The Office of Child Care (OCC) has released guidance on the $24 billion Child Care Stabilization grants made available through the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act. The purpose of the guidance is to help states quickly distribute the stabilizations funds to protect and support the existing child care market. As the guidance emphasizes, this funding represents an important opportunity for states to stabilize and rebuild a stronger child care system that meets the diverse needs of all children and families, and of the child care workforce.
When matched with children’s interests, summer camps with safe, healthy environments and practices can be fun places for children to learn and grow. Whether they’re day camps or sleepaways, summer camps can support children’s learning and development. Camps can also serve as safe places for children to be while their parents are at work.
April is Child Abuse Prevention Month. In most states, child care providers are mandated reporters and have been trained to recognize signs that a child is experiencing abuse and respond appropriately. However, child care providers can also play a role in preventing child abuse before it begins. Stress and lack of parenting skills can increase the risk for abuse. As child care providers, you are an important part of families’ support systems and can encourage and educate parents. Here are four ways you can support parents and prevent child abuse.
The temperature is rising, and spring is in the air! As we edge slowly out of winter and increasingly spend more time outside our homes, we cannot dismiss the COVID-19 pandemic that continues to hang on. We are more than a year into this pandemic, and our second Spring Break season since the pandemic started is upon us. In 2021, Spring Break feels different than in 2020, when COVID-19 community restrictions first started and fear began to rise. Now, COVID-19 infection rates are going down in many communities and vaccines are becoming available and being distributed, which gives us hope. We seem to be turning the pandemic corner and starting to win the battle against COVID-19. However, we still need to do our best to reduce the risk of increasing the spread.
Families put a lot of trust in child care providers every day. Part of that trust is knowing that children will be safe and cared for in any situation, including during and after an emergency. Child care providers who plan ahead are better-prepared and will know what to do to respond to an emergency and keep the children in their care safe. By planning and preparing in advance, they are also able to recover faster after an emergency.
Each February, we set aside each time to celebrate Black History Month (BHM). The observance of BHM is a sort of antidote to the lack of Black history being embedded in general American history the rest of the year. We must understand that when we leave Black American or any other culture’s contributions out of our history, we miss a chance to learn about the inventions, films, music, freedom fighters and the legacy of strength and inspiration that this county was built upon. We hope that one day we will have strong, robust history lessons that celebrate the diversity of our country, but until we do observances such as BHM are critical.
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