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Blog | | Early Edge California, California Department of Education (CDE)

Early Edge Joins Final Meeting of the UPK Mixed-Delivery Quality and Access Workgroup

Early Edge’s Carolyne Crolotte, Director of Dual Language Learner Programs, joined the last meeting of the UPK Mixed-Delivery Quality and Access Workgroup meeting on February 2nd, 2024, as a Workgroup member.

Welcome and Previous Session Recap

The meeting began by celebrating and honoring Black History Month. The California Department of Education (CDE) shared that this summer they will host a final installment of the 3-part series on the assets of Black children, families, and professionals focused on cultivating Black leaders. More can be found by accessing their webpage.

The CDE reminded the group about the Workgroup’s statutory charge, which is to:

  • Provide recommendations on best practices for increasing access to high-quality universal preschool programs for three- and four-year-old children offered through a mixed-delivery model that provides equitable learning experiences across a variety of settings.
  • Provide recommendations to update preschool standards pursuant to EC Section 8203 to support equitable access to high-quality preschool and Transitional Kindergarten programs through the mixed-delivery model and across all appropriate settings and funding sources.
  • Ensure that recommendations are in alignment with the work of the Master Plan for Early Learning and Care, without recommending new system changes that create increased state or local costs to offer preschool across the mixed-delivery system.

UPK Mixed Delivery Quality and Access Workgroup Report: Development and
Refinement

In the Workgroup’s January meeting, highlights were shared from the feedback received through the survey released in December, and the Workgroup members selected key recommendations for further discussion. Access the recording of the January 11th meeting to hear the full discussion. 

In the February meeting, Glen Price Group (GPG) shared that several revisions were made to the new version of the report based on feedback received by both Workgroup members and the public:

  • Additional reference to the needs of students who are Deaf, Hard of Hearing, blind, deaf-blind
  • Additional context about the role and alignment of Transitional Kindergarten (TK) in Universal PreKindergarten (UPK)
  • Identification of ongoing changes to the California State Preschool Program (CSPP) Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) Block Grant
  • Recognition that some of the proposed changes to preschool quality standards seem relatively minor, but that these changes are necessary to ensure clarity about the regulator intent
  • Revision to the ratio recommendation so that ratios would only change to 1:10 for four-year-old center-based classrooms if TK ratios are also adjusted, while maintaining a ratio of 1:8 for three-year-old classrooms

In addition, GPG shared that new recommendations were added to the report to address the feedback received, including:

  • Assessing the feasibility of a statutory change to the topics for paid staff professional development days, pursuant to Education Code Section 8251
  • Collaborating with the Tribal Child Care Association of California and Tribal child care programs funded by the federal Child Care and Development Fund to learn from the unique strengths of these programs and to better understand the needs of tribal children
  • Establishing a model of full-day CSPP and develop a management bulletin outlining a part-year model that would include 8-10 hours/day for 185 days/year
  • Identifying and uplifting best practices from California’s community schools on strategies for supporting collaboration between community schools and local preschool programs and local Early Learning and Care infrastructure
  • Developing a toolkit to support community schools to engage in identification and Geographical Information System (GIS) mapping of local preschool programs and local Early Learning and Care infrastructure
  • Continuing to cultivate cross sector collaboration, through the UPK Planning and implementation grant and in partnership with other Early Learning and Care infrastructure and TK-12 partners, to ensure that all guidance and resources related to preschool quality are shared across all Early Learning and TK programs.

Next, GPG provided an overview of the feedback received from the December 2023 UPK Mixed Delivery Quality and Access Workgroup Field Survey, which included 858 responses from CSPP center-based and school-based teachers and administrators, CSPP family child care home providers, and CSPP FCCHEN administrators.

GPG then shared highlights from videos that highlighted both parent and educator perspectives. Carolyne shared public comment that she really noticed a theme from the videos around home language support and dual language programs. Parents and educators expressed a need for diverse teachers that can support home language as well as resources in the home language and anti-bias training. Parents expressed interest in dual language programs where children have the opportunity to develop their home language and English and reap the benefits of multilingualism. Carolyne encouraged including recommendations that focus on prioritizing bilingual program expansion as well as supporting multilingual educators to meet workforce requirements.

Upcoming Public Input Opportunity:

The next and final opportunity for the public to provide feedback on the report will be released February 9, 2024 and be open for a ten-day period through February 19, 2024. We encourage members of the public to provide feedback on this important opportunity!

Final Report:

As a public advisory body, the Workgroup will provide recommendations to the CDE, which will develop and submit the statutorily required report to the appropriate fiscal and policy committees of the Legislature and the Department of Finance in March 2024.

The final report will be posted to the California Educators Together website after it has been submitted to the appropriate fiscal and policy committees of the Legislature and the Department of Finance on March 31, 2024. A public presentation of the final report will occur in April 2024.

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