First 5 Orange County Commissioner pens op-ed in Daily Pilot

First 5 Orange County Commissioner Susan McClintic writes in the Daily Pilot about glaring issues in the child care industry — and how First 5 Orange County is helping spearhead a major study to uncover the severity of the problem locally.

Working with our community partners including the Orange County Business Council, First 5 Orange County will use the findings to chart a strategic course to expand high-quality child care options.

Read more in the Daily Pilot here. 

First 5 OC thanks partners for a successful supply distribution

First 5 Orange County would like to extend its thanks to Rep. Katie Porter for helping with the First 5 Orange County and Children’s Home Society of California supply distribution at Pretend City Children’s Museum.

Together with the Orange County Emergency Child Care Task Force, Early Childhood OC, the Orange County Department of Education, Orange County Child Care and Development Planning Council, and the County of Orange Social Services Agency, we were able to distribute supplies at no cost to more than 250 child care providers.

Congresswoman Katie Porter, left, talks with Kimberly Goll, president/chief executive officer of First 5 Orange County as they hand out free supplies to child care providers at Pretend City Children’s Museum in Irvine.
Photo by Steven Georges/Cornerstone Communications

Workers and volunteers distribute child care supplies, including Congresswoman Katie Porter, center, at the Pretend City Children’s Museum in Irvine.
Photo by Steven Georges/Cornerstone Communications

Congresswoman Katie Porter, left, talks with Kim Goll, president/chief executive officer of First 5 Orange County during First 5 Orange County child care supplies distribution efforts at Pretend City Children’s Museum in Irvine.
Photo by Steven Georges/Cornerstone Communications

Congresswoman Katie Porter helps with the First 5 Orange County child care supplies giveaway bags at Pretend City Children’s Museum in Irvine.
Photo by Steven Georges/Cornerstone Communications

Volunteer Nina Vultaggio caries child care supply bags to child care providers during the First 5 Orange County distribution at Pretend City Children’s Museum.
Photo by Steven Georges/Cornerstone Communications

Pretend City Children’s Museum Director of Education Ana Page takes information from child care providers before they receive their supply bags during a supply distribution.
Photo by Steven Georges/Cornerstone Communications

Pretend City Children’s Museum Development Assistant Monica Rodriguez, left, and Volunteer Helen Du take information from child care providers before they receive their supply bags.
Photo by Steven Georges/Cornerstone Communications

Volunteer Anna Vultaggio caries child care supply bags to child care providers at Pretend City Children’s Museum.
Photo by Steven Georges/Cornerstone Communications

Pretend City Children’s Museum Director of Education Ana Page takes information from child care providers before they receive their supply bags.
Photo by Steven Georges/Cornerstone Communications

Autumn Hagstrom, volunteer from Pretend City Children’s Museum, hands a supplies package to a child care provider.
Photo by Steven Georges/Cornerstone Communications

Volunteers Helen Du, left, and Aditya Khanna talk to Congresswoman Katie Porter at the Pretend City Children’s Museum in Irvine.
Photo by Steven Georges/Cornerstone Communications

Congresswoman Katie Porter helps distribute child care supply bags at Pretend City Children’s Museum in Irvine.
Photo by Steven Georges/Cornerstone Communications

Congresswoman Katie Porter with First 5 Orange County child care supply bags at Pretend City Children’s Museum in Irvine.
Photo by Steven Georges/Cornerstone Communications

First 5 OC, Children’s Home Society distribute supplies to local child care centers

First 5 Orange County and Children’s Home Society recently distributed diapers, crafts, masks, sanitation and cleaning supplies, books and more to local child care providers.

More than 250 child care providers came to collect the 470 bags of free supplies at Pretend City in Irvine on Friday, Aug. 28 and Saturday, Aug. 29, 2020. Congresswoman Katie Porter (D-Irvine) helped hand out the much-needed supplies. 

The Orange County Register covered the distribution as well. Read their story here:

Helping the helpers: Keeping childcare workers and kids safe in a pandemic

 

The Time to Fix Orange County’s Child Care is Now

Child care has increasingly been in the spotlight as the pandemic forced to light massive flaws in the child care system in Orange County and nationwide. First 5 Orange County Children and Families Commissioner Susan McClintic speaks out about our child care system, how it affects families and businesses,  and how First 5 Orange County is working to address this critical need.

By Susan McClintic

Child care has come under intense focus during the COVID-19 pandemic as tens of millions of children across the nation suddenly found themselves on extended breaks from regular child care and parents were thrust into a life-altering dilemma: working from home while simultaneously educating and supporting their young children.

The pandemic closed schools and child care programs, drawing increased attention to an already existing challenge. Even before the pandemic, recent studies (in states including Maryland, Washington, and Louisiana) revealed that businesses in each state lose more than $1 billion in productivity and revenue each year as a result of breakdowns in child care options available to working parents.

Two studies in San Diego earlier this year drew a direct line between economic growth and child care availability. The studies’ follow-up reports stressed the critical importance of all sectors of the community stepping up and playing major roles in supporting working parents by expanding child care options.

The studies also revealed the additional challenges first responders, health care, hospitality, and retail workers face in seeking child care for their children, due to often unpredictable and nonstandard work schedules.

The takeaway is clear: Inadequate child care and the enormous emotional and financial toll it exacts on families has a huge impact on local economies.

Working parents have long been aware of the compromises faced while balancing career and child care challenges. Now, with early care and education settings shuttered, business and philanthropic leaders also recognize that the profound lack of quality child care makes both returning to, and staying in, the workforce difficult – if not impossible – for many working families.

The coronavirus pandemic has brought to light what these studies show, that our existing child care system has been fragile and all too susceptible to economic injury for a long time and cannot survive the additional stressors created by the pandemic without community support.

That’s why First 5 Orange County is currently helping spearhead a major study to uncover the severity of the problem locally. Working with our community partners including the Orange County Business Council, First 5 Orange County will use the findings to chart a strategic course to expand high-quality child care options. Child care is an essential, foundational, necessary step to rebuilding the local economy.

Thankfully, growing numbers of local employers, government leaders, school districts, labor experts, CEOs and community organizations have already begun exploring ways to ease the child care crisis.

One resource to help families currently struggling to find child care is this database of open child care centers created by First 5 OC partner Early Childhood OC.

I hope these collaborative efforts will trigger a silver lining of this tragic pandemic, by a building laser-focused commitment to finally addressing the child care crisis across Orange County and the nation.

Susan McClintic is a First 5 Orange County Commissioner and seasoned early childhood educator who advocates for Orange County’s most vulnerable populations.

First 5 Orange County named in Orange County Register for OC Census work and diaper distributions

First 5 Orange County has been featured in an article in the Orange County Register for our work with the OC Census. Read more at the link.

This past week, First 5 Orange County held diaper giveaways in the predominantly immigrant neighborhoods around the Delhi Community Center in Santa Ana. The group serves the health, education and wellness needs of underserved children, and hopes its continued efforts will encourage families to count children under age 5 for the census.

It’s an age group that often gets left out for as simple a reason as their parents forget to count them or don’t think they are old enough to be counted, said Heather Stratman, the group’s census consultant. The diapers were distributed by community organizations that already work in those neighborhoods, speak the language and have a level of trust with residents, Stratman said.

“The idea is, if we could meet families where they are with these trusted messengers reaching out to them, they are much more inclined to feel that they can fill it (the census form) out,” she said. “With the shorter deadline, it’s pedal to the metal for us. We need to keep this momentum going so we can get the best possible response rate.”

https://www.ocregister.com/2020/08/17/southern-california-groups-scramble-to-get-accurate-census-count-as-deadline-looms/