What: Conversation on early child care the education crisis in Orange County. When: Tues., September 29, 2020, at 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Where: Online. Link is https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81915074314.
Early Childhood OC is a community collaborative that was formed to develop Orange County’s Early Childhood Policy Framework in order to ensure that young children reach their developmental potential and are ready to succeed in school and life. The Framework ensures adults are knowledgeable, nurturing, responsive and interact effectively with other adults, children and the family unit and environments that impact children are safe supportive, stable and healthy. Through implementation of the Framework, Orange County will attain economic and social benefits.
Pretend City Children’s Museum is “the world in a nut-shell”, designed for children to learn how the real world works while engaging their curiosities and imaginations. The museum is a child-size interconnected city built to balance rich educational intention with boundless fun, where children can assume various real-world roles and let their creativity rule. Through interactive exhibits and activities facilitated by our trained professional staff, children learn foundational math, reading and science skills while fostering curiosity, creativity, critical thinking, problem-solving, and teamwork. They see how academic concepts have real-life application by learning in our unique, hands-on environment. Located at 29 Hubble Irvine, CA 92618. For more information, call 949-428-3900.
Child360 is a leading nonprofit working toward a future where every child has the educational opportunities they need to succeed in school and life. Our name reflects our 360 degree approach to improve and expand the vital early learning opportunities our young children need, by working alongside educators, families, partner organizations, policy makers and our communities.
On May 28, 2020, Irvine City Councilmember Melissa Fox held a virtual Town Hall Meeting with special guest Dr. Ebony Jade Hilton on “Exposing Inequalities During COVID-19.” Irvine City Council Member Melissa Fox and Dr. Hilton discuss why people of color have a much higher risk of being infected and dying from COVID-19, what the pandemic reveals about the underlying racial and economic disparities in our society, and what we can — and must — do about it.
Dr. Ebony Jade Hilton is Associate Professor of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine at the University of Virginia Medical School, medical director of Goodstock Consulting, and a nationally recognized expert on how institutional racism has led to more severe impacts for communities of color from diseases such as COVID-19.
Dr. Ebony Jade Hilton received her M.D. from the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) in 2008. She remained at MUSC for completion of her Residency in Anesthesia, followed by a Fellowship in Critical Care Medicine. In 2013 Dr. Hilton made history as she was hired as the 1st African American Female anesthesiologist since the hospital’s opening in 1824.
Throughout her tenure at MUSC Dr. Hilton’s passions have centered on exploring the issue of health disparities, particularly as it pertains to race, and bridging the gap between physicians and the communities they serve. Her works have led to her integration in the medical school curriculum, serving as a clinical instructor for fourth year medical students in Intern 101 and has taken her across the globe as a participant in numerous medical mission trips via Project Madaktari at Bugando Medical Center in Mwanza, Tanzania.
Now as a practicing physician at the University of Virginia – Charlottesville, Dr. Hilton has continued advocating for underserved and marginalized populations.
Her efforts have been recognized by the National Medical Association as well as the National Minority Quality Forum as one of the top 40 under 40 Leaders in Health Care award recipients.
She is also the author of the children’s book “We’re Going to be O.K.,” a book about staying safe, healthy, and optimistic during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Watch the full Town Hall on “Exposing Inequalities During COVID-19” here:
As Orange County moves into the next part, Stage 2, of Gov. Newsom’s Resiliency Roadmap, the City of Irvine has prepared a guide for residents and visitors regarding what is now open in Irvine and what is required and recommended to maintain our safety during the on-going COVID-19 pandemic.
✅ In Stage Two, the County of Orange will be allowed to have the following businesses re-open with adaptations:
🥙 In-person dining reservations.
🛍 Retail shopping with social distancing and curbside pickup.
🏢 Offices (when telework not possible).
🏯 Outdoor Museums.
▶️ Limited Services.
🚫 What is NOT allowed in Stage 2 🚫:
– Personal services such as nail salons, tattoo parlors, gyms and fitness studios.
– Indoor museums, kids museums and gallery spaces, zoos and libraries.
– Community centers, including public pools, playgrounds, and picnic areas.
– Limited-capacity religious services and cultural ceremonies.
