It is encouraging to see that we are gaining in our numbers and in all that we are learning from each other. Here are the summary notes from our call on 4.15.20.
We spoke about this quote from Brene Brown and how listening, genuine connection, and care matter so much right now. We also talked about sticking to what we know. As early childhood professionals we know there are some deep truths about how children learn and connect. There is much research that supports these truths including real interaction over screen time, nurturing and safe relationships and healthy environments. When making decisions for your students remember to go back to what we know.
–New CDC Guidelines- The CDC released new guidelines for childcare centers. Most notable items are three new arrival screening protocols and recommendations to wear an over-large button-down, long sleeved shirt and putting hair up when washing, feeding, or holding very young children. Pima County Health Department and ADHS have not updated policies for wearing Face Masks. HERE is the most up to date information about these recommendations from Emily Rebro from the Pima County Health Department.
–Helpful Information on the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) – HERE is a helpful article from Beach Fleischman about FAQS on the PPP.
-Childcare Aware Webinar- THIS was a helpful webinar from Childcare Aware with up to date information on COVID-19 for childcare centers.
-Resources for Families- HERE is a great article with links for helpful resources for families in need.
-Week of the Young Child- Continue to share how you are celebrating the Week of the Young Child with #WOYC2020 This helps to spread the word about ECE in our community. AZAEYC and SAZAEYC worked hard leaders all over the state made official proclamations for this week and its importance in here in Arizona!
–Advocacy for ECE- There are lots of ways to continue advocacy right now. One is taking the new survey in ENGLISH or SPANISH to help better inform our national advocates of our needs and the effects of COVID-19 on our centers.
–Arizona Enrichment Centers (AEC)- A reminder to apply to become an Arizona Enrichment Center if you are open. You can also point parents who need care to their website. https://arizonaenrichmentcenters.az.gov/ Currently there are 311 approved Enrichment Centers. If you are an approved AEC and your children or staff children are attending you can APPLY for DES subsidies for your children.
-First Things First (FTF) Scholarships- Applications for FTF Scholarships are open for Summer and Fall. Remember to share this with your teachers especially if you may need some work for them to do right now. Kristine Nishimura is our local contact.
-Early Childhood Investigations Webinar- New webinar coming up on June 11 about what it looks like to go back to school? We talked about that for the centers that are closed and what we are going to have to consider. New policies, procedures, adapting CDC recommendations, possible slow build up of enrollment and how that would effect staffing. etc.
-Time to Come In Bear- A new youtube story called Time to Come In Bear to help children understand and talk about the effects COVID-19 is having on them.
-Positive News Article- A positive news article from Kgun9 up in Phoenix area on how essential childcare is.
-Ideas for Staff- Some ideas of what to do with your staff if you are closed: annual reviews, online professional development, organizing spaces, deep cleaning, student portfolios, prepping for summer and 20/21. Continue to encourage, care for, and check in on them regularly.
-EIB Webinar- This was a helpful webinar There is an updated one he did as well that I am working to get the recording of. The take aways I had were that honesty is the loan application is essential and on you not the bank for your approval, be quick to apply, go to your bank first for the loan, if that doesn’t work try another avenue, the difference between furlough and laying off and the implications of both, that it may benefit your employees more to be laid off depending on how much they make (talk to your lawyer/accountant for information specific to your center).
-CARES ACT- We discussed the CARES Act and the PPP and SBL loans. Many have gotten applications in but are awaiting approval or actual funds. A few sites had been approved already. This is very encouraging news!
-Shared Work Program- The Sandbox shared again that the Shared Work Program has been critical to helping them be able to pay their staff. It may be a good thing to look into for your center. The Sandbox is also seeing children start to come back to their center.
-Planning for the Future- We discussed planning for the future and opening. Many sites are looking to open potentially in June, others still making decisions around this.
-Goodbyes- We shared ideas on how to say goodbye to our current students. One is a drive by for the student’s belongings/portfolios with teachers present to give them their items. Another is a class party once we are able to be together again at a park (if opened) or in the classroom but in the evening or weekend hours to allow for working parents to be able to bring their children.
-WIC Updates- Some WIC Updates to share
WIC COVID19 PSA English 60sec https://youtu.be/3Gyql1Oa_-0
WIC COVID19 PSA Spanish 60sec https://youtu.be/CN5wt0eYLLY
-Policy Example- Nohemy Hite from the Erik Hite Foundation has shared her current policies around COVID-19. These may be of great help to you but a note that you will need to adjust for your own center. These include not letting anyone but parents drop off or pick up children, mandatory posters from CDC at the doors, teachers escorting children when they enter to their classrooms.
-Hiring- We discussed the challenge of hiring for the coming school year. Some are moving forward with interviews if they are in need of staff. Zoom might be a great way to do this still. Currently Creation Preschool in Vail is looking for teachers. You can contact Jennifer Hook for any who are interested.
-Protection for Centers- We talked about a concern about if a parent is positive for COVID-19 and what your center plan is for their child. There was lots of conversation but there is not necessarily a clear answer. It was clear that the group as a whole thought asking the family to self-quarantine was the best to protect others. We referred back to the CDC recommendations and PCHD recommendations on if you have someone test positive in your center.
Have a good rest of your week and make sure to take some time to take a break from everything. See you next Wednesday at 2pm. See email for link.