Child Care COVID Response and Referral Center
Child Care Resources has been identified to serve as the statewide Child Care COVID Response and Referral Center during the pandemic – not only for families, but now for child care providers, employers and school districts as well. We are seeking funding to scale our phone equipment and technology for this purpose, as well as to redeploy staff (from multiple current assignments) to serve within the communication center.
School and business closures:
leave some families, including essential workers, in desperate need of child care they cannot afford;
mean some families already enrolled in child care can no longer afford the costs due to job loss/reduction;
create intense confusion for child care providers who are one of few industries being advised to remain open;
sever connections to vital resources and for some, meals.
Families need a central, accessible source for all questions and needs related to child care, available in their home languages, and incredibly responsive in this time of urgency. Child care providers need a trusted source to advise on how to incorporate social distancing and other risk management elements into their programs, when to close or open their programs, how to keep staff engaged during program closures, how to access response resources, and more.
This unprecedented global pandemic and resulting social measures and mandates are consciously and subconsciously impacting all of us. We see a growing need for behavioral health support within the child care industry, including: supporting parents and providers in caring for children and families dealing with added trauma and hardships, and supporting those working overtime in this field in taking care of themselves and their families.
Through our work helping families find and pay for child care (primarily families who are low-income or experiencing homeless), and with child care providers (more than 1,600 child care programs across two counties), we are a trusted source for those who are finding themselves overwhelmingly and disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. We already have the expertise and call center structure to step into this expanded role, but need to scale the technology and obtain remote, cloud-based accessibility right away. We have researched call center software/hardware options and have identified a vendor who can quickly and effectively scale our system enabling us to respond to the needs of our community.
Funding is needed to cover the cost of the technology and expanded infrastructure of a cloud-based statewide communications/call center, additional staff to respond to callers (including behavioral health expertise/trauma support), increased personnel costs for expanded operating hours, and communications support for a fully remote operating system.