This week, the California Assembly Blue Ribbon Commission on Early Childhood Education (BRC) released its Final Report which calls for significant investments to improve California’s Early Learning system.
Created by Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon during the 2016-17 Budget, the BRC was chaired by Assemblymembers Kevin McCarty and Blanca Rubio and included legislators and early care and education (ECE) community experts and leaders. The BRC’s Final Report is the culmination of two years of public hearings and focus groups across the state which highlighted the voices of parents and child care providers.
The Final Report includes short, medium, and long-term goals, as well as detailed recommendations around each of the following focus areas:
- Family Engagement
- Access to Early Learning programs for Children and Families
- Workforce and Quality
- Coordination and Alignment
- Systems, Infrastructure, Supply and Facilities
- Governance and Administration
We applaud the BRC for including recommendations on how to build a High Quality Early Learning system with the appropriate supports for the Workforce and Dual Language Learners.
Key recommendations in the BRC Report around Early Edge’s priority areas include:
Quality Early Learning
- Expand access to Early Learning opportunities through California’s mixed delivery system for children from birth to age 5, beginning with the most disadvantaged and working towards universal access
- Establish an Early Childhood Policy Council (ECPC), which would include a Workforce Advisory Committee, to advise the Legislature, Governor, and Superintendent of Public Instruction in implementing the BRC recommendations
- Tie reimbursement rates to higher quality standards after the state provides sufficient funding
- Build California’s ECE data infrastructure, including an integrated longitudinal data system starting at birth, a comprehensive workforce data system, and a public online ECE portal
Strengthening the Early Learning Workforce
- Achieve salary parity between Early Learning teachers and TK-3 teachers with comparable education and experience
- Implement a competency-based certification system for incoming and current Early Learning teachers in all settings in order to improve quality and inform practice
- Invest in a range of supports to help Early Learning teachers in all settings access training and education
- Support higher education faculty and administrators to better meet the preparation and professional development needs of Early Learning teachers
The early childhood workforce should be celebrated as the brain builders of our society. We believe that we must respect the experience, commitment, and diversity of our current workforce while increasing compensation and providing pathways to opportunities for career advancement and quality improvement for providers in all settings.
–BRC Final Report (p. 11)
Supporting Dual Language Learners (DLLs)
- Recognize that DLLs enter the education system with linguistic, cultural, and intellectual assets that contribute to the rich diversity of California
- Establish evidence-based instructional approaches for DLLs that promote bilingualism and biliteracy
Ensure a core foundation for the entire workforce to effectively work with dual-language learners including familiarity with best practices for DLL education, and the capability to support culturally responsive practice.
–BRC Final Report (p. 50)
If you’d like to learn more about the recommendations in the BRC Report, Early Edge has prepared a summary which is available here.
We look forward to working collaboratively with the ECE field to implement the BRC’s recommendations and improve California’s Early Learning system for all of our children and their families.