President Signs Coronavirus Stimulus Package; will provide $750 million for Head Start
Today, the President signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (H.R. 748) which includes $750 million for Head Start. Head Start CA will provide a more comprehensive analysis next week when details are ready. Funding will include emergency staffing needs, address added operational costs, and provide summer learning opportunities. It also includes $3.5 billion in funding for the Child Care and Development Block Grant program (CCDBG) to support child care programs in maintaining critical operations.
State Legislation Impacting Head Start on Our Radar
The 2020 legislative session is in full swing, and Feb. 21 was the final day for new bills to be introduced in the California State Legislature. Below are summaries of a few early childhood bills on our radar that impact Head Start:
AB 2594 (Aguiar-Curry) This bill would authorize the Superintendent, to the extent consistent with federal law, to waive staffing ratios established under existing state law for center-based programs that meet federal Head Start program performance standards.
Presidents’ Day and George Washington’s Wish
After NHSA’s Winter Leadership Institute, and before my flight back to California on Jan. 31, I took two hours to walk from the hotel to the Washington Monument and back. I’ve visited a few times before, but this time I was intent upon getting a ticket and taking the elevator to the top. It was well worth it. The story of its construction was fascinating and the view from the top was impressive.
When I awoke 17 days later to Presidents’ Day,
Governor’s proposed 2020 budget includes new Early Childhood Development department
California Governor Gavin Newsom unveiled his $222.2 billion state budget on January 10. Among his plans to spend part of a projected $5.6 billion surplus on green technology and homeless aid, Governor Newsom’s plan would also steer more money to Medi-Cal, and boost assistance for homeless people and mental healthcare.
Head Start California is eagerly awaiting the trailer bill language and looking forward to the budget hearings in the coming weeks to learn more about the Governor’s budget proposals.
We Advocate Because They are Worth it
What is an advocate? The Merriam Webster online dictionary offers a few definitions, but the simplest is this: an advocate is ‘one who supports or promotes the interests of a cause or group.’ It seems unfair or perhaps misleading that the definition should be so simple. Because advocacy is not simple. It is complicated and time-consuming. Advocacy is a lot of work.
Here’s the payoff. In our case, it is noble work.
New Appointments to the Early Learning Policy Council
The Head Start community in California is encouraged Gov. Newsom’s November 22nd appointments to the Early Learning Policy Council (ELPC). Join me in congratulating Yvette Sanchez Fuentes and Scott Moore. The Head Start community will be well-represented by these veteran, early childhood professionals.
Yvette Sanchez Fuentes served most recently as director of children, youth, and family services for the Community Action Partnership for San Luis Obispo.
Workforce and Facility Grants Stakeholder Meeting: Nov. 19
Workforce and Facility Grants – State Superintendent of Public Instruction Early Learning and Care Stakeholder Meeting
The next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, November 19, 2019, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in downtown Sacramento. This meeting will be focused on the newly established Infrastructure Grant Program and the Workforce Development Grant.
The meeting venue has reached its capacity. As a result, there will be a virtual Zoom meeting option to attend.
Legislative Wrap-Up: Several Bills Signed by Governor Support Early Childhood Development and Learning
On Sunday, Oct. 13, Governor Newsom signed and vetoed the year’s final batch of legislation. The governor signed several bills that support early childhood development and early childhood providers, and help families. Read on below to learn more!
Early Childhood Development
Earlier this year, the governor allocated $54 million to improve rates of developmental screenings. Building on this investment, the governor signed AB 1004 (McCarty) which will help ensure providers adhere to American Academy of Pediatrics’ guidelines for developmental screening and use validated screening tools.
Federal Judges in New York and California Block Administration’s Public Charge Rule
On October 11, 2019, a federal judge in New York issued a temporary injunction against the Trump administration’s “public charge” rule, preventing the rule from taking effect on October 15.
The public charge rule would make it more difficult for immigrants to get green cards if it looks like they might need public assistance. Titled “Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds,” the rule sparked several legal challenges.
Under the rule, U.S. immigration officials who decide whether an immigrant should be granted a green card would weigh whether the applicant will be self-sufficient.
California’s Head Start team of 80 rallies, raises awareness at the nation’s Capitol
What a great week in our nation’s Capital. In the first official week of autumn, California sent a record number of 80 people to NHSA’s Fall Leadership Institute. There was a buzz of energy with so many states gathered together. The opening keynote by Eric Motley, executive vice president at the Aspen Institute, was inspiring. Workshop general session content was focused on key issues facing our Head Start world, including enrollment, workforce, trauma informed care and immigration.