– Concert venues.
– Live audience sports.
– Theme parks.
– Hotels/lodging for leisure and tourism – non-essential travel.
– Higher Education.
Please be mindful that the pandemic is not over. COVID-19 is still among us. It is still highly contagious and potentially deadly.
Face masks are still required by customers and employees in retail businesses and are strongly recommended for everyone whenever going out in public. Social distancing and hand washing remain our most important lines of defense against the spread of COVID-19.
As we re-enter the social world, we need to take care of ourselves and be careful not to harm others.
ReOpen OC Safely was developed in collaboration with Greater Irvine Chamber of Commerce, North Orange County Chamber of Commerce, Anaheim Chamber of Commerce, Santa Ana Chamber of Commerce, and Visit Anaheim as a resource to prepare to safely reopen for business as the county continues to respond to the COVID-19 crisis.
The State of California has issued “stay at home” emergency orders, but is slowly reopening business segments, subject to restrictions, with modified operations, click here to learn more.
The OCBC guidelines are intended to conform to the restrictions and recommendations of both the State of California and the federal government regarding COVID-19.
Regardless of your industry sector, OCBC recommends that businesses begin planning to reopen, consider guidelines of the Center for Disease Control (CDC), state, county and local guidelines (which may be more restrictive), and plan to ensure the safety and well-being of employees, customers and all those interacting with your business. Note: many draft guidelines will be changed as new information is obtained. Stay engaged. Some general guidelines for developing your plan may include:
Social Distancing : Develop a plan that enables social distancing with current CDC guidance in mind. When possible, practice social distancing by staying at least 6 feet apart from others, particularly for prolonged periods of 10 minutes or more. Develop a plan to manage customer density in queues, restaurants, retail environments or other business facilities.
Cleanliness and Sanitation: Develop a plan that provides enhanced cleaning procedures including establishing frequency, products, and methods on all high touch areas.
Screening and Prevention: Develop a plan that incorporates government/medical recommended screening procedures and preventative measures including personal protective equipment (masks or gloves).
Transactions: Develop and implement a plan to expedite transactions and where possible incorporate technology like online/mobile order pick up or touch-less transactions.
Employee Training and Tools: Develop a plan that includes training for employees regarding procedure and expectation changes related to COVID-19
The OCBC guidelines also include specific guidance for individual sectors of the economy, including manufacturing, healthcare, transportation and logistics, professional and business services, global trade, utilities, construction, hospitality and tourism, retail, child care, communications infrastructure, hotels and lodging, life sciences, real estate, theme parks, convention centers, delivery services, agriculture and livestock, food packaging, public transportation, restaurants, and shopping centers.
The OCBC provides links to a checklist for what to do when an employee tests positive for COVID-19, as well as a link to a survey of California businesses regarding re-opening issues.
There are also links to many helpful resources from state, county, and federal agencies.
I strongly recommend that all businesses (and business patrons) in Orange County become familiar with these guidelines, and that they be followed in order to prevent a spike in COVID-19 infections as Orange County businesses begin to re-open to the public.
Thank you to the Orange County Business Council for developing these extremely helpful guidelines!
I’ve added a new “COVID-19 Community Resources and Information Pageto my blog, with links to up-to-date and reliable resources and information from federal, state, and county sources, as well as the cities and public schools in the 68th Assembly District.
“There is no limit to what we, as women, can accomplish.” — Michelle Obama
I’ll be joining the Women’s March in Orange County this Saturday, January 18, 2020, because I am committed to making Orange County and our nation safer, fairer, and stronger.
Women have long been in the vanguard of positive change in our country, from the abolition of slavery to the modern human rights movement.
Even before women had secured the right to vote, we were at the forefront in calling for social change to protect the most vulnerable members of our society, especially children, the sick, and the elderly.
We’ve had historic victories, but we still have much to do to make the world a better place.
In fact, many of our historic victories are now under serious attack.
This year, we march for equal pay, reproductive rights, gun safety, climate action, workplace safety, childcare, and healthcare for everyone.
We’ve come a long way, but much more needs to be done!
While we’ve had historic victories, we still have much to do to make the world a better and more equal place for women and girls everywhere.
