Childcare Center: Tribal Leadership is tasked with making the very tough decision of whether or not to open our child care center. We recognize the dangers around potentially exposing our people and community to covid-19 and recognize the negative impacts the lack of child care has on our community and work force. This is a difficult decision that will undoubtedly frustrate a population of our community, regardless of our decision. However, we are prepared to make one. Before we make a final decision, we would like to hear from you. Email or message me directly and I will read and share all comments with leadership and take all concerns into account. Please ask family for their input and ask them to forward to me. Below are draft procedures to review for the CDC for opening in a safe way. We would like to discuss this at our next Council meeting on September 24.
Education Services During the COVID-19 Closures
What is happening with the Early Head Start (EHS) program?
While the Child Development Center building itself is temporarily closed, the Early Head Start program continues to provide services. Federal guidelines addressing the program have allowed a temporary transition from center-based services to remote services.
- For infants enrolled in Early Head Start, supplies continue to be available to assist families including diapers, wipes, formula, teethers, etc.
- A full day and full week of activities are shared on the Squaxin Island Child Development Center Facebook page. Activity supplies have been and continue to be provided for children and families to follow along at home with a wide range of activities that meet EHS requirements.
- Teachers continue to reach out to each family to maintain regular communication, check on needs, answer questions, etc.
For more information about the Early Head Start program, please call the Squaxin Island Child Development Center at (360) 426-1390.
Is the ECEAP program still going on, too?
Yes. Similar to the Early Head Start program, State guidelines for ECEAP are increasing our flexibility to provide services remotely. Center teachers are uploading lessons to the SICDC Facebook page every day and ECEAP families can visit the SICDC Facebook page for a full day and full week of activities. Activity supplies have been and continue to be provided for children and families to follow along at home with a wide range of child and family activities that meet ECEAP requirements. Teachers continue to reach out to each family to maintain regular communication, check on needs, answer questions, etc.
For more information about the ECEAP program, please call the Squaxin Island Child Development Center at (360) 426-1390.
With “social distancing” limiting so many things, what is the Teen Program doing?
The Teen Advocate, Jaimie Cruz, continues to reach out to teens to explore lots of creative ways to keep teens connected and active. They are working on a virtual book club. They are following up on educational needs. Youth Council is creating videos to share on Facebook to showcase the Squaxin community and offer encouraging messages. They are exploring virtual training opportunities on many topics the teens find interesting and important.
With so many colleges closing their campuses, what happened to the college students?
Many colleges have moved from classroom instruction to online instruction. Students are still able to continue with college studies and their progress during the Spring Quarter toward graduation. It is unpredictable how long the COVID-19 pandemic is going to impact daily life, so while colleges may continue online into summer and fall, the Tribe must still determine what funding support may be available for education awards for summer or fall. That decision will be based upon many evolving circumstances so it is not clear at this time.
What if I don’t want to go to college, but I want to attend a vocational school?
Similar to the question about college above, there are opportunities still available, and there is still limited funding available. That said, there are a number of vocational school opportunities that are temporarily on hold. Many trade schools require in-person, hands-on, learning that is just not happening within the current conditions of the COVID-19 pandemic response. As well, the Tribe must still determine what funding support may be available for education awards to support trade school attendance in summer or fall.
Can I still take a class to improve my chances of getting a job, or advancing at work?
Yes, you can. Please keep in mind, there are a number of classes that have been modified or placed on hold as part of the pandemic response. If you have identified a class that can help you, and would like to find out if that class is eligible for funding support, please email your questions to Mandy Valley at . Mandy can assist with coordinating the required documentation, determining eligibility, and seeking approval of tribal funding. Similar to the questions about college or vocational training, the Tribe must still determine what funding support may be available for education awards to support trade school attendance in summer or fall.