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| July 2021 |
Montana Learning Center releases its COVID-19 Toolkit for Montana Child Care and Out-of-School Programs
Available at no cost to all Montana child care and out-of-school program providers
Thanks to a grant from the Washington Foundation and the generosity of its supporters, Montana Learning Center at Canyon Ferry Lake, located just outside of Helena, Montana, has created the COVID-19 Toolkit for Montana Child Care and Out-of-School Programs. The Toolkit is an updated and expanded version of the well-received COVID-19 Toolkit for Montana Summer Camps, which the Learning Center created for itself and other Montana nonprofit organizations that offered in-person summer camps last summer. The new Toolkit will be available free of charge to all Montana nonprofit and for-profit child care and out-of-school program providers, regardless of size or setting.
The Toolkit explains current COVID-19 guidance from federal and state government agencies, recently enacted Montana laws related to COVID-19 and COVID-19 recommendations from various nonprofit organizations, predominantly in the child care and out-of-school program fields. It also gives providers tools for use in their programs and to send home to parents, ideas on how to update policies and procedures to promote health and safety, and specific activity alternatives to support learning.
“Not long after we completed our COVID-19 Toolkit for summer camps in 2020, we were encouraged to create a similar Toolkit for child care and out-of-school program providers, since, at that time, the COVID-19 guidance for those providers was very similar to the guidance for summer camps,” explained Ryan Hannahoe, Executive Director of the Learning Center. “However, we knew we couldn’t do that without the help of experts on Montana child care and out-of-school programs. Both the Montana Child Care Resource & Referral Network and the Montana Afterschool Alliance agreed to partner with us on the project.”
“Last year, as we started to develop COVID-19 procedures and policies for the Learning Center, we quickly realized that there’s so much information about the virus everywhere that it can be daunting to find the information nonprofit organizations and for-profit businesses need to adjust their operations appropriately,” Hannahoe went on to say. “The situation is even worse now,” Hannahoe continued, “because we know so much more about COVID-19 now than we did last year and there have been a lot of developments since, such as the availability of vaccines and the existence of more contagious virus variants.”
Meghan Ballenger, Director of the Montana Child Care Resource & Referral Network, explained the benefit of the Toolkit to Montana’s child care and out-of-school program providers: “The Toolkit will save providers hours researching current best practices for virus prevention and mitigation. Providers can refocus that time on caring for and educating children safely. We are thrilled to have this resource become available for the child care providers we serve and the out-of-school program providers served by the Montana Afterschool Alliance.”
Download the Child Care COVID-19 Toolkit
Download a PDF file of the COVID-19 Toolkit for Montana Child Care and Out-of-School Programs, available at no cost to all Montana child care providers.