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Update on California’s Preschool Development Grant Strategic Plan

Update from the State Advisory Council on Early Learning and Care Stakeholder Meeting on California’s Preschool Development Grant Strategic Plan

Early Edge’s Senior Policy Analyst Yasmin Grewal-Kök and Policy Analyst Anna Ioakimedes participated in the latest meeting of the State Advisory Council on Early Learning and Care (SAC) on May 6, 2019. This meeting focused on gathering stakeholder input for the Strategic Plan that will be developed as part of California’s Preschool Development Grant (PDG) work.

Preschool Development Grant (PDG) Strategic Plan

California has been awarded a $10.6M Preschool Development Grant by the federal government to support Early Learning systems building. With funding from this grant, the California Department of Education will conduct a comprehensive Needs Assessment, led by American Institutes for Research (AIR), and develop a 10-Year Strategic Plan to build high-quality Early Learning system, facilitated by WestEd.

The purpose of the Strategic Plan is to improve outcomes for California’s children from birth-5 by increasing access to high-quality Early Learning services and enhancing the mixed-delivery system. It will build off of the recently-released final report of the Blue Ribbon Commission on Early Childhood Education and will focus on four priority areas: Access, Quality, Workforce and Systems. The Plan will be action-oriented and will provide sequenced recommendations to meet the goals of each of these priority areas.

At the meeting, WestEd presented a draft framework for the Strategic Plan and solicited detailed input from meeting participants and State Advisory Council members. Early Edge provided feedback highlighting the importance of supporting the Early Learning Workforce and Dual Language Learners.

Here are the key themes that emerged from the feedback on the Strategic Plan:

  • Higher pay for Early Learning teachers is critical
  • Plan must include strategies for increasing ongoing funding for the Early Learning system
  • All recommendations in the Plan must be viewed through the lens of equity and inclusivity
  • Data systems must be improved and integrated

Next Steps

Over the next two months, WestEd will be holding focused stakeholder groups across the state to gather additional feedback on specific components of the PDG Strategic Plan. The draft Strategic Plan will be presented at the SAC meeting on July 2, 2019. More details about this meeting and an agenda will be posted here.

To stay updated on California’s PDG work, and to provide feedback on the Strategic Plan, please visit https://capdg.wested.org

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