Supporting Early Care and Education Programs with COVID-19 Mitigation Strategies

COVID-19 highlighted the need to strengthen the relationships between local health departments (LHDs) and early care and education (ECE) programs to improve local public health partnerships. The Maternal, Child, and Adolescent (MCAH) team’s Pediatric Vaccination portfolio works to establish and sustain collaborative mitigation recommendations for COVID-19 transmission, increase immunization coverage and access, support chronic disease prevention, and other public health goals for young children. Funded through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), NACCHO collaborates with member LHDs and implementation partners, Child Care Aware of America® (CCAoA), and PennState Extension – Better Kid Care (BKC), to increase public health messaging, training, and easily accessible resources to over 50,000 ECE providers and caregivers.

COVID-19 ECE Mitigation Checklist

NACCHO, in partnership with CCAoA and the CDC, developed a COVID-19 mitigation checklist to support ECE programs in providing a healthy and safe environment for providers, children, and families.

View the full COVID-19 ECE Checklist for ECE programs here. To download a section of the checklist, please select from below.

Section 1: Planning and Preparing

Section 2: Screening, Illness, and Communicating Symptoms & Cases

Section 3: Masks, Hygiene, and other Personal Protective Measures

Section 4: Classes/Cohorts and Physical Distancing

Section 5: Cleaning and Disinfecting

Section 6: Immunizations

Section 7: Staff Resilience and Support

Building Sustainable LHD-ECE Partnerships

NACCHO, in partnership with CCAoA, are working to strengthen relationships between local health departments (LHDs) and early care and education (ECE) programs. In the Spring of 2022, NACCHO and CCAoA invited LHD staff and child care resource and referral agencies (CCR&Rs) to share how LHD-ECE partnerships changed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result of these listening sessions, NACCHO and CCAoA identified 3 recommendations for LHDs to engage in relationship building and support of ECE programs and spaces:

  1. Enhance Training and Technical Assistance – Offering workshops and educational resources on relevant topics such as nutrition, infectious disease prevention, safe sleep practices, and child development, will helps ECE program staff gain knowledge and skills to create healthier and safer environments for children.
  2. Facilitate Community Partnerships – LHDs have the unique opportunity to lead collaborative efforts with ECE programs and other community stakeholders to create healthier environments for children. These partnerships help leverage community resources and expertise to benefit children and families.
  3. Strengthen Health Education for Families – LHDs should be a trusted source for health education and resources for communities they serve by elevating consistent messaging through communication campaigns and other communication techniques.

Full Summary Brief coming soon.

Food Access and Nutrition Security

The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated many social determinants of health (SDoH) including food insecurity. NACCHO aims to understand the complexities that LHDs face to provide evidence-based solutions for families impacted by food insecurity in ECE settings. Throughout 2022 and 2023, NACCHO learned from its’ membership network the challenges LHDs and ECE programs face related to food insecurity.

Full Executive Summary coming soon.

For more information, please contact William Rowe ([email protected]).

Title Organization Type Date
COVID-19 Vaccine Overview Child Care Aware of America Fact Sheet Spring 2021
Webinar: Covid-19 Vaccine Information Child Care Aware of America Webinar Spring 2021
COVID-19 Vaccine FAQs Child Care Aware of America Fact Sheet Spring 2021
What's the Latest with COVID-19 and Child Care? Child Care of Aware America Blog Post Winter 2022
COVID-19 Vaccines for Young Children Child Care Aware of America Blog Post Summer 2022
Preventing Respiratory Illnesses in Young Children Child Care Aware of America Blog Post Winter 2022
Incidence and Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 in US Child Care Centers After COVID-19 Vaccines Better Kid Care Article Winter 2023
Supporting the Child Vaccination Decision Process Better Kid Care Video Spring 2022
COVID Vaccines for Children in Early Care and Education- May 4, 2022 Better Kid Care Webinar Spring 2022
Community Strategies for Vaccine Equity for Young Children- March 22,2023 Better Kid Care Webinar Spring 2023
Reducing the Spread of COVID-19 in Early Care and Education/ Child Care Programs: A Mitigation Checklist for Providers and Caregivers NACCHO Checklist Spring 2022
Infection Prevention and Control in Schools NACCHO Webinar Summer 2021
Increasing Vaccine Confidence: A Resource Guide NACCHO Guide Summer 2021
Improving Adolescent Vaccine Coverage- Situation Assessment, Insights, and Tools You Can Use NACCHO Webinar Summer 2021

Child Care Aware of America®

ChildCare Aware of America

Child Care Aware of America® (CCAoA) works with a national network of more than 500 child care resource and referral (CCR&Rs) agencies and other partners to ensure that all families have access to quality, affordable, child care. CCAoA leads projects that increase the quality and availability of child care, conducts research, and advocates for child care policies that positively impact the lives of children and families. CCAoA also provides child care assistance for military families through Fee Assistance and Respite Child Care Programs that have served more than 150,000 families and worked with more than 60,000 child care providers over nearly two decades. With funding from NACCHO, Child Care Aware of America has provided over 150 hours in technical assistance to child care providers through their CCR&R agencies, developed various resources and handouts for providers and families, and convened mental and resiliency experts to better address provider mental health outcomes.

PennState Extension – Better Kid Care

Better Kid Care

Better Kid Care provides evidence-informed professional development to early care and education and youth development professionals to improve the quality of their care and educational practices. Online training is available for child care professionals with more than 300 relevant courses. With funding from NACCHO, Better Kid Care has developed two online training modules, facilitated various webinars, provided technical assistance to ECE providers and caregivers, and disseminated a host of resources for the ECE workforce.

There are no funding opportunities available at this time.

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