Dear Colleagues,I am curious to know if any of you have guidelines by which you operate and stay OPEN for essential workers (doctors, nurses, grocery store clerks, etc) during mandated school closings.My school is currently closed for 14 days as per county executive order, but I am curious to know what other centers are doing or have done to care for children of the essential workers during a world crisis such as as the one that is currently at our front door.I know we are all on uncharted territory - and I appreciate any and all suggestions about how we as a CARE-FORCE support those essential members of society who are on the front lines right now.With care,
Connie, and everyone who is open, I am advocating for you. I believe parents should keep paying through the crisis (and we know many will not be able to do so). AND, I hope you have an opportunity to apply for emergency funding to keep your centers going in the coming months. If you are open and caring for children today, please consider these recommendations for emergency child care (below) and please read every word on the new position statement from NAEYC which is powerful and smart and safe and will be a tool we will be using all over the country as we advocate for child care teachers.
IF YOU ARE WORKING IN CHILD CARE TODAY please consider these recommendations1. include taking each child's temperatures as a part of the morning drop off routine.2. Reduce the number of children in each group - find creative ways to practice distance and small gatherings3. Give staff more breaks for emotional health and hand washing4. Do NOT apply for a waiver to suspend regulations so you can accept more children5. Ask parents to shorten their child's day to reduce everyone's exposure to group settings6. spend as much time OUTSIDE as possible7. Do not serve family style snacks and meals - practice adult lead meals and reduce child to child contact during meals8. Throw out playdough and sensory materials that were used last week make new ones or do without for awhile9. Consider closing one day per week for extra cleaning and peace of mind10. Remember, you have the right to close if you choose and many child care centers have made that decision to protect their own health and the health of their family members11. Ask the administration or governing body that employs you what plans they have in place for considering hazardous duty pay.12. Use this as an opportunity to talk about child care as essential work during emergency times and remind people that plans will change day to day and you are keeping everyone's best interest in mind as you navigate this new territory
Lisa, my heart is breaking to see what is happening right now. Our already strained system is being put to the test and, quite frankly, abused, in this crisis. I am so sorry this is happening. Please think about what you need to do to take care of yourself. I am also very angry and sad that our governing agencies are not protecting us right now.With care,
Feel free to borrow and send letters to Washington today.
Jon_Cardinal@schumer.senate.gov (Schumer)firstname.lastname@example.org (Gillibrand)
I am a director of a NY state licensed campus child care center in the Hudson River Valley, and I have been working in child care for 25 years. In the past few years the child care industry has been struggling in what we have described as a "care crisis" with a shortage of high quality programs, with working families unable to pay the high cost of care, and with child care providers working at poverty wages in our neighborhoods. We have been a blind spot for far too long. Now with the COVID-19 pandemic, our already strained industry is crumbling.
The National Association of Young Children reported today that without immediate relief, it is estimated that more than 50 % of child care centers in our nation will close in April. I am writing this letter to request stimulus funding to keep the child care industry from collapsing.
Childcare centers need your strong leadership immediately. I respectfully request that you work with Speaker Pelosi to significantly INCREASE the ask for childcare to $50B. Without this funding, our child care infrastructure will disintegrate.
Never in my long career have I experienced such confusion, neglect, and dangerous lack of protection and disrespect for children and their child care teachers. While schools close and the public is told to stay at home, child care centers are asked to increase their capacity and suspend their standards and loosen their regulated safety measures. Caring for children in the best of times is an honorable profession which demands profound knowledge and expertise. An infectious disease pandemic is not the time to lower standards and loosen regulations. More than ever, child care centers need professionals, increased materials and resources, and strengthened health and safety standards to operate in emergency conditions and to survive during and beyond this pandemic.
Emergency relief is urgently needed to protect our children and our care grid. Without supporting the infrastructure of care givers that allows nurses, doctors, grocery store workers, and all essential personnel to be of service, we will leave our entire workforce stranded and weaken our society. The cost of damaging the care-force that sustains our economy and is the heart of our community will have long lasting consequences on our national strength. The way we respond to children, families and their caregivers in this crisis will reveal our values for decades to come.
Carol Garboden Murraycmurray@bard.edu