These are unprecedented times and we are all pulling together to do everything possible, both personally and professionally, to limit the spread of COVID-19 while supporting our youngest children and their caregivers. First 5 Santa Cruz County is incredibly grateful to all of our partners, to the health care providers and first responders, to the K-12 and early care and education teachers and staff, to the post office and delivery workers, to the grocery clerks and hardware store employees, and to everyone who is helping maintain essential services for all of us.
At First 5 Santa Cruz County, we are deeply committed to the organizations we work with and the children and families they serve. We have closed our physical office with our United Way partners, but we are all working remotely from home and available via email or phone. We are committed to maintaining critical business operations including processing invoices in a timely manner. We are equally committed to working closely with our contracted partners and exercising maximum flexibility as we navigate the next few months together. In addition, we are working closely with the First 5 Association of California and other state partners to organize and advocate for what our children, families and caregivers need to navigate this incredibly challenging time.
In this newsletter we have highlighted resources for children and families to help support their social and emotional well-being and cognitive development while sheltering in place. We have also included information about the 2020 Census. We strongly encourage everyone living in Santa Cruz County to complete the Census. Now more than ever we need a complete and accurate count of our residents in order to steer federal resources toward our community over the next 10 years.
These are incredibly difficult and challenging times, but I am confident we will emerge from this crisis a stronger and more interconnected community.