The COVID-19 virus has deeply impacted Head Start and Early Head Start programs, enrolled children and families, and their communities. Throughout the pandemic, our team continued and continues to adapt and provide a range of services to better support all the children and families enrolled in our programs across Oakland and the Monument Corridor in Concord. To continue to serve the needs of our children and families, The Unity Council will reopen all of its sites starting on Monday, August 17th, 2020.
Our team is looking forward to the next few weeks and all the activities associated with opening up a new school year. There will be changes – but in our planning this summer, we have worked endlessly to ensure we provide a safe, dynamic, and thoughtful learning environment for all infants and children served by our programs.
Our goal is to ensure all safety measures work, while we continue to create that ultimate wonder and experience for all the children that are in our charge. All of our Head Start and Early Head start sites will adapt every class to meet the safety guidelines established by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Alameda County and Contra Costa Health Departments, and the Office of Head Start.
We will continue to have a model of services of our Head Start/ Early Head Start and Child Development Services for center base experiences, home base, and adding our distance-learning efforts. With a slow and thoughtful ramp-up, we will open our sites with a maximum of up to12 Preschool children per classroom, with two teachers. The remaining children will receive a comprehensive distance learning experience. Our infant and toddler classes will continue to maintain the same teacher/child ratio’s 1:3 for Infants and 1:4 for Toddlers.
In addition, safety measures and protocols such as visual reminders throughout each of our buildings to sanitize and wash our hands, keeping 6’ apart, and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), etc., our efforts are to support a safe and welcoming environment. Our leadership team recognizes that our state of mind and wellbeing is critical to our daily way of life, which is why our program will be offering additional mental health support to all children, families, and staff. We are working that much more diligently to encourage open communication and quickly and directly address employee concerns.
Together we will achieve an outcome of the highest degree for the children and families we serve and a professional environment to support our educators.