Special Commission on Early Education and Care

Report
Special Commission on Early
Education and Care
Final Recommendations
January 6, 2013
www.pcghumanservices.com
Agenda
I.
II.
III.
IV.
V.
Legislative Background
Commission Membership
Meeting Schedule and Approach
Final Recommendations
Special Commission Website
2
Legislative Background
Special Commission Mandate established by Section 166 of the Commonwealth of
Massachusetts’s FY14 budget:
Study the cost of administering early education and care services in the
commonwealth and make recommendations to enhance said services. Specifically:
Collect and examine data on need for:
• greater access to affordable, quality early education and care
• timely placement of children in early education and care programs
• funding and programming necessary to enhance early education and care
services
Examine methods for:
• maximizing cost-savings through public-private partnerships to bolster timely
placement of children
• addressing the high cost of child care
• expanding the availability of affordable child care services for families receiving
transitional assistance
• determining initial and continuing eligibility for such services
• Improvements to financing, budgeting, assessing and administering early education
and care based on best practices from other states and jurisdictions
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Commission Membership
Member
Affiliation
Senator Michael Barrett
Senate Chair, Joint Committee on Children, Families, and
Persons with Disabilities
Molly Bench
Designee of Glen Shor, Secretary of Administration and Finance
Senator Sonia Chang-Díaz Senate Chair, Joint Committee on Education
Designee of Mitchell Chester, Commissioner, Department of
Mary Jane Crotty
Elementary and Secondary Education
Representative Marjorie
Member, Massachusetts House of Representatives
Decker
Senator Sal DiDomenico Member, Massachusetts Senate
Bill Eddy
Massachusetts Association of Early Education and Care
Judge Gail Garinger
The Child Advocate
Designee of Senator Richard Ross, Ranking Minority Senate
Edward Goddard, Esq.
Member, Joint Committee on Education
Community Action of the Franklin, Hampshire, and North Quabbin
Clare Higgins
regions
Designee of Olga Roche, Commissioner, Department of Children
Amy Kershaw
and Families
House Chair, Joint Committee on Children, Families, and Persons
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Representative Kay Khan
with Disabilities
Commission Membership
Member
Pam Kuechler
Madeleine Leger
Anne O'Sullivan
Representative Alice
Peisch
Andy Pond
Tim Sullivan
Affiliation
Massachusetts Head Start Association
AFT-MA
Designee of Stacey Monahan, Commissioner, Department of
Transitional Assistance
House Chair, Joint Committee on Education
Justice Resource Institute
Massachusetts Teachers Association
Designee of Mitchell Chester, Commissioner, Department of
Donna Traynham
Elementary and Secondary Education
Representative David
Designee of Representative Kimberly Ferguson, Ranking Minority
Vieira
House Member, Joint Committee on Education
Thomas Weber, Chairman Commissioner, Department of Early Education and Care
Abby Weiss
Manager of the Child and Youth Readiness Cabinet
Consultant to the Commission
Public Consulting Group, Inc. (Nathan Grossman, Tina Chen-Xu, & Hannah Sacchini)
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Meeting Schedule & Approach
•
•
•
•
•
Meeting 1, September 18th: Introduction
Meeting 2, October 2nd: Review Approach
Meeting 3, October 16th: Topic 1 Health & Safety
• Licensing & monitoring
• Background record checks
• Health & safety infrastructure
Meeting 4, November 6th: Topic 2 Financing/Child Care Rates
• EEC financing
• EEC child care rates
• Financing/Child care rates infrastructure
Meeting 5, November 25th: Topic 3 Quality & Workforce
•
•
•
•
•
QRIS
EEC Quality Initiatives
EEC’s workforce initiatives
Meeting 6, December 11th: Review draft recommendations
Meeting 7, December 18th: Review draft report
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Health & Safety
Topic
Description
Licensing &
monitoring
• Licensing ratios are higher than
national recommended standards
• Potential efficiency can be gained
through differential monitoring
• EEC’s child care licensing regulations
are equivalent to Level 1 in the QRIS;
Health & Safety is baseline for
addressing quality
Background
checks
• Background checks of early education
and care providers, including finger
printing and cross checks with sex
offender registry
Health & safety
infrastructure
• New requirements for background
checks require increased staff resources
• Efficiencies can be gained through
improvements to IT infrastructure
Commission Mandate
166. (b) The commission
shall collect and examine
data relative to the need for
greater access to affordable,
quality early education and
care.
