Here at the Collaboration for Early Childhood we understand that everything in our society is interconnected. We know that if child care is not accessible or affordable for parents with young children, these parents cannot return to work and our economy suffers. We know that the pandemic stripped stability from many families. The impact of that rippled out in a variety of ways that hurt our society. We are still working to recover from those adverse effects and put mitigations in place to help families get back to “all systems go.”
One way to help us get there is to make sure our youngest population gets vaccinated against COVID-19. We are thrilled that the COVID-19 vaccine is now available for children ages 6 months to five years old and we encourage families to inform themselves about the vaccine for young children and to make an appointment for their children to be vaccinated with their pediatrician or at an upcoming clinic. All children, including children who have already had COVID-19, should get vaccinated. COVID-19 vaccines have undergone—and will continue to undergo—the most intensive safety monitoring in U.S. history. By vaccinating our youngest population we can add one more layer of safety to our community and breathe a little easier when we drop off our kids at preschool or day care. By vaccinating our “littles” we can also cut down on the disruptions caused by school and program closures due to a COVID-19 outbreak, so that parents can focus on their work and not scramble to rearrange their schedule due to yet another week of quarantine. Learn more about COVID-19 vaccines, and sign-up for the next vaccination clinic through the Village of Oak Park Health Department. If you are not an Oak Park resident, find a location to be vaccinated here.
We also know that a person’s control over if and when to have a child leads to healthy adults, healthy children, and healthy families. We are fortunate to do our work in Illinois, a state where the Governor has a goal of making Illinois “the best state in the nation for families raising young children,” and the autonomy to decide when. So while the Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade, we would like to reiterate that in Illinois, women will continue to have access to reproductive health. To see a list of places that you can call to receive services related to your reproductive health in the Oak Park area, click here.