Early Edge’s FFN Workgroup convened on July 20th to review and discuss a draft letter which summarizes the final recommendations to implement elements of the Master Plan for Early Learning and Care related to FFN care. At the May 26 meeting, the FFN Workgroup finalized the recommendations on improving FFN wages and training. These recommendations were then discussed at our FFN Advisory Group, which is made up of both English- and Spanish-speaking FFN providers from across the state. The FFN providers validated the recommendations for both improving wages and access to training and provided additional thoughts on the types of resources and trainings that they are interested in, such as health and safety and nutrition. As a result, the recommendations were finalized as follows.
Recommendations to Improve FFN Access to Training, Professional Development, Continuous Support and Education, and Networking
- Provide funding to support free and accessible trainings, professional development, and continuous support and educational opportunities for FFNs.
- Create a central repository for resources and training opportunities at state and local levels.
- Provide different training ladders that support and recognize the diversity of FFN care.
Recommendations to Improve FFN Wages
- Develop a matrix for FFN compensation that specifies tiered levels of training requirements that, if met by FFN providers, work towards achieving FFN wage parity with Family Child Care providers.
- Develop this matrix with input from FFN providers and organizations that support FFNs to ensure that requirements are centered on caregivers and not facilities.
- Allocate state funds to support FFN compensation based on matrix tiers, with minimum wage as the floor for compensation.
These recommendations were used to draft a letter that will be sent to the Office of the Governor, the California Department of Social Services, and the California Department of Education to help inform and uplift the needs of FFNs in California and influence future state budget priorities. The Workgroup spent time reviewing the draft letter during the meeting to ensure that the recommendations were presented in a way that Workgroup members felt comfortable with. The draft letter is now being revised based on that conversation and will be sent to the Governor and state departments in August.
The next FFN Workgroup will be scheduled for September 2021.