City Recognizes Child Care Workers During Vaccination Events
A DCHS CONNECT FEATURE
February 19, 2021--Child care is critical to the economy and for the growth and development of children, and this is especially noteworthy during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Emergency Child Care Collaborative (ECCC) in conjunction with the Alexandria Health Department (AHD) has designated February 21 and 27 as Child Care Workforce Appreciation days, during which designated appointments are available for child care providers to receive the vaccine.
“During the COVID-19 pandemic, the child care industry has proven to be critical to the fabric of our economy. It’s like that loose thread you finally notice on an expensive sweater,” says DCHS Early Childhood Division Chief Robin Crawley. “Chances are it is the result of a weakness that has been there for a long time. If it is small enough, you can attempt a repair and remove any evidence of the unraveling before it turns into a big problem. If you stress it or ignore it instead of carefully mending it, the whole thing can unravel. This is how invaluable child care providers are to our economy; nothing moves without them. Children develop and learn because of them, and families can work because of them. It is my hope that everyone will see child care providers in this way and examine our policies in support of gender, race and economic equities for these professionals.”
When child care providers--who are essential workers eligible for vaccines under Phase 1b--have received the vaccine, facilities will be even safer environments for families who need the support of their services.
AHD conducted five active outreaches to childcare providers to get them enrolled in vaccination clinics. Making sure child care workers get vaccinations is also a priority for the state. Dr. Danny Avula, who was appointed by Gov. Ralph Northam to head Virginia’s vaccination program, urged local health clinics across the state to set up vaccination events for early childhood educators similar to events set up for other educators, and Virginia First Lady Pamela Northam is planning visits across the state to show appreciation for this group of essential workers.
All of Alexandria’s child care providers should have been contacted to schedule their appointment, and are encouraged to contact their employer if they have not.
Learn more about vaccines and who is eligible at alexandriava.gov/Vaccine or download or view the “Get Vaccinated” flyer, which explains who is currently eligible to receive the vaccine; the flyer is available in Spanish, Amharic, and Arabic.
This article was updated February 22 to include information about AHD outreach to child care providers.