UCSB Early Childhood Care & Education Services

Children's Center Home


Coronavirus (COVID-19) Closure 


Information


 

Updated 6/9/2020

Our centers are currently closed until further notice due to COVID-19.



Waitlist/Enrollment Information

SB County Children’s Resource andReferral program

Mychildcare.ca.gov


RESOURCES

Public Health:

SB County Public Health – COVID-19Information Portal




UCSB Children’s CenterFamily Resources:

COVID-19 Handbook (coming soon)


Activity Ideas:

Storybook Treasures – VideoAdaptations of Classic Stories





UPDATES FROM THE DIRECTOR


Monday, June 8, 2020

Update from Assistant Vice Chancellor

Dear ECCES Community,

Many of you are understandably asking about the reopening of the Children’s Centers. We are very aware of the urgent need for our families.

The ECCES staff has been very active in the planning process. We are working with the campus operations' staff in order to make necessary facility changes to meet changing Public Health guidelines, and new COVID licensing requirements. 
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Director Annette Muse shared the Centers' initial plan with campus leaders last week. The plans, which included measures to meet physical distancing recommendations, were well received. An important piece that remains is COVID testing and screening policies, options, and capacity. This is a new area of operations and requires additional research and policy consultation with local partners which we are working on with urgency. These conversations are underway with relevant parties, and we are preparing to report and share a testing proposal in cooperation with campus leaders in due haste.

Ensuring the health of your children and families, and of staff is critical. We ask for your patience as we continue to work with Public Health professionals and campus leadership on this important task.

We will continue to keep you abreast of where we are in the planning, and implementation process. We expect to have more to report soon.

Best Regards,
Lupe

Lupe Navarro-Garcia, Ed.D.
Assistant Vice Chancellor
Student Academic Support Services
Division of Student Affairs



Monday, June 1, 2020

Hello Families


We have been reviewing the numerous and complex issues that the Centers need to take into account when reopening. We are developing our plan and guidelines based on the best available public health information at this time, international best practices, State and local regulations, and the practical realities of managing the operations of child care centers - while taking into account the needs of the children and families.

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Implementation of the guidance plan will depend on the local public guidance and health conditions, as well as the University - including Chancellor Yang. Discussions within the campus COVID work groups are taking place.

A number of things will look different when the Children's Centers reopen. A few of the pieces that will change in order to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19 include:

*  Group size - 10 children per group (ratios will be kept the same)

*  Drop off in the mornings and pick-ups in the evenings will be assigned times and staggered this will help with distancing. We will utilize 5 different points of entry at OFCC and 2 points of entry at UCC

*  Parents/guardians as well as non-essential visitors will not be allowed into the facilities

*  Daily health screening and temperature checks for all children and all staff before entering the Centers. Families will complete a health screening questionnaire about all members of their household. Health screenings and temperature checks will be done outside of the facility(sidewalk and parking lot areas)

*  All staff will wear face coverings.

*  Strict 'stay home/go home' sick policy for children and staff

*  We will be spending more time outdoors with the children -utilizing separate play yards

*  Increased frequency and intensity of the robust disinfecting of the Centers throughout the day

*  Frequent hand washing for 20 seconds

This is just a start- a partial list - but hopefully, will begin to paint a picture of what the UCSB Early Childhood Care and Education Services - the Children's Centers will look like when we return. Information is based on what we currently know about operating early care and education with COVID-19. We are currently adding more details to our plan and working with various campus departments to review our plan. We want to reopen with the safety and health of our children and staff as our first priority.

I will keep you posted as to the progress of the Chancellor's COVID-19 Work Groups and the Chancellor's decision on a reopening date. I will continue to send you updates as we move forward,

All the best,
Annette


Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Hello all,

As you know, ECCES has established a Reopening Work Group that has been working diligently to research and develop protocols and procedures for the reopening of the Children's Centers. I know that many of you are very ready and eager to have the Children's Centers reopen. We have been working to be ready for that day so that when we are given the green light we can open our doors to welcome everyone with a safe program for our children(and families and teachers).

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Please see this note below, written to all of us, from Assistant Vice Chancellor, Lupe Navarro-Garcia, regarding the process to get us to that point -

UCSB operations are subject to, and actively reviewing guidelines from SB County Department of Public Health. As the campus expands its essential workforce and resumes broader in person operations, we too, can now implement plans that support the needs of this returning work force. The Early Childhood Care and Education Services’ (ECCES) work group, convened to plan for the childcare centers’ reopening, has been active under Annette Muse’s leadership. We expect to meet soon with the campus COVID-19 response group (comprised of the campus’s senior leaders) to review our implementation plan based on Public Health and California Department of Education’s guidance on childcare centers. We will also identify areas where ECCES needs additional campus assistance (i.e. custodial, transportation, public health practices on infection screening, policy support, etc.).

It is our hope to have more definitive news about a reopening soon. We thank you for your continued patience, as we work to ensure safe operations under the new public health guidelines and circumstances that we are all facing.

- Lupe Navarro-Garcia, Ed.D.

Please know that I will continue to keep you informed as we move forward. I know that this has not been an easy time for you- I always appreciate your support as we work together to provide the best for the children.

