–Teacher Appreciation Week- We began our meeting with a few cute notes and videos from students to their teachers! A reminder to celebrate your teachers through written letters, notes from students, e-gift cards etc. These are the gestures that remind us why we do what we do!
-Executive Orders- In case you have not yet seen Governor Ducey issued these executive orders for the stay at home to remain though the 15th with some additional follow. Click HERE to read the full orders. We discussed that we have not yet heard about Summer Camps and recommendations and/or actions from the public school system on the usual summer camps that are held for children.
-New Mexico Hazard Pay- In the state of New Mexico they are paying child care workers an additional $700 per month for Hazard pay. We discussed advocating for our staff for hazard pay as well.
-Advocacy- We continue to encourage you to advocate for child care through the NAEYC survey and through reaching out to our elected officials through the Child Care Aware website. The louder we are the better! Take a few minutes now.
-Paycheck Protection Program Updates– It seems that more centers are receiving their Small Business Loans. HOORAY! For those that haven’t continue to be persistent in checking in with your bank and applying to other loan companies.
-Things to Think about Before Opening- Ordering supplies, cleaning procedures, what PPE you plan to have your staff use, drop offs and pick ups, sign in book cleanliness, keeping kids in small groups with the same staff members, ratios, plans for if you have a case of COVID-19, child and staff temperature screening, training staff on new protocols, playground sanitizing
-Ratios- We talked about ratios more extensively as we are hearing that centers are filling back up again. On the CDC childcare guidelines webpage it points to the CDC recommendations for groups page which still states 10 or less. To our knowledge the recommendations have not changed.
-Sign In Sheets- We discussed sign in sheets and brainstormed protocols for how to mitigate germ spread. Some included hand sanitizer at the sign in table that must be used before each use, dirty and clean pen buckets, talking to licensing/DES about admin being put on as an approved adult to sign for children (talk to your DHS and DES worker about this.)
-Supplies- Ordering supplies and making sure you have enough is another concern. Emily Rebro from the Pima County Health Department shared this table of vendors that is helpful.
-AZ Toolkit- A reminder that the AZ Toolkit is a great resource and is being offered for free right now contact Eric Bucher at firstname.lastname@example.org with AZAEYC to get access. In particular we talked about how on the site you have access to the national buying power which helps to save you money. Check it out HERE.
-Webinars- A few more good webinars to share:
TREC Webseries. https://www.trecarizona.org/trec-webinar-series
Childcare Aware Webinars https://www.childcareaware.org/coronavirus/coronavirus-webinars/
-Shared Work Program- Another reminder from Risa at the Sandbox that the Shared Work Program has been a great help to their staff as many of them are working part time. This might be a benefit for your staff as well.
–DES Reimbursement- We reached out to DES about if/when the current reimbursements will continue through. We have only heard that this will continue as is for now.
-Pima County Health Daily Updates- I forgot to mention this one but these are great daily briefings about COVID in Pima County only that are only a few minute each.
-COVID-19 Testing Blitz- HERE is more information about testing and getting an anti-body test for COVID here in Arizona.
-DES Webinar- We heard from Michelle Saint Hilarie from CCR&R that DES is working on a COVID-19 training for child care centers. It is supposed to be released in the next few weeks.
-Audible Stories- A good resources for families is Audible Stories. Free content right now with lots of great stories. They also have a story called Coronavirus a book for children. Might be good for children who need to process this out loud.
-Other Shared Ideas for end of Year Encouragement- Drive-Thru/Goodbye Portfolio Share. This has been a fun way for many teachers to connect with students and families and has been life-giving to staff at Northminster Christian School. Zoom Promotion Ceremony with A montage of photos of the kids and dance party. Instead of Parent Teacher Conferences Second Street did Family Zoom Chats. Personal contact whether by phone or by individual zoom meetings seems to be a great way to reach out to students and families.
-Repeating the year?- We discussed families who have expressed they would like to have their child repeat Pre-K or Kinder due to these circumstances. Some ideas were: working with them to honor this choice, support children in not being rushed through childhood, throwing out the notion that anyone is ‘behind’ and that teachers will be dealing with this as a collective in August with all students they received.
-Reviewing of Policies- This is a great time to review your policies and protocols and get down to the most important values of your school. Gather the input of your staff and families as you are doing this through a survey.
-We Are One Program- Nohemy Hite from the Erik Hite Foundation brought up the We are One Program that received CARES Act money an encouraged us to email her if you have or have not received PPP money and help her advocate for the use of this money for child care.
-SAZAEYC- Kelly Ann Larkin from SAZAEYC also reported that they are working on a follow up survey that includes information about if you have received PPP money and other important items. Be on the look out for it.
-Open Dates- The following centers on the call have these planned open dates:
Erik Hite Foundation – OPEN
Northminster Christian School – June 1st
Happy Trails – May 26th
St Marks- August 10th
Catalina Day School- June 1st
Second Street- Summer Open still working on date
Pinnacle Presbyterian Preschool- June 1st
Creation Elementary Program- July 27th and Preschool program August 1st
-We discussed this quote that Mary Bouley shared with us. A great word to help encourage us as we make decisions for the future of our centers.
Thanks for another great and helpful call. See you all next week!