We’ve turned the calendar corner, and 2021 will be busy. HSC’s vision remains the same – providing more pregnant mothers, children aged 0-5 and their families access to Head Start and Early Head Start high-quality school readiness and comprehensive services, and to improving the early childhood education and care system for the most vulnerable children. Making that vision a reality now requires a COVID-19 lens.
Our advocacy work is driven by stories and priorities. You have some impressive stories to tell. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, Head Start teachers, parents and staff members have been resourceful, creative, and patient as the world adapted to the “new normal.” Head Start demonstrated the critical role they play in supporting our children and families on the front line of the state’s COVID-19 response.
As HSC looks ahead to 2021, we are unwavering in our focus to serve our programs, children and families throughout California. We will be guided by policy principles and priorities developed by our HSC Board of Directors in preparation for this rebuilding year.
- Alignment: Balance eligibility, compensation and reimbursement. We must align poverty eligibility guidelines, staffing requirements and wages, and reimbursement rates that will attract qualified staff to the field and allow families in or near poverty to qualify for services.
- Simplicity: Less is more. We must reduce and simplify regulations that remove unnecessary administrative burdens and free agencies to focus on serving children.
- Flexibility: Encourage adaptability and innovation. We must give service providers the flexibility to adapt services and leverage funding to fit the local needs and to innovate in designing new services.
- Equity: Advancing systemic change that recognizes and dismantles differences in educational outcomes as a result of who children are, where they live, and what resources their families have. All children deserve the opportunity to reach their full potential.
Our federal and state priorities:
- Funding for pandemic operations
- Redesigning service delivery for distance learning and technology needs
- Allocation of funding
- The coordination that improves the transition of children from the ECE system to the K12 system
- Trauma-informed supports
- Disaster response
- Equitable internet access
For the complete overview of HSC’s 2021 Policy Principles, please click here We look forward to working with all of your programs to plan our advocacy for this year that lifts up our Head Start programs, parents and children to build back better after this pandemic.