Webinar screenshot of Donna Warner, Dorothy Williams, Dr. Annie Vaughan, Amy O’Leary, Dr. Faye Holder-Niles, Sandra Fenwick, and Samantha Aigner-Treworgy.


How can early childhood programs get sound advice about reopening during the COVID-19 pandemic?

By talking to doctors who know about viruses.

Don’t know any infectious disease specialists?

No problem.

The Department of Early Education and Care (EEC) is already talking to doctors, thanks to a partnership with Boston Children’s Hospital. And EEC is sharing what early childhood providers need to know in a newly released webinar (the password is: 2V=9y215) on the physical and mental health needs of young children.

Sandra Fenwick, CEO of Boston Children’s Hospital, introduces the webinar, which features a panel discussion that’s moderated by Amy O’Leary, director of the Early Education for All Campaign at Strategies for Children.

In the webinar, EEC Commissioner Samantha Aigner-Treworgy also thanks Children’s Hospital for its partnership, and acknowledges the many questions that early childhood providers have, chief among them:

“How can we return to work in a way that safeguards our own health and that of our families — but will really still allow for those valuable interactions and support that we know the children in our care really need?”

The panel speakers who addressed these and other questions are:

• Dr. Annie Vaughan, Associate Hospital Epidemiologist, Infectious Diseases Physician

• Donna Warner, Director of Boston Children’s Childcare Center

• Dorothy (Dottie) Williams, Owner of Dottie’s Family Childcare in Dorchester, and

• Dr. Faye Holder-Niles, Pediatrician, Director, Primary Care Asthma Program, Medical Director of Community Primary Care, Office of Community Health

Children’s Hospital will also be distributing $500,000 in grants to help child care centers and family childcare providers as they reopen their programs. Individual grant awards will range from $5,000 to $10,000. The deadline for the first round of funding is Tuesday, July 21, 2020, by 5 p.m. Applicants will be notified about grant decisions by Tuesday, August 11, 2020.

Please be sure to check out the webinar as well as these additional resources:

early education and care reopening resources, from the Massachusetts Association for Infant Mental Health (MAIMH)

Boston Children’s response to COVID-19, a website with resources for parents, and

Discoveries, a collection of stories and news from Children’s Hospital

The pandemic has forced early childhood programs to deal with many challenges – making it crucial to work with Children’s Hospital and other organizations that protect and nurture children and families.