Early Edge California convened its Educator Advisory Group in a virtual meeting on August 2nd. We had great representation across regions, with educators from the Bay Area, Fresno, and Los Angeles sharing their experiences in their respective settings. The meeting was an opportunity for educators to share their feedback and provide input on ensuring investments were being made across the mixed-delivery system. The Early Edge team also provided an overview of the Early Learning supports that were included in the 2022-23 California State Budget, and shared other timely policy and legislative updates with the group.
Updates from Early Edge
The meeting began with a discussion on the key investments included in the California State Budget for 2022-23. Early Edge highlighted critical funding supports that will help children, working families, and educators that included:
- Early Childhood Education Investments
- $100M for provider healthcare, as part of the Child Care Providers Union (CCPU) negotiation.
- A waiver of family fees for child care for fiscal year 2022-23.
- Whole Child Investments
- California is now the first state with universal health care access regardless of immigration status.
- Ninety-five percent of taxpayers will receive tax rebates, with low-income families receiving the most.
Read Early Edge’s press release for a full list of Early Learning investments that were in the 2022-23 State Budget.
The team provided updates on the status of Early Edge’s sponsored bills, and shared information about the recent efforts, led by the Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CTC), towards a P-3 Credential. We encouraged advisory group members to stay informed on this ongoing process and to share their input when opportunities arise.
What can we do to support all educators and to make sure investments are being made across the system?
The majority of the meeting focused on facilitated small group discussions where advisory group members were asked to share their current experiences in educating and caring for our youngest learners, and how Early Edge can help provide overall support to make sure investments are made across the system.
The following takeaways emerged across the group discussions:
- Recognize and highlight the current inequities in the system.
- There is an inequitable access to resources (both for the educators and for the families they support). A provider shared that, for the first time in 30 years, she has seen an increase in children showing up hungry.
- Help spread awareness of the care and resources that Family Child Care programs (FCCs) provide: families/parents are often unaware of community-based services.
- Help create clear channels of communication and promote opportunities to collaborate across the system.
- Ensure that policies and resources are shared with educators.
- Maximize opportunities to collaborate/align with school districts when children transition to K-12.
- Help build capacity for educators to advocate for themselves and for their communities.
- Help ensure those on the ground have access to reliable, up-to-date information and resources.
- Continue to involve and invite FCC providers to key meetings and include them in conversations; ask them for their feedback (make sure there is representation across the state).
The Educator Advisory Group will convene one more time this year in fall 2022. 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 this year. Thank you to all who took the time to participate in our meetings!