Friendly reminder  - Please join ECCES teachers on Friday,May 29th at 10:30 for the first-ever Teacher's Wave for our children! Please watch for information in Parent Square for all of our families - both UCC and OFCC families - to join in on this fun event. We will maintain physical distancing as families drive around the OFCC site (for both UCC and OFCC combined  -as OFCC on West Campus has the adequate space for distancing) and allow the children to see their teachers and the teachers can see their children!We miss all of you! Please contact your child's teachers or Sandi if you have any questions.  squinly@ucsb.edu

Thank you for your patience and good thoughts,

Annette



Tuesday, May 12, 2020


Hello all,


I want to give you an update on the Children's Centers and the discussions and plans for reopening. I have pulled together a Work Group that meets at least twice a week to research, discuss, and sort through the regulations and guidance in order to develop a comprehensive plan for the reopening of the Children's Centers. I do not have a date or estimated date as to when we will reopen but I want to be ready, so that when we are given the green light, we will be ready to reopen. 
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In order to comply with all of the new child care regulations and guidelines we are utilizing information from Santa Barbara County Public Health, the CDC, the California Department of Education, and the California Department of Social Services, as well as our UCSB Medical Director. As always,we are also tapping into the wealth of professional knowledge of our staff as early educators. This growing body of knowledge informs and will continue to inform our thinking about reopening and the protocols and practices we need to have in place to do so safely.


Unfortunately, I don't have any date or timeline for you. As Vice Chancellor Margaret Klawunn said in her message to you a couple of weeks ago, Chancellor Yang makes this decision in consultation with the Santa Barbara County Public Health, the Governor, the CDC and as well as medical experts. His decision is dependent on a number of factors including testing, contact tracing, adequate PPE inventory as well as adequate hospital surge capacity and stable hospitalizations and ICU trends.

In the next few weeks, I will be holding a Family Zoom Meeting to paint a picture of what the UCSB Early Childhood Care and Education Services will look like when we return based on what we currently know about operating child care and education amidst COVID-19. I truly understand your frustration in not knowing when we will reopen. I wish I could give you that date or timeline. Please know that you will be the first to know! In the meantime, I will continue to keep you in the loop with what I know and don't know.

Stay safe and hang in there,
All my best,
Annette



Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Dear ECCES Community,

We are receiving many inquiries about resuming childcare at our Early Childhood Care & Education Services (ECCES) facilities at both the West Campus and Student Resource Building sites. We recognize that our entire community is struggling to adjust the abrupt changes and uncertainties caused by this pandemic. 

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The decision to close was made based on recommendations from public and campus health experts and was in line with the directives from Governor Gavin Newsom. Our highest priority is the safety of your children, you, their parents, and our dedicated staff members. 

Understanding how critical it is to have childcare for parents to resume their work, we have been planning, since the closure, for an eventual return to operations by preparing for a range of scenarios. However, the first step will require that the public health directives by the State and County have been met. Even when health experts advise that it is safe to resume some operations, there will still be many factors -- monitoring plan for infection, staffing challenges, new physical distance plans about smaller group size requirements, etc. -- that will take time to address.  Annette Muse, ECCES Director, is leading a work group to assess and analyze changes in licensing requirements and public health guidelines for childcare centers and to develop a process for resuming operations when all factors are in place and it is safe to do so. We will continue to share updates on our planning efforts and we are grateful for your continued engagement and feedback.

All the best,


Margaret Klawunn (she, her, hers)

Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs

Office: (805) 893-3651
Email: mklawunn@ucsb.edu

Lupe Navarro-Garcia, Ed.D.

Assistant Vice Chancellor
She/Her/Hers/Ella

Student Academic Support Services
Division of Student Affairs

Office: (805) 893-4089

 

Annette Suding Muse M.A., Ed.Director
University of California Santa Barbara
Early Childhood Care and Education Services
805.893.3347
annettemuse@ucsb.edu



Thursday, April 16, 2020

Hello all,

I write to you from my home - missing the sounds of children playing in the Children's Center play yards, the teachers stopping by my office with a question, parents waving hello, and coordinators sharing updates with me all day long.

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Now - as most of you are doing - I am doing all of this frommy home. Grateful that my family is well. And very grateful that my sons areyoung adults and not toddlers!


I wanted to share with you what I know and what I don't know.I know we are very eager to hear when the Children's Centers will reopen.Unfortunately, I don't have that answer for us. I can tell you that I am meeting with my colleagues from the other UC campuses twice a week. I am attending meetings with the local school districts and the County Office of Education. I am in meetings with a local consultant working with employers in Santa Barbara County with regards to Emergency Child Care for essential workers. I am attending information meetings and webinars with the Department of Education Early Learning and Care Department. I am attending meetings with our UCSB Student Affairs Vice Chancellor and Assistant Vice Chancellor. I read and listen to Governor Newsom's Executive Orders, our California Department of Education Guidance and Management Bulletins and our State Department of Social Services temporary licensing regulations. I am also meeting with our amazing Children's Centers parents, teachers and support staff.

And yet I don't know when we will re-open. But I want you to know that I am preparing for that moment. I will be forming a Work Group this week to help me think through reopening under several different scenarios. I want to be ready to go with a plan as soon as we are given the directive by Chancellor Yang to re-open the Children's Centers. As we move forward with our Work Group, I promise to share those scenarios and plans with you.

Stay well and be kind to one another.
All the best,
Annette