ERIC Number: ED498822
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2006
Reference Count: N/A
Proceedings of the Rural Early Childhood Forum on Hurricane Recovery and Emergency Preparedness (Mobile, Alabama, December 5, 2005). Rural Early Childhood Report No. 4
Shores, Elizabeth F., Ed.
National Center for Rural Early Childhood Learning Initiatives - Mississippi State University Early Childhood Institute, The Rural Early Childhood Forum on Hurricane Recovery and Emergency Preparedness
When Hurricanes Katrina and Rita struck the Gulf Coast of the United States in August and September 2005, it was arguably the worst calamity to strike the region in history. Less well known than the loss in life or property from these storms are the effects on early care and education. Those who work with or on behalf of young children found in the aftermath of Katrina that assessing the damage and restoring vital early care and education services are difficult in a disaster area. There are two fundamental reasons for this: (1) Those in early care and education are not adequately prepared for natural disasters and other public emergencies; and (2) Emergency preparedness agencies need more information about the essential nature of early care and education during emergencies and in the rebuilding period. With hundreds of early childhood programs closed or operating at reduced capacity, and with thousands of families moving from town to town in the aftermath of the storm, public agency workers faced bewildering questions, including: (1) Where to enroll or transfer displaced young children so that parents could set out in search of work, housing, medical care, or lost relatives; (2) How to support the teaching staff and curriculum offerings of early childhood programs affected by the influx of students who relocated due to the loss of homes and jobs on the Gulf Coast; (3) How to maintain child care subsidies for the poorest working parents in a state with no central database of subsidy recipients or subsidy-participating programs; and (4) How to counsel child and parents suffering extreme psychological trauma in a state with no early childhood mental health system and no way to dispatch mental health interventionists to train front-line caregivers. In trying to ensure that communities are as prepared as possible for future disasters, the Child Care Bureau of the U.S. Administration for Children and Families, the University of South Alabama Small Business Development Center, GRCMA Early Childhood Directions (Mobile, Ala.), the Rural Policy Research Institute of the University of Missouri, and the Terri Lynne Lokoff Child Care Foundation, the National Center for Rural Early Childhood Learning Initiatives sponsored a one-day forum on hurricane recovery and emergency preparedness for early childhood providers, policymakers, and researchers. Presentations include: (1) We Are the Victims of Hurricane Rita (Debby Nabours); (2) The Chevron Child Care Recovery Effort (Amy Brandenstein); (3) At the Austin Convention Center: Referrals on the Fly (Robin Herskowitz); and (4) Mapping the Losses: The Early Childhood Atlas (Christopher Fulcher). Summarized discussions in the area of Trauma and Recovery include: (1) Mental Health Prevention, Screening, and Treatment (Michele Many); (2) Head Start and Child Care and Development Fund Eligibility for Displaced Children (Moniquin Huggins); (3) Rebuilding: Covering the Costs; and (4) Meeting the Standards (Cathy Grace). Under the subject heading of Next Time, discussion facilitated was Early Care and Education Emergency Response (Sherry S. Guarisco). [This document was produced by the National Center for Rural Early Childhood Initiatives, Mississippi State University.]
Descriptors: Natural Disasters, Early Childhood Education, Disadvantaged Youth, Mental Health, Young Children, Public Agencies, Rural Education, Coping, Emergency Programs, Student Needs, Poverty, Employed Parents, School Counseling, Family Counseling, Stress Management, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, Prevention, Screening Tests, Early Intervention, Academic Standards
National Center for Rural Early Childhood Learning Initiatives. Mississippi State University Early Childhood Institute, P.O. Box 6013, Mississippi State, MS 39762. Tel: 662-325-4836; Fax: 662-325-5436; Web site: http://www.ruralec.msstate.edu
Publication Type: Collected Works - Proceedings
Education Level: Early Childhood Education
Sponsor: Department of Education, Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Mississippi State Univ., Mississippi State.
Identifiers - Location: United States