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Blog | | Early Childhood Policy Council

The Early Childhood Policy Council and Parent and Workforce Advisory Committee Host Final Meetings of 2022

In December, the Early Childhood Policy Council (ECPC) and its committees hosted its final meetings of 2022.

Early Childhood Policy Council 

On December 14, 2023, the full ECPC convened for its last meeting of 2022. The California Department of Social Services (CDSS) Director, Kim Johnson, opened the meeting with welcoming remarks and went over the meeting agenda.

Voices from the Field

Director Johnson then introduced Dean Tagawa, Executive Director, Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), Early Childhood Education Division, and LAUSD preschool teacher Natali Gaxiola to share about their recent experiences for the “Voices from the Field” section of the agenda. Natali Gaxiola underscored the need for more support for educators, including increased wages, as well as resources and professional development. She also emphasized the need for better resources and supplies in the classrooms to support the needs of children. Dean Tagawa shared his perspective as an educator and administrator who also raised children with special needs. He explained that even though he is an educator, he was overwhelmed with navigating the systems and services available to his children. He now makes it his goal to help parents navigate this more easily. At LAUSD, Tagawa has worked to expand preschool collaborative classrooms, which help move children from special education services to reduced services in general education settings. These efforts have led to 82% of children in LAUSD special education Early Learning programs moving to a general education kindergarten.

California Department of Social Services Transition Update

After hearing “Voices from the Field,” Dr. Lupe Jaime-Mileham, Deputy Director, CDSS, Child Care and Development Division provided the Quarterly Transition Update, where she shared an overview of the use of the American Rescue Plan Act pandemic relief funding to support child care and a breakdown of where and how funds were spent, the details of which were gathered in partnership with Parent Voices, Child Care Providers United, the Child Care Law Center, and the Low Income Investment Fund. Dr. Jaime-Mileham stated that since the start of the pandemic, California has dispersed several rounds of ARPA funding (totalling $1.2 billion) to child care providers, including:

  • $205.5 million for a $600 per child stipend 
  • $3.2 million for license incentive payments
  • $177 million for licensing stabilization stipends
  • $320 million for a CDSS stipend, estimated to be $1042

She also shared testimonies from providers about the impact of the pandemic stipends, which highlighted how critical these funds have been in supporting providers during the pandemic and ensuring they could keep their doors open to serve children and families.

Dr. Jaime-Mileham also provided an update on Preschool Development Grant Renewal (PDG-R), sharing that on August 1, 2020, administrative responsibility for PDG-R transitioned from California Health and Human Services Agency (CalHHS) to CDSS. The PDG-R activities have integrated with other CDSS whole-child/whole family programs. PDG-R-funded staff from CalHHS have transitioned to the Child Care and Development Division (CCDD) to continue to manage and administer the grant.

Next, Dr. Jaime-Mileham shared that CDSS is reinstating an annualized Local Planning Council (LPCs) contract in fiscal year 2022-23 with Child Care Development Funds quality funding. This annualized funding will provide LPCs in all 58 counties with funding for one full-time staff person and aid CDSS in meeting one of the policy objectives of the transition: “to leverage data-driven decisions to enhance the allocation of child care resources.”

Lastly, Dr. Jaime-Mileham shared about two recent developments that occurred in October: the Child and Adult Care Food Program Branch (CACFPB) strategic plan was finalized and posted to the CDSS website for reference and the website went live. provides families access to search for available child care options in their area.

