When parents have access to tools and resources that support their child’s development, our children thrive. This is why we created Watch and Help Me Grow. When caregivers can search for quality child care and places for children to play and dance, our children can learn and move. This is why the Collaboration developed the Early Childhood Resource Directory. When physicians and health professionals have access to the latest information to support young children and any necessary early interventions, our communities are healthier. That’s why we built the Developmental Referral and Services Directory.
Sharing resources and promoting the services of the agencies we partner with is an important part of our work, because access to this information is an equity issue. This information should belong to us all. By ensuring that everyone in our community has access to early childhood information, we ensure that everyone has access to the opportunities that follow along with that information. It is also a way to keep our community safe and informed.
In March, 2020 when COVID-19 was declared a health pandemic, the Collaboration established our COVID-19 information page for providers and families.
Thanks to support from the Oak Park River Forest Community Foundation’s Rapid Response and Recovery Fund, the Collaboration is launching a new pilot research program, working with four community early care providers to determine best practices for operating early childhood centers during and after the coronavirus pandemic. This pilot program will include determining the mental and physical health needs of children and early childhood educators, and will produce guidance on how to best handle all health & safety protocols, which will then be distributed to the early childhood community.