In the pursuit of creating safe and enriching environments for early care and education (ECE) programs amidst the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, NACCHO’s Maternal, Child, and Adolescent Health (MCAH) team is thrilled to announce an improved MCAH – Early Care and Education webpage. This page will serve as a communication hub for local health departments (LHDs) and ECE providers to identify resources, partners, and trainings related to COVID-19 mitigation and increasing vaccine coverage rates for young children.
On the new webpage and resource repository, users will be able to interact with three feature tabs. These tabs house various projects and resources produced by NACCHO and our program partners, Child Care Aware of America (CCAoA) and Penn State Extension’s – Better Kid Care, outlined below.
1. Supporting ECE Programs
The supporting ECE programs page highlights strategies to address vital aspects of COVID-19 mitigation in ECE settings. Current projects include:
- COVID-19 Mitigation Checklist: A Practical Guide for Educators and Caregivers
Tailored for early care and education programs, this resource is a comprehensive guide outlining health and safety protocols and innovative strategies to navigate emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases. This planning tool can be completed online and printed for use within ECE programs and spaces.
- Building Sustainable Partnerships
NACCHO and CCAoA invited LHD staff and child care resource and referral agencies (CCR&Rs) to share how LHD-ECE partnerships evolved, and/or changed at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. As a result of these listening sessions, NACCHO and CCAoA identified three recommendations for LHDs to consider when strategically planning their community-centered initiatives for young children. A full paper and summary brief will be available this winter.
- Food Access and Nutrition Security
As the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated many social determinants of health (SDoH), such as food access, NACCHO worked to understand the complexities LHDs face to provide solutions for families impacted by food insecurity. NACCHO conducted listening sessions and a questionnaire to understand the challenges and successes LHDs and ECE programs faced while addressing food access and nutrition security in young children. An executive summary will be available this winter.
2. COVID-19 Resource Repository
The COVID-19 Resource Repository is an evolving space offering guidance and support to LHDs and ECE programs. The repository houses downloadable guides, factsheets and infographics, recorded webinars, and blog posts from NACCHO, the CDC, our project partners, and other trusted agencies or coalitions.
As we celebrate the redesign of NACCHO’s Early Care and Education webpage, we encourage visitors to explore, engage, and join in on this journey of fostering resilience and adaptability in ECE programs, building a foundation for a brighter future - where every child can thrive and reach their fullest potential.