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Blog | | Early Edge California

Early Edge Hosts Regional Educator Advisory Group Meetings

Early Edge California convened its Educator Advisory Group in a series of in-person regional meetings beginning in November 2023 through January 2024, with groups representing educators in the Bay Area, Fresno, and Los Angeles. The meetings were an opportunity for educators to share their feedback and provide input on a series of timely discussion prompts. 

Updates from Early Edge 

The meetings began with the Early Edge team sharing relevant updates since the last regional meetings in the spring of 2023. Participants learned an update on Early Edge’s sponsored bill, AB 393, along with the following major policy changes supported by Early Edge:

  • Child Care Providers United (CCPU) agreement: A 2-year contract, which is CCPU’s 2nd collective bargaining agreement, included one-time rate increases with a commitment to a cost-of-care model, $80 million retirement fund for Family Child Care providers—a first in the nation—and ongoing funding for the CCPU Health Care Reimbursement Fund and CCPU Training Fund.
  • Family fees: Ensuring family fees will not be more than 1 percent of a family’s monthly income and charging no family fee for families whose adjusted monthly family income is below 75 percent of the state median family income, starting October 1, 2023.

Connecting Policy with Practice

The majority of the meeting centered around facilitated group discussions where participants were asked to weigh in on Early Edge’s state legislative priorities for 2024. The Advisory Group members also shared their experiences within their respective programs, particularly those who have had recent policy changes, such as California State Preschool Program (CSPP) teachers implementing DLL identification processes as a result of AB 1363. The following takeaways emerged from the various discussions across the meetings:

  • The importance of family engagement. Whether it was a discussion on age-appropriate assessments, the need for infant and toddler support, or the implementation of Early Edge’s sponsored bills, a common theme that educators expressed was the importance of collaborating with parents and families as part of this work. Relatedly, Advisory Group members shared the need for more resources or tools targeting parents to help provide guidance or information, including materials that share the importance of the home language or a flyer that promotes local reading programs.
  • The need to align systems. Educators voiced the need for collaboration between systems to ensure a continuum of care for children that starts from infancy. A participant shared that their school district hosts monthly meetings between TK and preschool teachers and noted the benefits that come from this connection. The collaboration between programs has a positive impact on family engagement as well, as supportive relationships are being cultivated and built upon throughout the child’s learning trajectory.

Meetings concluded with the announcement of a survey that will be distributed across Early Edge’s stakeholder Advisory Groups. This inaugural effort will help identify successes and areas for improvement and will support recruitment efforts to ensure our groups are representative of their communities. 

The next round of Educator Advisory Group regional meetings will occur via Zoom in the spring of 2024. Early Edge always values the insights we receive from our Advisory Group members. We will be seeking their input 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!

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