Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and child care providers who have been devastated by the unimaginable impact of Hurricane Harvey. We realize recovery from this storm will take significant time and resources and we are committed to assist the child care programs in the affected areas however possible.
We are partnering with the national organizations Save the Children and Child Care Aware to survey child care programs in our area as well as programs in two regions to the west of us which were hardest hit by Hurricane Harvey. With accurate information on damage sustained by child care centers and family child care homes in the affected areas, we can coordinate with Save the Children and Child Care Aware to allocate any available resources as best as possible.
Through the recovery, Collaborative for Children’s approach will be guided by the principles which have always guided us: go where the children are, create partnerships to maximize impact, and reinforce the resiliency that defines Houston’s families and communities.
We have begun implementation of a three-pronged approach to recovery:
- Assess: Gauge immediate and long-term needs as the first step in a comprehensive response and recovery strategy
- Connect: Alert local agencies to national resources that will help them serve children and families in crisis
- Organize: Establish an internal Emergency Response Team to analyze regional needs, identify priorities, and guide ongoing response activities
Like all of Houston, Hurricane Harvey has impacted the Collaborative for Children staff to varying degrees. Our office will be closed through September 4 as waters recede and staff and city officials work to mitigate damage in the community and in their own homes. To whatever extent possible, our staff will be working from home to continue providing support and services to child care programs in our area.
Our Child Care Resource and Referral staff is working remotely as well to assist families searching for child care. Families also can search for child care providers using our online Find Child Care database. Information in our database was accurate prior to the storm; families should contact individual child care providers to confirm if they are operational. We will begin to receive and integrate this information as it becomes available to us this week.
We are saddened by the devastation of Hurricane Harvey on our city and our communities, but we remain encouraged by the incredible spirit of Texans coming together to support each other in need. As additional information on the status of child care in the area becomes available, we will share it, along with any information we receive on the availability of recovery resources.