchers for essential workers. The bilingual letter was signed by MAOF Resource & Referral, MCOE Child Care Planning Council, and Bright Beginnings. Read it here.
  • For #GivingTuesdayNow, United Way called for donations to their early learning fund to support child care during COVID-19. Check out the video here. Donations are still accepted!

For Essential Works & Families

  • COVID-19 related resources for families with young children including services, activities, and more are available at: MontereyCountyChildCare.org & First 5 Monterey County.
  • Monterey County received additional state funds for emergency childcare for essential workers, legislated through Senate Bill 89 COVID-19 Early Learning and Care Response Funds and administered by MAOF Alternative Payment voucher program. Essential worker families can request emergency care here or call (831) 757-0775.
  • In partnership with Building Healthy Communities, United Farmworkers Union, Las Mamas, Center for Community Advocacy, and others, we scaled-up outreach in the broader community with information on how to find child care for essential workers, resulting in more than 100 new requests in about a week. Want to help spread the word? Find a flyer for finding care and other bilingual promotional materials here
  • Safe and reliable access to the internet remains an obstacle to many, crucial in a time of healthy physical distancing and when many services are only accessible online.

General

  • United Way is dispersing about $699,000 in CARES Act emergency relief funds for agencies that provide food and shelter services. Apply here by May 20.
  • MAOF Resource & Referral and Monterey County Child Care Planning Council (CCPC) submitted their state-mandated emergency plans to the California Department of Education. You can find the CCPC plan here and the R&R plan here
  • Coordinating deeper outreach to employers and the business community(especially in agriculture) on how they can support families and integrate family friendly business practices as a part of the solution for recovery post emergency response to COVID.

Advocacy to Support Early Learning

  • Las Mamas and Padres Unidos advocated for comprehensive 0-5 programmingat the Alisal Union School District Board of Trustees meeting on Wednesday, May 6, as the school district is re-considering its funding for its early learning and whole child education programs.
  • Dr. Deneen Gus, superintendent of schools, presented the Monterey County Children’s Council annual report to the Board of Supervisors, with an extra emphasis to support trauma-informed capacity building across all programs supporting young people ages 0-24. This is especially important considering the current global pandemic and disruption in learning and development all children are facing. Find the report here
  • Virtual Learning Opportunity: Health Equity and COVID-19: Opportunities to Improve Child Wellbeing through Policy on Wednesday, May 13, 2020 from 1:00 – 2:30pm. Learn more and register here.

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
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.