“If this pandemic has taught me anything, it has taught me about heroes and warriors, who, in all adversity, stand up to serve,” Jolene Smith states in a passionate speech to the newly SEEDS-certified childcare providers. As the Chief Executive Officer of First 5 Santa Clara, Smith is honored with congratulating the new cohort of educators who successfully received their SEEDS certification amidst a pandemic. The celebration revered 289 family childcare home providers and 57 childcare home educators. Together, myTeachstone and SEEDS worked to provide 1,197 hours of in-person training, 342 hours of virtual training, and 1,026 hours of coaching. The new group spent weeks understanding and performing the SEEDS professional development framework.
Childcare providers have been at the frontline of this pandemic from the beginning. Not only are they ensuring that children’s immediate needs are met, but providers continue to develop their skills to offer the best care possible to the children and families they serve. “The unsung heroes of the pandemic are people in this group; you are the heroes; you continued to provide a safety net for children and their family.” Smith continues. Childcare providers act with resilience during these stressful times – even when the public eye has forgotten them.
Some centers are seeing a drop in children. So much so that they had to shut their doors permanently. However, other providers are struggling with a different issue – older children. Families have found themselves in need of extra support. Children who would typically spend afternoons at an afterschool program are now heading to childcare centers. Providers have to adapt to the needs of older kids and maintain quality care for the younger children. Those Caretakers who have managed to stay in business are facing new challenges head-on.
Implications from COVID-19 make it difficult for childcare providers to maintain operations as usual. In addition to caring for the children, the providers must introduce stricter safety protocols such as social distancing and increased sanitization. Safety concerns are of the utmost importance, but certain supplies are still hard to obtain, while the cost of providing care has wildly increased since the start of the COVID-19. Necessary cleaning supplies and masks are still difficult to obtain in large cities.
While those at the front lines were praised for their efforts at the beginning of the pandemic, it’s important to remember them now that the pandemic’s initial shock has settled. The same concerns that weighed on us all in March are still prevalent to childcare providers now.
There are easy ways you can support childcare providers in your community.
- Donate crucial items to a childcare center
- Masks (adult and kids)
- Pre-packaged snacks
- Hand sanitizer
- Don’t have time to shop? Donate money for the centers to acquire these items themselves
- Send love and encouragement to essential workers as you did at the beginning of the pandemic.
- Donate to organizations that support child care providers like:
For more information about our SEEDS-CARES programs, follow this link!