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Child Care is Essential and Needs Emergency Support to Survive

  • 1.  Child Care is Essential and Needs Emergency Support to Survive

    Posted 24 days ago

    The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) is committed to the health and wellbeing of young children and all who care for, educate, and work on their behalf. As a public health matter; and in order to meet the goals of flattening the curve to save lives, NAEYC believes that if states and districts are closing schools, then they also must close the child care system. Simultaneously, however, select licensed child care centers and family child care homes should be allowed to and/or instructed to reopen or remain open on a limited basis in order to serve the children of emergency responders and other essential personnel (as defined by the state or locality) for whom remote work is not an option.

    Governors and leaders of health care systems have made it clear that child care is an "essential service," without which we will not be able to effectively respond to this pandemic. Given that reality, state and federal governments are obligated to support its continued existence across states and settings, including programs who support families with child care subsidies, and those who do not. Federal and state action must include providing significant, flexible, and additional funding to child care, through multiple mechanisms including the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG), accompanied by policies that increase financing flexibility, waive co-pays, increase eligibility, and move everyone permanently from attendance-based payment policies to enrollment-based policies.

    In addition, for programs that remain open to serve those who need it, they must be provided with a version of "hazardous duty" pay, in which they are guaranteed additional funding to ensure they are able to pay substitutes, provide 24-hour coverage, and get access to supplies and resources needed to keep the environment safe and healthy. They also need access to public funds for paid family and sick leave to cover staff that, in following the recommendations of public health personnel, have to take time off to maintain their own health or care for family members and limit the spread of the virus.

    States also should recognize that this is not the time to eliminate or suspend licensing rules or stand up new, untested, and unmonitored child care programs that will compromise the health and safety of children, their families, and the community at large. Providing child care in the best of times requires complex skills. In times of chaos and trauma, skilled and trusted early childhood educators are needed more than ever to support children and families and keep them safe. To ensure families are as comfortable and confident as possible with their children's care in this challenging moment, states should consider waiving very specific requirements around the age band programs can serve, so that any program in a center or home that is set up to care for the young children of essential personnel also can care for their older children.

    Additional actions also are needed to protect the supply of child care in all settings in states and communities, including in programs who are not currently serving families with a child care subsidy. Data from a survey NAEYC has distributed in the last several days indicates that many child care centers and homes are not going to be able to survive a closure; up to a third in some states indicate they won't survive a closure of any period-another third won't survive a closure of more than two weeks. In other words, a temporary closure is, for many, a permanent one.

    Child care is not like the K-12 system in which schools will be able to reopen and educators will be compensated regardless of the length of time schools are closed. Staff must be compensated during closures, and child care programs, across states and settings, therefore need significant investments if they are going to survive-and this moment has made it clear how essential it is for child care to do so, for the good of children, families, businesses, and our nation's safety, security, and economy.

    For that reason, the public sector must provide support to ensure the continued existence of this essential system, which keeps children safe and America working, not only through the already-underfunded subsidy system, but through other mechanisms as well, including:

     Alongside actions taken by the federal government to increase access to paid leave and unemployment insurance, states must ensure that all child care system closures are accompanied by additional, necessary policies and funding that allows for access to unemployment compensation for all staff who work in center-based child care or own/operate or are staff of family child care homes.

     States and the federal government need to ensure that child care programs, in centers and homes, are automatically enrolled in mortgage forbearance, provided rent deferrals, and support for utility and insurance payments, for a minimum of three months and up to six months.

     If programs are licensed and, as an example, enrolled in the state's quality system, they should be provided with zero-interest loans that will allow them to cover costs upfront with the expectation that they will be paid back within a set period from the start of the loan.

    States should also plan to implement a strong outreach and communications plan, utilizing licensing, subsidy, and/or the child care resource and referral systems, to ensure families know about and are aware of their options, with communications provided in all relevant languages.

    Ten Steps States and Districts That Are Closing Public Schools Can Take for Child Care

    1. Close child care systems alongside K-12 systems, with the provision for select, licensed child care providers in centers and homes that can operate in order to serve the children of emergency responders and other essential personnel for whom remote work is not an option.

    2. Alongside actions taken by the federal government to increase access to paid leave and unemployment insurance, ensure that all child care system closures are accompanied by additional, necessary policies and funding that allows for access to unemployment compensation for all staff who work in center-based child care or own/operate or are staff of family child care homes.

    3. Invest additional states' dollars in child care and ensure subsidy payment policy is modified to waive co-pays; increase eligibility; and pay based on enrollment and not attendance.

    4. Automatically enroll all child care programs, in centers and homes, in mortgage forbearance, provide rent deferrals, and ensure support for utility and insurance payments, for a minimum of three months and up to six months.

    5. Provide programs that are licensed and enrolled in the state's quality monitoring system with a zero-interest loan that will allow them to cover costs upfront, with the expectation it will be paid back within a set period from the start of the loan.

    6. Do not eliminate or suspend licensing rules or stand up new, untested, and unmonitored child care programs; this will compromise the health and safety of children, families, and the community at large. States can, however, give center and home-based child care programs that typically serve young children the ability to serve older children of the emergency responders and other essential personnel who cannot work remotely.

    7. Provide a version of "hazardous duty" pay to select child care programs that are being asked to remain open to serve essential and front-line workers, in which the programs are provided additional funding to cover the increased risks and costs of maintaining services. Providers should be given clear guidance on how to remain safe and practice social distancing and minimal contact while continuing to provide the quality care children and families need.

    8. Provide separate and adequate payments that ensure providers are able to utilize substitutes, provide 24-hour coverage, and get access to supplies and resources needed to keep the environment safe and healthy. Ensure programs are aware of and have access to public funds for paid family and sick leave to cover staff who, following the recommendations of public health personnel, have to take time off to limit the spread of the virus or care for themselves or family members.

