If you have kids, grandkids, or nieces and nephews younger than four-years old, then you have some idea how difficult it is for parents to work from home right now. Just think about that once we’re all able to return to normal work. Families will need early childhood care and education (ECE) providers more than ever. Our economy depends on it. But, ECE is in crisis right now. Some are being asked to stay open to provide services for emergency workers’ children. Others have shuttered their doors, like many other small businesses. But, we’ll need ECE providers more than ever once we return to work (we wrote about this last month). You can help alleviate the pain – here are four ways:
1. Provide pro bono services. ECE providers need both legal and business advice and support such as understanding specific legal questions related to real estate and employment. Additionally, providers need accounting, tax, and loan guidance related to federal stimulus and forthcoming state opportunities. Contact Ashley Andersen for details.
2. Support EPIC’s efforts in supplying ECE providers with simple supplies that maintain a clean operating environment. Paper towels, toilet paper, bleach, latex/nitrile gloves, hand soap, disinfecting wipes, and snacks/food for children are all desperately needed. To donate, contact the local ECE Council in your area.
Other Efforts to Provide Support: Mile High United Way volunteer and supply needs for Denver and supply drives in El Paso and Weld counties
3. Share resources from the Emergency Childcare Collaborative with any essential employees looking for childcare. The Collaborative aims to provide important information to the ECE community while collecting and assessing the greater community’s needs. And, share with essential workers that the Collaborative has additional slots available for childcare through May 17.
4. Join a Colorado Succeeds ECE Working Group that will advise the development of a Colorado Succeeds ECE Advisory Committee made up of business leaders, ECE experts, and state policy leaders. This committee will ultimately inform key organizational goals and policy priorities related to ECE. Contact Lance Hostetter for details.