Updates from the California Department of Education

At the conclusion of the presentation from Dr. Jaime-Mileham, the meeting transitioned to updates from the California Department of Education (CDE). Sarah Neville-Morgan, Deputy Superintendent of Public Instruction, CDE, Opportunities for All Branch (OFAB), Stephen Propheter, Director of the Early Education Division, OFAB at CDE, and Kate MoheyEldin, Child Development Consultant in CDE’s Universal Pre-Kindergarten (UPK) program jointly presented on the underway within CDE to support a UPK system in California. Together, they shared the vision for UPK in California and how that includes the state’s mixed-delivery system and transitional kindergarten. Propheter then provided an overview of the new UPK Mixed-Delivery Workgroup that was required through Assembly Bill 185. The statute explicitly outlines that the charge of the UPK Mixed Delivery Quality and Access Workgroup is to provide recommendations in two areas:

  • best practices for increasing 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
  • to provide recommendations to update preschool standards related to Education Code Section 8203, which provides standards to support equitable access to high-quality preschool and TK programs through the mixed-delivery model across all appropriate settings and funding sources.

The workgroup is being convened under the Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Act of 1967, allowing the public to listen and provide comment. Until at least July of 2023, the meetings will be held virtually, via Zoom. Agendas will be posted on the CDE website, and the first meeting is scheduled for January 6, 2023. Subsequent meetings will be held on the fourth Thursday of each month.

Mohey Eldin then shared that the fiscal year 2022-23 Budget Act created the California Universal Preschool Planning Grant, or UPK Mixed Delivery Planning Grant, codified in Education Code 8320. The grant’s goal is to expand access universally to high-quality preschool programs, meeting standards in Education Code 8203 and Title 5 quality standards for three and four-year-old children across the state. There will be $18.3 million in fiscal year 2022-23, and if funds are available for the 2023-24 and 2024-25 fiscal years, existing grantees may apply for a renewal grant. The grant funding is an allocation and not competitive for LPCs and R&Rs. The letter of intent was released and due to CDE on December 6, 2022. CDE is in consultation with CDSS as the documents needed for this grant are shared. Grantees are required to coordinate with the County Office of Education and partner with the local education agencies who received funding from the California PreKindergarten Planning and Implementation Grant, to align and coordinate plans for the following activities.

ECPC Budget Priorities Letter to Governor

Robin Layton, ECPC Member, Educational Enrichment Systems and Mary Ignatius, Chair, ECPC Parent Advisory Committee provided an update on the budget priorities recommendations letter that had been drafted based on a survey to members of ECPC. The letter is intended to help inform the Governor’s 2023-24 budget priorities related to Early Learning and Care. Layton and Ignatius thanked the Council for its input and proceeded to provide an overview of the contents of the letter.

The letter thanks the administration for hearing the policy needs expressed by both families and the workforce to survive the pandemic and addresses the administration’s establishment of the Rate and Quality Workgroup to reform the woefully inadequate reimbursement rate structure for the essential child care workforce. The letter acknowledges the harms caused by systemic injustices and racism, and the recommendations in the letter are intended to mitigate those harms.

The Council took a vote and approved the letter with minor changes. The final letter can be found here.

After public comment and ideation of topics for the Council to cover in 2023, the meeting adjourned. 

To review the California Department of Health and Human Services’ full summary of the meeting, click here.

Parent and Workforce Advisory Committees

On December 6, 2022, ECPC had a joint meeting with the Parent and Workforce Advisory Committee. The meeting was opened by the Workforce Committee Chair, Tonia McMillian, and the Parent Committee Chair, Mary Ignatius. Scott Graves, the Director of Research for the California Budget and Policy Center, was a guest speaker at the meeting. He shared that the Legislative Analyst’s Office was predicting a $25 billion deficit in the upcoming fiscal year. Graves detailed that, in the case there is a deficit, that there is a special fund as well as a rainy day fund to continue funding these essential services. After Graves’ presentation, the joint committees presented the draft budget investments recommendation letter that they put together for Governor Newsom, with a goal of influencing his budget priorities related to Early Learning and Care. The letter summarizes the priorities submitted by the members of both Advisory Committees via survey. After reviewing the input and priorities elevated through the survey and receiving a general consensus of support, McMillian and Ignatius concluded the meeting.

To review the California Department of Health and Human Services’ full summary of the meeting, click here. 

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