The Early Learning Coalition steps in to help expand vaccine access to child care workers in the Belle Glade community.
The Center for Disease Control says 80% of school staff and child care workers have received at least a single dose of a Covid-19 vaccine. Early childhood educators were among the first back to work last April and May and have been working day-in-and-day-out throughout this pandemic.
Teachers and child care workers were among the prioritized groups that gained early eligibility to receive vaccines.
However, the Coalition heard from local child care workers that it has been challenging to schedule and receive the vaccine. Most child care centers start their day at 6:30 am or 7:00 am, which is during the window for many vaccine registration sites and it is difficult to find a substitute to miss time from work.
So, when the Early Learning Coalition of Palm Beach County (ELCPBC) was notified by Palm Beach County government that there would be a mobile “pop-up” vaccination site in Belle Glade with no appointment required, the team jumped into action.
“"When we speak of Child Care Resource & Referral (CCR&R), this is the Family Resource Hotline, and we generally think of the supports we provide to families. The CCR&R offered by the Coalition is for both families and providers. The provider services team maintains great relationships with providers and can quickly respond when sharing information. Special thanks to the team for getting the information out quickly,” – Cornesha Dukes-Chisholm, ELCPBC Vice President of Family Services.
“We knew we needed to connect our child care providers and teachers to a free mobile ‘pop-up’ site as quickly as possible,” said Gina Carello, ELCPBC Director of Provider Services.
The Early Learning Coalition of Palm Beach County swiftly made those necessary connections to get as many child care workers in hard to reach and hard to serve areas as possible vaccinated during this opportunity.
“Sometimes despite the challenges we face as child care providers, we wonder if we chose the wrong field of work, but then we are reminded, we chose the right field…especially when we see that other people appreciate and understand what we do and provide us with the resources and information to protect ourselves such as the Early Learning Coalition,” – David Cruz – New Beginnings Academy – Belle Glade, Florida
The Early Learning Coalition of Palm Beach County oversees a wide range of programs to ensure that all children have access to high-quality early childhood education in their formative preschool years. This fundamental head start will help children be ready for kindergarten and enter elementary school with the solid foundation they need to learn, grow, and develop. Elevating and supporting early childhood educators and Palm Beach County’s child care industry is vital to fulfilling the Early Learning Coalition’s mission. Learn more: www.elcpalmbeach.org