October 2 | 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 Coalition Call is Wednesday, October 7, 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

103 local child care centers are operating now (84% of total registered) — 2 more since last week.

294 local child care homes are operating now (90% of total registered) — 1 more since last week.

826 families requested a referral since the start of shelter-in-place — 18 more since last week.


  • Children and families are now able to visit local playgrounds and outdoor recreational facilities, regardless of the county tier level. California Department of Public Health (CDPH) guidance advises people to limit their visits to 30 minutes when others are present, wash hands before and after using the playground, and adhere to social distancing guidelines including masks. The CDPH guidance on Playgrounds and Recreational Facilities is included here
  • Have a fun and safe Halloween — follow tips and guidelines from the Monterey County Health Department. Activities that are approved include virtual costume parties, car parades, and decorating your home and yard. Traditional Trick-or-Treating activities are not recommended. Click here for more ideas and information from the Monterey County Health Department. 
  • New guidance from the state for subsidized child care and education. CDE contractors  should review MB 20-15A and MB 20-18 carefully and contact their consultant if they have additional questions:
    • Management Bulletin 20-15A provides guidance to state-subsidized child care programs including: 
      • Guidance on parent signatures
      • Guidance on serving school-age children during distance learning
      • Guidance on additional days of non-operation closures
      • Additional data collection requirements for alternative payment programs
    • Management Bulletin 20-18 provides requirements for re-opening and reimbursement for direct service contractors. 
  • Early Edge California is looking for Family, Friends and Neighbor (FFN) providers to participate in an advisory group. Participants will receive a $50 gift card for each session they participate in, and will provide valuable information to inform legislation and policy. The first meeting is in October, and there will be two additional meetings for providers. Contact info@earlyedgecalifornia.org if you are interested and to learn more.
  • There is something for everyone at Forward Together/Avanzando Juntos a place to find connection and support through mindfulness and self-care during these stressful times. Starting on October 5, there will be six sessions on various topics that are sure to interest you and members of the Monterey Community. Feel free to share widely!
  • Low-income Investment Fund (LIIF) is taking a deep dive by offering several webinars on Investing in the Future of Child Care which feature challenges faced by child care settings. Sign up for any or all of the upcoming sessions and hear from experts in the field who are dedicated to advance understanding and action in the ECE field.
  • The Monterey County Chamber of Commerce invites you to its 1st Annual Education Forum on how the pandemic has changed the face of education on October 16. Guests include Francine Rodd, Dr. Deneen Guss, Dr. Ochoa, and others. Register here to attend ($20 for members, $25 for non-members). 
  • Share your insights for the county’s Economic Development strategic planning process, and share the links in your networks:
    • Survey on educational issues, aspirations, and resources: Spanish & English 
    • Survey for businesses (including child care and education providers): Spanish & English
    • Survey for research & development: English only


All Ages Distance Learning Supports

  • It is estimated that 97% of all students will engage in distance learning starting in the fall. 
    • Distance learning looks different for every school, every grade, and every family. Quality Matters has shared resources for families and child care and education providers. Click here and scroll to the bottom to learn more.
    • PVUSD released a video in Mixteco: “8 Tips for Families during Distant Learning.” Watch the video here and please share.  
  • We as a community are getting creative on how to provide child care and distance learning supports for children of all ages. While we don’t have all the solutions to this complex puzzle, here are a few resources (available in multiple languages soon): 

Public Health

  • PVUSD released information about the COVID-19 in Mixteco — watch the video here and please share!
  • PGUSD high school students are making free protective visors for Monterey County. Place your order here.

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 with equity-focused strategies as we move forward toward healing.

Child Care & Education Quality & Business Tools

  • 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. 
  • Guidelines for cohorts of children were released on August 25 by the California Department of Public Health with more information on group sizes including those in licensed child care and exempt child care programs on school campuses. A cohort is defined as no more than 14 children and no more than 2 adults for in-person supervision and limited instruction. Click here for an overview of guidance for group sizes and face coverings.
  • Find the most recent guidelines from the California Department of Public Health for day campsschools, and child care providers.
  • 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.