Our goal is to ensure that young children have quality, nurturing, and safe child care and education as we adjust to physical distancing requirements to slow the spread of COVID-19.
For more information about the effort and the coalition behind it, including weekly meeting information, 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.
On our next call on Tuesday, May 26 at 11:30am, we will provide a short update on progress and discuss priorities for the recovery phase. If you are not able to join, please take 5-8 minutes to complete this simple survey to assess priorities.
This Week's Highlights
A few highlights from this last week are shared below. Previous Weekly Digests are available here.
In response to a growing call in the community for creative child care solutions, we are preparing draft health and safety guidelines for child care in all settings as shelter-in-place mandates change. The coalition will work with local and state agencies to ensure that solutions are doable and safe. Stay tuned!
About 160 child care and education providers have signed up for cleaning and supplies reimbursements through MAOF Resource & Referral (R&R). For child care and education providers who have yet to sign up, complete the required self-certification form, available here, and then email the completed form to RRMC@maof.org. For more information, please call (831) 757-0775. Funds are available one time only, per provider on a first-come, first-serve basis through September 20.
A second round of donated cleaning supplies will be distributed to child care centers tomorrow, Friday, May 22. We are grateful for the generosity of First 5 California, Quality Matters, MAOF, MC Office of Emergency Services, and CA Health Department for their donations. The CA Health Department has donated 40,000 face masks to MOAF for distribution to early childhood care and education providers. The next round of distribution to additional settings will be announced as soon as we know the delivery date of supplies; providers will be contacted directly.
The Central Coast Early Childhood Advocacy Network continues to advocate for families and young children, including legislative visits with Assembly Members Robert Rivas and Mark Stone along with Senator Monning’s office. To view the talking points and issues raised, read the Network’s letter to legislators here.
Much of our work is ongoing: First 5 Monterey County is providing mental health supports to child care and education providers in all types of settings. We are helping MAOF improve its child care subsidy enrollment process. We are working together to support the process of reopening child care over the next months, addressing safety and financial needs. Many centers have already reopened, including migrant programs. The second joint communication to child care and education providers was sent by Child Care Planning Council, MAOF, and Bright Beginnings here.
About 125 new families have received emergency child care vouchers for essential workers, serving a total of 198 children. Vouchers are still available and are valid through June 30. Essential worker families can request child care here or call (831) 757-0775.
Mental health supports are available through the Health Department’s Forward Together initiative. Click here for more information.
We are seeing the “Find Child Care” blue badge (like the one at the top of this digest) on more and more of our partner’s websites. You, too, can have a badge that links to www.MontereyCountyChildCare.org with the most up-to-date information regarding child care. Find a downloadable flyer for finding care and other bilingual promotional materials, including the badge, here.
Free COVID-19 testing is now available. Child care and education providers are strongly encouraged to get tested. Appointments are required. Register by clicking here or calling 888-634-1123. More information, including times and locations, can be found here on these posters — please post and share within your networks.
United Way launched an early learning fund to support child care during COVID-19. Check out the video here. Please share with your networks — donations accepted on an ongoing basis.
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:
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.
We want to hear from you!
Do you have early childhood development resources or upcoming opportunities and community events that you'd like to share with us? Click here to let us know!
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