A new year has begun, yet the impact of the Hurricane Harvey still looms. The storm not only devastated homes, libraries and schools, but also our licensed childcare system of which there are 1,400 providers in the Greater Houston area serving more than 100,000 children. Based on assessments conducted by Collaborative for Children, child care providers acrossGreater Houston suffered significant damage and interrupted services for many families with infants and toddlers. Licensed child care centers are ineligible for FEMA resources, so getting them back up and running can be an incredible challenge.
In the wake of the hurricane, Save the Children, a global nonprofit that helps ensure children are healthy, educated, and protected, acted quickly to provide the city's shelters with the necessary equipment and services to keep children safe. Among other things, Save the Children emergency response teams delivered essential supplies to families including cribs, strollers, changing tables, baby shampoo, diapers and baby-safe portable tubs; set up child-friendly spaces in shelters where kids played and learned while parents managed their family's emergency needs; and provided specially trained staff to help children cope with the emotional trauma as a result of the disaster.
To address long-term recovery, Save the Children is partnering with Collaborative for Children to restore child-care centers, early education programs and children's emotional well-being. Financial and human resources are being invested to rebuild facilities and replace lost furniture, books, toys and educational materials, as well as providing training to early child care teachers and staff and leading social and emotional recovery programs for children and caregivers.
"We do whatever it takes for children - every day and in times of crisis - and helping those children and families most affected by Hurricane Harvey is no different," said Mark Shriver, Save the Children's Senior Vice President of U.S. Programs and Advocacy. "We're honored to partner with My Home Library to ensure children across Houston are able to rebuild their home libraries following the unprecedented storm."
We are excited to join Save the Children and Collaborative for Children to ensure that 1,500 children served across 130 child care centers have their very own home library of books they can enjoy with their families at home and prepare for a bright future. We are grateful for Save the Children's financial commitment and for their partnership in serving our most vulnerable children and their families.