CocoKids Earns November Education Champion Award

CocoKids Earns November Education Champion Award
Posted on 11/19/2020

Superintendent of Schools Lynn Mackey on Wednesday night has named CocoKids as the Contra Costa County Office of Education (CCCOE) Education Champion for the month of November 2020.

The award was announced at the November 18 Contra Costa County Board of Education meeting. The Education Champion is an award to recognize people and organizations who have been partners that support public education’s mission to educate every child no matter their station or ability. 

 “In order for public education to be successful, we need partners willing to help in this work,” Mackey said. “CocoKids has been one of those partners for decades. The agency has been instrumental in helping provide child care for essential workers since the early days of the pandemic. I am proud to recognize CocoKids and Executive Director John Jones as the first CCCOE Education Champion.” 

CocoKids (formerly the Contra Costa Child Care Council) has championed and advanced quality child care and early education since 1976.  

“Contra Costa County is fortunate to have a partnership of public and nonprofit organizations focused on the needs of young children,” CocoKids Executive Director John Jones said. “As a member of that partnership it is an honor for CocoKids to be recognized as a vital component in the education of children in our community.” 

With offices in Richmond, Concord, and Antioch, CocoKids provides a number of services to improve the lives of thousands of children, families, and early educators. These services include: 

  • Free child-care referrals for all families 

  • Parent education and resources, including links to other community services 

  • Financial assistance to at-risk and low-income working families so disadvantaged children can have access to child care and preschool education 

  • Child safety, health and nutrition education 

  • Provide training and support to help child-care professionals build sustainable businesses and to provide quality, healthy, and age-appropriate care 

  • Public education about the importance of a child’s early years of growth and development, and the need to invest in children for our future 

During the pandemic, CocoKids partnered with CCCOE and other organizations to form the Emergency Child Care Program to provide vital child-care services to hundreds of essential workers. In that role, CocoKids ran centralized enrollment, streamlining the efforts of community-based organizations, home care providers, and child-care centers across the county. CocoKids also led efforts to access supplies though government resources and private donations, and identified available storage for supplies. 

With the help of CocoKids and the other partners, 565 children of essential workers participated in the Emergency Child Care Program and no eligible applicants for emergency child care were turned away.

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