As many of us prepare to celebrate holidays, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to complicate our routines and plans. The pandemic has been stressful and isolating for many and the upcoming holidays may provide a much needed celebration during a challenging year. However, as we plan for the holidays, it may be helpful to consider how we can make our holiday plans as safe as possible in order to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and promote the health and safety of our families, friends and communities.
We know that high-quality early learning environments fuel the success of children and have positive social, economic and health impacts that last into adulthood.
States can strongly influence whether their child care systems are quality-driven or not, especially in the areas of health and safety. That’s because quality can be achieved, in part, through strong state licensing regulations.
Elections matter for child care at all levels of government as public officials have the power to shape the child care system, especially as they respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. State and local officials elected last week will be involved in developing annual budget proposals, while federal policymakers will be considering the need for child care relief nationwide. Our advocacy efforts will be crucial to reaching these policymakers in the coming months. Voters also directly supported child care this election through ballot measures at the state level, like in Colorado, and at the local level in St. Louis, Missouri and Multnomah County in Oregon.
Child Care Aware of America (CCAoA) worked to ensure that child care voters had the resources they needed to ask questions of candidates and show up at the ballot box.
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Without a doubt, families are an essential part of children’s learning and educational journey - starting at birth. “Engaging families as partners early in the educational journey allows parents to establish strong home-school connections that support their children’s achievement long-term “(Start Early, September 25, 2019). So, it is not surprising that “family engagement” is a frequent and important theme of discussions and planning in child care programs.
The winter season brings with it added hazards. Child care providers can take steps to keep children safe from winter hazards such as winter weather and holiday decorations.
Why does outdoor air quality matter?
Child care providers are always thinking about the health and safety of the children in their care. One critical issue to be aware of is the outdoor air quality in your area. Outdoor air quality issues can affect a child care program, including the ability to safely take children outside to play every day.