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Blog | | Early Childhood Policy Council

Early Childhood Policy Council holds 2nd Workforce and Parent Advisory Committee Meetings

Early Childhood Policy Council Workforce Advisory Committee Meeting

Last Wednesday, September 9, 2020, the Early Childhood Policy Council (ECPC) convened its Workforce Advisory Committee for two main agenda items: to appoint two members of the Workforce Advisory Committee to the larger ECPC, and to further discuss and provide input on the Master Plan for Early Learning and Care (MPELC).

Chair of the committee, Tonia McMillian, opened the meeting by recapping the main feedback from the previous meeting, including the need to: recognize the value of the ECE Workforce, improve compensation and access to resources and support, and dismantle racist policies that maintain inequitable status quo.

Each member of the Workforce Advisory Committee was allowed to vote on two members to be appointed to the larger ECPC, and Tonia McMillian and Miren Algorri were selected.

Next, Catherine Goins, Assistant Superintendent of Early Childhood Education for Placer County Office of Education and Senior Policy Advisor for the First 5 Association of California, facilitated a discussion on implicit bias and shared about the model work she and her team have done in Placer County around their Quality Rating and Improvement (QRIS) system. She shared about how they put in systems that did not allow for any suspensions and expulsions in ECE, hired a full-time behavioral specialist, offered Anti-Bias Training to all staff, provided quality incentives for the process and not the outcomes, and kept the focus always on the children.

Ms. Goins shared about how their work in QRIS focused on Family, Friend, and Neighbor (FFN) providers, Family Child Care (FCC), Private and Public Centers. They also involved parents in helping define quality.

Finally, Ms. Goins shared lessons learned, which included: 

  • Cultural competency: This involves recognizing and respecting cultural differences in caregiving practices.
  • Holding classes on site: This allowed for more FFN providers to participate. FFN providers preferred the in-person experience rather than online.
  • Engaging parents: Parents were involved in defining quality, and they emphasized the need for engagement, flexible hours, support for special needs, and cultural competency.
  • Providing incentives for process, not outcomes: This allowed for equitable distribution of funding, meaning that all providers have an equal opportunity to improve, not just those who already have the resources to reach the desired outcomes.

She also shared what did not work:

  • Lack of consensus on what school readiness means
  • Lack on consensus on the definitions of quality
  • Lack of ability to track metrics by race
  • Building on an ECE system that reimburses so little
  • Lack of multiple ways to demonstrate competence and effectiveness
  • Multiple funding streams with lack of flexibility


Early Childhood Policy Council Parent Advisory Committee Meeting

Last Thursday, September 10, 2020, the ECPC convened its Parent Advisory Committee to further discuss and provide input on the MPELC. The appointment of two committee members to the larger ECPC was rescheduled for a future meeting, as the Parent Advisory Committee is waiting on one more appointment before voting can be conducted.

Lupita Alcala from WestEd began the MPELC discussion by summarizing the feedback they received from the field: 

  • An Early Learning and Care (ELC) system must:
    • Address equity and poverty
      • Dismantle systemic racist policies
      • Break the cycle of poverty
    • Reflect a whole child and family approach
    • Support a mixed delivery system
      • Competency based pathways
      • Quality – appropriate and accessible
    • Equitable rate reform
    • Rethink compensation to ensure equity
    • Encourage parents as partners (accommodate nontraditional hours, DLLs)
  • Building systems & support for equity
    • Funding reform
    • Workforce development system
    • Preschool expansion
    • Mixed delivery infant/toddler care
    • Shared services networks
    • Data sharing and coordination

Ms. Alcala then moved to a discussion around the immediate term: the current COVID-19 reality and what to prioritize for the MPELC. She asked the Committee the following questions:

  • What are the learning and developmental barriers for DLLs? Children with special needs? Families experiencing poverty? Historically marginalized groups?
  • Addressing the barriers to learning and development presented by the pandemic:
    • How are families and providers overcoming these barriers today in California?
    • What more could be done to address pandemic barriers in the short-term?
  • Addressing the barriers to learning and development presented by the pandemic:
    • How can we reflect these emerging practices in the MPELC?

Committee member and public comment included:

  • A focus on DLLs, who are being left out of programs (access), language barriers. Need to connect with families and incentivize them to participate. Teachers need resources for doing this.
  • Impacts on socialization and screen time. How will we address the educational impacts of these?
  • The need to support FCC providers.
  • Eliminating parent fees. Waiving attendance requirements. Food insecurity – increasing food stamps/CalFresh.
  • How can we build off of local county efforts during COVID-19 and include in MPELC?
  • How can we engage employers of all sizes to incentivize them to support child care efforts?

Next, Associate Director, Early Learning and Care Division (ELCD), California Department of Education (CDE) Erica Otiono and her team provided a presentation around how they are working to support in-person and distance learning to support children and prevent learning loss, which included their focus to:

  • Ensure all children have a strong Early Learning foundation, regardless of setting.
  • Support whole child and school readiness.
  • Continue to provide training and technical assistance.
  • Provide training on topics such as: what does distance learning look like for 3-4-year-olds?
  • Support children and families who speak a language other than English.
  • Support children with disabilities.


Next steps: The MPELC team will incorporate input received at these two meetings, as well as input from the Legislative Women’s Caucus, the Administration, and Sponsor Agencies.

The next ECPC meeting will be held on September 23, where the Master Plan recommendations will be reviewed.

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