Early Learning Symposium 2020-2021, Navigating the New Now: Child Care During Covid-19 Event Summaries
Background on the Early Learning Symposium
The Early Learning Symposium was born out of a collaborative effort that included OUSD, Oakland Literacy Coalition, Oakland Starting Smart and Strong, BANANAS, City of Oakland Head Start/Early Head Start, Alameda County Office of Education, First 5 Alameda County, YMCA of the East Bay, St. Vincent's Day Home, and the New Teacher Center. The inaugural event in 2019 resulted in 350 participants attending. The diversity of participants included teachers, instructional assistants and directors from Head Start and state funded programs, family child care providers, and informal care providers. More detail on the 2019 event here.
Oakland Starting Smart and Strong’s Policy & Advocacy work seeks to undo the systemic racism embedded in the field of early care and education through greater support for this workforce -- which is composed primarily of women of color -- and through making child care more accessible for each and every family. With child care funds from the American Rescue Plan coming soon -- and with the possibility of unprecedented support for early care and education through the American Families Plan -- OSSS is laying the groundwork now to ensure that families and child care professionals most impacted by the pandemic have a seat at the table in reimagining early childhood systems that work for all. Here’s what we’re weighing in on.
At the Oakland Early Learning Symposium workshop held on February 27, direct service staff from community based organizations provided up to date information on how child care providers and preschool teachers can refer families to everything from mental health consultations to free diapers, right in their own neighborhood. One participant commented, “the symposium was great, and a perfect opportunity to learn about resources that are available to families who need support during these challenging times.” Watch the video recording of the workshop.