On April 20, Early Edge’s FFN Workgroup convened for its second meeting. The FFN Workgroup is composed of representatives that work closely with FFNs. Participation has grown tremendously from our initial meeting–from four participants to 14–from geographically diverse parts of California. The meeting agenda was informed by a short survey the Workgroup was asked to complete following the first meeting; it asked participants to rank the Master Plan for Early Learning and Care recommendations related to FFNs in terms of urgency and ease of implementation. The survey responses indicated that FFN wages were the most urgent need with FFN access to training a close second.
With these survey responses in mind, the agenda was developed to focus on improving FFN access to training and improving FFN wages. The majority of the two hour meeting focused on having the Workgroup brainstorm and discuss the following questions using a virtual sticky note activity:
- What sort of trainings do your organizations currently provide to FFNs? How do you outreach and promote that information?
- How could we improve FFN training and access to training within the next year?
- How could we improve access to, and training of, FFNs in the next 3-5+ years?
- How can we work towards improving wages and compensation within the next year?
- How can we work towards improving wages and compensation in the long-term (3-5+ years)?
This activity led to thorough discussion and many great ideas. Many participants shared what their organizations do to provide trainings and what strategies have been particularly effective. The next steps will be to analyze and draft key takeaways from the discussion which will be shared with the FFN Workgroup to ensure that our takeaways align with their intentions. We then plan to share the takeaways with our FFN Advisory Group to hear directly from providers about their reactions to these recommendations and whether they meet their needs.
The next FFN Workgroup is scheduled for May 26th.