    9. Implement a strong outreach and communications plan, utilizing licensing, subsidy, and/or the child care resource and referral systems, to ensure families know about and are aware of their options, with communications provided in all relevant languages.

    10. Include at least two child care providers, who are based in centers and homes, in advisory groups for emergency management agencies in order to provide input on how best to respond to changing circumstances and environments.





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    Michael Coventry
    National Association for the Education of Young Children
    Washington DC
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  • 2.  RE: Child Care is Essential and Needs Emergency Support to Survive

    Posted 23 days ago

    Hi! 

    What can child care providers do to advocate for these ideas to come to fruition? 

    Thanks!
    Martha Petersen
    Licensed in home child care provider in CO 



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    Martha Petersen
    Owner
    Miss Martha's Mini School
    Hghlnds Ranch CO
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  • 3.  RE: Child Care is Essential and Needs Emergency Support to Survive

    Posted 22 days ago
    Martha, one of the things we've been doing is taking this "essential worker designation" and running. Our state's advocacy day for ECE was supposed to be 3/31. We've been active in every live town hall, Facebook q&a, emails and social media comments to legislators, explaining the issues. We can't get toilet paper hand sanitizer (not that our norms state regs even allow us to use it), cleaning supplies, diapers, formula, etc. we've been sharing out the struggles, that we're needing additional staff to handle the transportation from front lobby to classroom to eliminate the unnecessary adults trampling thru the center & classrooms spreading germs. It's been eye opening for some places. We're pretty much throwing it out there that if y'all need us like you say you do, NOW is the time to step up with funding, support, and logistical help.

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    Toni Dickerson

    "Children are not things to be molded, but people to be unfolded." - Jess Lair
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  • 4.  RE: Child Care is Essential and Needs Emergency Support to Survive

    Posted 21 days ago
    Good morning 
    I want to share the updates about the closing of my family childcare. I realized that for whole year we provide
    best of childcare services,  this time we are more important service providers . I cancelled my family childcare 
    closure dates. Informed my R&R  and informed parents that I am open from today 3/18. The child who was 
    coming from infected area the parent told to me that she is keeping her child  quarantine  till next week.
    I think I did the right decision children are here and parents are more than thankful and happy. Few parents are
    calling that if they can bring their school going children, who are at home but I don't know if state of NJ can allow
    to accept the children more than my limit.
    thanks
    Malika Jafri
    Registered childcare provider, NJ









  • 5.  RE: Child Care is Essential and Needs Emergency Support to Survive

    Posted 14 days ago

    Feel free to borrow and send letters to Washington today.

    Jon_Cardinal@schumer.senate.gov (Schumer)
    angelica_annino@gillibrand.senate.gov (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 Murray
    cmurray@bard.edu



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    Carol Murray
    Bard Nursery School
    Red Hook NY
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  • 6.  RE: Child Care is Essential and Needs Emergency Support to Survive

    Posted 23 days ago
    1. Hi Michael Coventr                                     Good morning
      very well said about the closure of childcare and need of childcare at  this crucial time.
      I really appreciate the  suggestions you
      mentioned and you brought a lot of points of interest on behalf of family childcare providers thanks for talking loudly to the Govt.
      But who is listening, Subscidy rates are already
      very low, number of children at a family childcare in NJ are not more than 5, while some other  states have limit of 10 children . providers are raising America's future with the pressure  , Ratings quality of childcare , Inspections and low payments.
    2. If Govt accepts all of your suggestions and family childcare providers are getting all those preferred benefits and as you mentioned implement a strong outreach and communications plan with family childcare providers too are the wonderful ideas and recommendations . Thanks  Malika Jafri Family childcare privider at union NJ


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    MALIKA JAFRI
    Provider
    Mali's family childcare
    Hillside NJ
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  • 7.  RE: Child Care is Essential and Needs Emergency Support to Survive

    Posted 23 days ago

    Thanks Maliki.  This is a statement from NAEYC.  It will be updated as situations change. Here's the link to the version online:
    https://www.naeyc.org/resources/blog/child-care-needs-emergency-support



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    Michael Coventry
    National Association for the Education of Young Children
    Washington DC
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  • 8.  RE: Child Care is Essential and Needs Emergency Support to Survive

    Posted 21 days ago
    Thank you for making all of these valid points.  This is an unprecedented time.  There is a sense of urgency, impending forecasts, and fear.  I feel in me.  I feel it through my personal communications with my fellow providers.
    I am a realist.  This is hard on everyone.  90% of the population
    lives paycheck to paycheck.  Providers are not the 1% upperclass with a year's expenses saved for this type of emergency.
    I know that this will end at some point.  At what expense and at who's expense and livelihood? ....
    I just want to let other providers know that I am feeling what you are feeling and that we are not alone in this.
    Let's count our blessings- we woke up today.   We are alive.  It is a new day.

    Angela H.Bayer-Persico, M.Ed
    Accredited group family provider in NY

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    Angela Bayer-Persico
    Keynote/ author/ consultant/ play guru
    Little Angels Child Development
    Yonkers NY
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  • 9.  RE: Child Care is Essential and Needs Emergency Support to Survive

    Posted 20 days ago
    ​All I can add to that is this - AMEN!

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    Sue Miller
    team leader
    Child Development Center
    Hawarden IA
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  • 10.  RE: Child Care is Essential and Needs Emergency Support to Survive

    Posted 19 days ago

    https://www.doh.wa.gov/Emergencies/NovelCoronavirusOutbreak2020/ChildCare



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    Carol Murray
    Bard Nursery School
    Red Hook NY
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