September 25 | 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

101 local child care centers are operating now (84% of total registered) — 4 more since last week.

293 local child care homes are operating now (90% of total registered) — 2 more since last week.

808 families requested a referral since the start of shelter-in-place — 15 more since last week.


News

  • The Central Coast Early Childhood Advocacy Network will hold a workshop on advocacy and storytelling skills on September 30, 4:00-5:30pm. Parents, individuals and agency representatives are welcome to attend. The workshop will be primarily in English, with Spanish interpretation. Click here to register. 
  • Your voice matters! On October 12 from 4:00-5:30pm join a virtual Town Hall Meeting with Congressman Jimmy Panetta to discuss how we can support an equitable recovery for families. The meeting will be primarily in English, with Spanish interpretation. Click here to register.
  • First 5 Monterey County Executive Director Francine Rodd will join a Monterey Peninsula Chamber of Commerce panel discussion on early learning and economic recovery on October 16 — details to follow on their website
  • We want the Monterey County Child Care website to meet your needs! Fill out the survey and enter to win prizes when you provide feedback on the design and function of the site.

Resources

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.
     
  • Resiliency supports for parents, educators — just about anyone, really — are available through the Health Department’s Forward Together Initiative. Click here for more information.

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
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.