Our Head Start & Early Head Start program reopened its centers in February after several weeks of remote learning for Oakland and Concord young children.
“Closing wasn’t easy because many of the families we serve are essential workers,” said Luis Arenas, Director of Children & Family Services. “Taking into consideration the spike in COVID cases and the stay-at-home order in December, going back to a remote learning model was the ideal approach.”
This month’s reopening is the program’s first of two phases, opening at a limited capacity at selected sites. In all, four of seven sites welcomed back more than 70 children, nearly 60 percent of current enrollment. Family Advocates prioritized in-person spots to families with essential workers. Arenas said the recent reopening is a sigh of relief for families who were left without child care since the stay-at-home was reinforced in mid-December.
During December’s shutdown, the second of its kind since March 2020, children resumed to a remote learning model, offering an engaging distance learning experience through interactive online activities. Families still had access to their Family Advocates for a referral to TUC’s services and additional community resources.
Arenas said staff continues to work diligently to ensure appropriate safety measures are in accordance with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Alameda County and Contra Costa Health Departments, and the Office of Head Start. The centers plan to roll out its second phase and last phase, welcoming the remaining children to its centers starting March 1st.