Check out our press release issued at 8 am this morning on this LAST day of Emergency Child Care in Oregon. (imbedded text below)
WHEN: Tuesday June 29th, 2021, 6:30 pm
CONTACT: Child Care Providers Together Local 132 AFSCME firstname.lastname@example.org
WHERE: Online Licensed Family Child Care Provider Celebration Tuesday June 29, 2021, with in-person event to follow – details soon
WHO: Licensed Family Child Care Providers-business owners, staff and members of Oregon AFSCME Child Care Providers Together Local 132 (CCPT L132).
WHAT: Honoring the Service to Our State by Licensed Family Child Care Providers.
Today we stand up to honor and recognize the incredible accomplishments of some of Oregon’s most essential workers – our licensed family child care providers and members of Oregon AFSCME Local 132 Child Care Providers Together. Although they rarely received the public attention and recognition they deserved, our family child care providers served Oregon during some of its most troubled times and under much duress.
In recognition of our licensed family child care providers who stepped up and kept their doors open during the COVID-19 Pandemic, we wish to express our sincerest and most heartfelt gratitude when we say, “Thank you.” Our providers, despite the risks of COVID-19 to themselves and their own families, rose to the challenge of providing essential, critical service to Oregon’s workforce for 16 months straight, never stopping and in most cases expanding what they already offering going above and beyond with little support from the state so that mothers and fathers, parents across Oregon could keep working.
In recognition of the many hardships that our licensed family child care providers faced, the stress, the financial burdens, the hits that came one after the other and just keep coming, we ask Oregon to give providers grace and fund their recovery in measure equal to that which they gave to Oregon during the pandemic. The men and women in Oregon’s licensed family child cares bravely sustained stable programs of early care and education for Oregon’s youngest and most vulnerable.
Our providers answered the call to provide support and in many cases teach in-person our elementary students while their teachers engaged them in distance learning. Our providers supplied supplemental instruction, guidance for self-discipline, encouragement and filled in the gaps for remediation or tutoring and special education supports for students who struggled through a very long year of distance learning. For students who faced nine and a half months of distance learning, seeing their classmates only by video day after day, week after week, until the last few weeks of school, our licensed family child care programs provided the very necessary opportunities for community and socialization these children desperately needed. Years from now, as the research and studies are conducted and reported, the vital role that our providers played during this pandemic for students that were enrolled in our communities of [child] care will no doubt demonstrate that our licensed family child care providers met the very real mental and emotional health needs of young distance learners in ways that distance learning could not.
Our licensed family child care programs were the only opportunity for socialization for tens of thousands of Oregon’s children while the rest of the state was shut down. Our providers and their programs were the only stable and consistent part of these children’s lives outside of their home – and the only real link to normal. The care that our youngest children received in the arms of our providers during the pandemic allowed children to live as much as possible their normal life with as little disruption as possible during a chaotic and traumatic time. Giving this greatest gift to every child they touched during the pandemic in light of their own struggles and stress was truly an epic feat.
In recognition of the providers who were not able to stay open, for the many who were not able to make it through the pandemic, to those who have lost their family child care business, we mourn your loss. We ask that every Oregonian consider the very real impact that each of these losses has made to our communities, to our state and to our lives.
For those who made it through, we support you now in your recovery. Oregon will be quick to applaud its recovery efforts. Oregon will say it quickly recovered. We recognize that providers have suffered heavy losses and many have been traumatized by living through COVID-19 Pandemic/Emergency Child Care. We have heard their stories. We will tell their stories. We will work tirelessly to restore and make whole our licensed family child care providers and will work to that end driving the State of Oregon to engage in that restorative process.
Today, we celebrate our licensed family child care providers. Tomorrow we will continue our fight.