Early Edge California convened its Educator Advisory Group in its last virtual meeting of the year on November 9th. This meeting was our most well-attended meeting to date, with 31 educators representing the Bay Area, Fresno, and Los Angeles, and sharing their experiences in their respective settings. The meeting was an opportunity for educators to share their feedback and provide input on a series of timely discussion prompts. The Early Edge team also provided policy and legislative updates with the group.
Updates from Early Edge
The meeting began with the following updates from the Early Edge team:
- Early Edge is planning to resume in-person regional meetings for the Educator Advisory Group in spring 2023.
- The team shared that Early Edge’s two sponsored bills, AB 22 and SB 1047, were signed by Governor Gavin Newsom. Read Early Edge’s press releases on AB 22 and SB 1047 for more information on these bills.
- To support efforts in celebrating diversity and promoting bilingualism, Early Edge is planning to highlight educational and community-based resources/activities and annual events (local, regional, virtual) for Early Learning teachers, child care providers, and families in California about the various cultural/heritage celebrations happening all year long.
- The advisory group received a list of cultural/heritage celebrations put together by Early Edge and was given the opportunity to review and suggest any additional events that they celebrate with their children and families.
- The team also asked for recommendations from the group on resources that they use for any of the listed celebrations.
Elevating Educators’ Needs
The majority of the meeting centered around facilitated group discussions where advisory group members were asked to respond to the following prompts. The following key takeaways emerged from the discussion.
What would help you better support the kids in your care?
- Increased pay for educators.
- A pay worthy of educators.
- Additional support from administrators/district leadership through targeted professional development.
- Training for administrators on developmentally appropriate practices in Transitional Kindergarten (TK).
- Appropriate ratios—both for the workforce and for the children in their care.
- More support from the district in ensuring the staffing ratios are being met.
- Ensure all children have access to and receive age-appropriate care that meets their social, cultural, and developmental needs.
- A monthly mental health specialist that would visit a center. A similar program like QSLA but for families. The same for developmental delay referrals.
- Training for all staff who work at inclusion sites.
- Promote opportunities for educators to actively participate in decision-making and collaborate across the system.
- Providing opportunities for TK teachers to collaborate via zoom or in person in the same region.
- Having a say in decisions on implementation.
- Connecting with the schools as a family child care.
- Partnership with FCC providers and school district (inclusion in UTK)
What is the best way to share and receive information about ECE resources, programs, and services?
- Communication channels/media
- Social media
- Text message
- Information nights for parents
- Information sessions
- Monthly webinar
- Others in the ECE workforce
- Creating Community of Practices that are lead by educational staff in the field
- State departments
The next round of Educator Advisory Group meetings will occur in early 2023. Early Edge always values the insights we receive from our Advisory Group members. We will be considering and incorporating their feedback in our work as we move forward with policy and advocacy efforts in the coming year. Thank you to all who took the time to participate in our meetings!