As summer started in Seattle, the city made several transitions marking a new season. These included COVID-adapted high school and college graduation ceremonies, as well as King County’s transition to Phase 2 of Governor Inslee’s Safe Start recovery plan.
On June 30, another transition happened. The emergency order establishing the City of Seattle’s Emergency Child Care (ECC) program for essential workers expired and families transitioned from ECC to summer care options.
The ECC program, developed in only a few weeks’ time during COVID’s early days, was officially launched on March 27 with an emergency order from Mayor Durkan. The program was funded using repurposed Families, Education, Preschool, and Promise (FEPP) levy dollars with support from the Levy Oversight Committee and approved by City Council. Through ECC, Seattle Preschool Program providers served essential workers in need of child care after schools closed in late March.
Successes of the ECC Program
ECC benefited families and early learning providers alike. For providers, many of whom are women- and minority-owned businesses (WMBEs), participation in ECC allowed them to stay open, albeit under far different operational circumstances. These child care providers showed tremendous flexibility and resilience, and in a short time, they successfully revamped established programs to serve smaller class sizes, allow for social distancing and enhanced sanitation, and in some cases adapt classrooms for school-age children.[Read more…]