Preparing for, responding to, and recovering from emergency events is essential for Child Care Resource & Referral (CCR&R) agencies.
CCR&Rs are a constant presence in local communities and serve as a great resource for child care providers on the topic of child care emergency preparedness, response, and recovery. While other organizations show up after an event and may leave after short-term recovery, CCR&Rs build local resilience, relationships, and expertise before, during, and long after a disaster occurs.
Low-attention Disasters in Midwest states
Thanks to a long-standing investment from a philanthropic organization over the past several years, Child Care Aware of America has worked with CCR&Rs in a ten-state Midwest area to focus on emergency preparedness, response, and recovery, with a focus on low-attention disasters. Those ten states are Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, and South Dakota. Throughout these states, state and local CCR&Rs provide training and technical assistance, as well as develop resources for providers and families in their service area and work with local, regional, and state partners to enhance preparedness, response, and recovery states within their jurisdictions. There have been three phases of projects in this area.
Phase 1: CCR&Rs as Community Resilience Hubs
In 2016, CCAoA launched a two-year (30 month) training, technical assistance, and funding opportunity with the goal of helping CCR&Rs increase their capacity to serve as resilience hubs in their communities in the event of emergencies or natural disasters.
Through a competitive RFP application process, three organizations were chosen from Kansas, Minnesota, and Oklahoma to lead efforts within their state. The project included a train-the-trainer initiative for CCR&R staff and provided funding to support CCR&Rs in working with both center- and home-based child care providers.
You can read about some of the accomplishments of the project here.
Phase 2: Enhancing Preparedness and Response Capabilities for Early Learning Providers, Families, and Children
In 2019, CCAoA launched a two-year (30 month) project through a competitive RFP application process with CCR&Rs in Iowa, Missouri, Montana, and Oklahoma with the purpose of alleviating the suffering of children during and after disasters.
The project promoted cross-sector collaboration by ensuring first responders, secondary responders, emergency managers, business leaders, and elected officials recognize the needs of children and the child care workforce before, during, and after the disaster. The project promoted strategies to integrate child care needs at all levels and phases of emergencies.
You can read about some of the lessons learned from the project here.
Phase 3: Disaster Ready Child Care Systems
In 2022, CCAoA launched a two-year (30 month) project through a competitive RFP application process with CCR&Rs in Arkansas, Kansas, and Montana to support their work in ensuring child care programs and CCR&Rs are prepared in the event of a disaster or emergency.
The project provides training and technical assistance, building partnerships, and giving CCR&Rs the tools to ensure they are disaster ready themselves.
COVID-19 Quick Response Project
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, CCAoA, with funds from the Center for Disaster Philanthropy, provided relief to CCR&Rs across the country to help them meet the needs in their communities. Eleven CCR&Rs were selected and provided with Quick Response Funds grants.
You can read a blog post about the project here.
CCAoA is continually looking for ways to provide CCR&Rs with opportunities to increase their capacity around child care emergency preparedness, response, and recovery. New opportunities will be shared as they become available.