October 16 | Weekly Digest: COVID-19 Response & Recovery for Child Care & Wellbeing

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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 is Wednesday, October 21, 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

At our meeting on October 21st, we will look at these numbers over time and the story they tell.

105 local child care centers are operating now (87% of total registered) — 1 more since last week.

296 local child care homes are operating now (91% of total registered) — 2 more since last week.

863 families requested a referral since the start of shelter-in-place — 14 more since last week.

In the last week, thanks to First 5 California and First 5 Monterey County, lots of supplies were delivered to child care and education providers:

  • 17,800 adult masks
  • 7,650 child masks
  • 32 gallons of hand sanitizer
  • 1,272 8oz bottles of hand sanitizer
  • 420 bottles of persona-sized disinfectant


  • The statewide Resource and Referral Network released a report highlighting the impacts of COVID-19 on family child care arrangements, plans, and preferences. Earlier in the year, over 12,000 parents responded to a statewide survey. Click here to access the report.
  • The Monterey County Office of Education has resources available for educators, families, and the community on social-emotional well-being and trauma-informed care. Check out their web page for important resources to help children during unsettling times. 
  • The Kinship Center in Monterey County provides training and support for families and children including those experiencing social-emotional challenges. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Kinship Center Mobile Response Team has been providing immediate services to families with a youth experiencing crisis. 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.
  • The Kinship Center’s Families Matter series is available every Tuesday at 7:00pm with a variety of topics. Visit here or contact 1-800-4-kinship for more information.  
  • Apply for emergency rent and utility funds for Monterey County residents. Call 211 for more information to see if you qualify for these emergency funds.
  • Monterey County Forward Together is a free way to connect with others to support your social-emotional well-being, including a network for teens, parents, seniors, and new moms. Facilitation is provided by Monterey County Behavioral Health staff and other partners. Learn more here.
  • The Women’s Wellness Index provides data on various indicators of health and wellness for women throughout California. The chart is divided up by county, for data on Monterey County click here and select Monterey County.  


All Ages Distance Learning Supports

Public Health

  • 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 state Public Health Department has released guidelines for use of public playgrounds
  • The California Department of Public Health has provided clarification on staff and cohort sizes in child care settings. In this guidance, staff working with children under age five are able to work with children in one or two cohorts. This allows staff who typically work in the morning and afternoon sessions to continue to work with both groups, if needed. Substitutes who are covering for a staff member are only able to work with one cohort of children per day. 
  • 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. 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.
  • Pajaro Valley Unified School District released information about the COVID-19 in Mixteco — watch the video here and please share!

Resilience & Mental Health Resources

  • Dr. Susan Swick from Ohana, Montage Health’s new child/adolescent behavioral health program, offers several videos for parents to support their children during the pandemic. Click here and scroll to the bottom of the page to find videos on topics like managing tech time or handling strong emotions.
  • 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

  • Want to hear how child care services will transition from the California Department of Education (CDE) to the Department of Social Services (DSS)? Join the next Quarterly Child Care Transition stakeholder meeting scheduled for October 29 from 10:00-11:30am. Register here to participate. 
  • Child Care & Education Businesses: There are still funds available through the Monterey County Works Small Business Rapid Response Grant Fund. Small business owners can receive grants up to $2,500 to support their operations during the COVID-19 pandemic. Find the grant guidelines and application here.

Children’s & Family Activities & Resources

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
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 sonja@brightbeginningsmc.org.