While more women are members of state legislatures than ever before, we still make up only 28.9 percent of all state legislators nationwide. In fact, women make up 50% or more of the state legislature in only one state (Nevada). In California, women make up only 30.8% of the state legislature.
Crucially, studies have shown that the more women who serve in legislatures the stronger family-friendly policies are enacted. Women legislators focus more on passing legislation that lifts women and children out of poverty, ensures fair pay and family-friendly workplaces, and expands quality childcare access. Women legislators are also more likely to strengthen laws that protect the victims of sexual assault.
Sex discrimination and inequity remains serious issues in our workplaces. Lawmakers must work to ensure that women in the workplace get equal pay for equal work, and they must address the racial pay gap between white women and women of color.
So while we celebrate our victories and honor our mothers and sisters whose courage and persistence made these victories possible, we should use this day to recommit to the fight for equality and to make the world a better and more equal place for women and girls everywhere!
This Thursday, I had the honor of participating in an amazing class on tackling controversial topics at Plaza Vista School in Westpark.
The class was Ms. Natalie Elliott’s “Scholars’ Writing Celebration.”
The fifth-grade students were required to present their written opinions on a controversial topic.
To do so, they were first required to research a controversial topic, organize their facts, and write a five paragraph essay with an introduction, three reasons in support of their claims, and a conclusion.
Wow! I was impressed!
The controversial topics chosen by the students included “Is kneeling during the National Anthem disrespectful?,” Are the oceans over-fished?,” “Is heath care a right or a privilege?,” Should museums be free to the public?,” “Should the U.S. amend the 2nd Amendment?,” “Is climate change really happening?,” “Should school uniforms be mandatory?,” “Should professional athletes get paid less?,” “Should the U.S. government spend more on arts or on STEM?,” and “Should Donald Trump have a Twitter account?”
Each of the students orally presented their position paper, then took questions from other students, parents, and me. Every one of the position papers was well argued and ably defended! Every one of the presenters was impressive in their passion and their poise.
Leaving the classroom, I felt extremely positive about the future — knowing that these Irvine young people will soon be running the world!
As we celebrate Labor Day, I want to take the opportunity to recommit to improving the working conditions of Irvine residents by increasing the availability of child care.
Too often, parents in Irvine are forced to choose between going to work and caring for their children.
Nearly 2,500 Irvine families do not have adequate child care, with the most acute shortage for children under 2 years-old and children 6 to 12 years-old.
I have been working with City staff, my Community Services Commissioner Lauren Johnson-Norris, developers, childcare providers, and the business community to increase child care through an overall city child care development plan.
Parents are being advised to apply for child care and get on waiting lists while they are expecting a child and still report waiting several months to a year to secure a spot for their child. Infant care has been identified as the most challenging child care to secure, especially considering the important low provider-to-child ratio mandated by state law.
Some Irvine parents report putting their families on lists and simply never hearing of an opening.
The consequence of the Irvine childcare gap is that families are forced to make unanticipated career and financial decisions. Parents report having to make the sometimes difficult decision to have one parent stay home, even where the families was previously a dual-income family.
Statistically, it is increasingly difficult to return to the workforce the longer a worker is away.
In addition, the result is not only lost income while the child is infancy, but potentially for years to come. For a single parent, the situation is even worse — and may be untenable if family care or care outside the city is unavailable.
A critical part of any thriving community is safe, professional, reliable, and affordable preschool and child care. Preschool has been shown to positively affect children’s social skills and prepare them for the rigors of K-12. Children who miss the opportunity for preschool because of inadequate child care in a community start kindergarten at a disadvantage.
Ultimately, the negative effects of unavailable or inadequate preschool or childcare extend beyond individual children and families to the community as a whole.
It is time to address the shortage of child care for families in Irvine. Increased child care through designated private sites as part of an overall city development plan, access to childcare in houses of worship, and the option of city early childhood education must be part of this plan.
Families in Irvine are looking to the City Council for solutions.
What kind of waiting periods are you facing right now for child care and preschool in Irvine?
What kinds of improvements do you want to see in the availability of child care and preschool in Irvine?