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Financing/Child Care Rates
Topic
Description
Commission Mandate
True cost
of care
• Cost gap with EEC rates
• Return on Investment:
quantify benefits to the state
and community due to child
care placements
166. (b) The commission shall collect and
examine data relative to the need for greater
access to affordable, quality early education
and care and the timely placement of children
in early education and care programs… The
commission shall also examine methods for
addressing the high cost of child care and
expanding the availability of affordable child
care services.
Waitlist/
Access
• Waitlist reduction access to
place more children on EEC
vouchers or in slots
• True value of waitlist
reduction funding
• Capacity of CCR&Rs to
assist families with placement
166. (b) The commission shall collect and
examine data relative to the need for greater
access to affordable, quality early education
and care and the timely placement of children
in early education and care programs.
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Financing/Child Care Rates
Topic
Description
Commission Mandate
Access for families
receiving transitional
assistance
• Methods for
expanding the
availability of
affordable child care
services for families
receiving transitional
assistance
166. (b) The commission shall also examine
methods for addressing the high cost of child
care and expanding the availability of
affordable child care services for families
receiving transitional assistance, including
an examination of methods for determining
initial and continuing eligibility for such
services.
Alternative financing
strategies
• Potential
innovative policies
and practices to
finance early
education and care
through alternate
funding streams
166. (c) The commission, in formulating its
recommendations, shall take into account
the best policies and practices related to
financing and administering early education
and care in other states and jurisdictions,
including but not limited to, those relating to
budgeting and assessment strategies.
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Quality & Workforce
Topic
Description
Commission Mandate
Definition of quality
& QRIS
• Early childhood educator
education/training requirements and
relationship with child outcomes
• QRIS quality measures and
relationship with child outcomes
Workforce
• Measure of retention by region or
type of care
• EEC workforce retention strategies
166. (b) The commission
shall collect and examine
data relative to the need for
greater access to affordable,
quality early education and
care.
Funding and programming
necessary to enhance early
ed care and services
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Final Recommendations
•
•
•
•
•
Health and Safety
Access and Quality
Rates and Workforce
Supporting Recommendations
Near-Term Considerations*
*Near-term considerations indicated with a blue asterisks
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Health and Safety Recommendations
#1: The Commonwealth should appropriate resources to meet the state’s high
standard of monitoring licensed programs in order to meet the nationally
recognized recommended program-to-licensor caseload ratios.*
#2: The Commonwealth should appropriate resources to support the EEC
program investigation units in determining if programs subject to licensure or
approval are operating in compliance with the law and rules and regulations
established by the Board of Early Education and Care.*
#3: The Commonwealth should support the Department in the development and
implementation of a system of identifying and more closely monitoring early
education and care programs at risk of being out of compliance with licensing and
regulation standards.*
*near-term consideration
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Health and Safety Recommendations
#4: The Commonwealth should appropriate resources to maintain the
Background Records Checks (BRC) unit of the Department to ensure the
sustainability of the state’s high standards for background records checks.*
#5: The Commonwealth should make statutory changes to allow the sharing of
data between the Sex Offender Registry Board (SORB) and EEC to improve the
efficiency of the background record checks process.
#6: The Commonwealth should support the Department in conducting an
independent feasibility study to increase transparency to parents selecting care by
making licensing records of early education and care programs available to the
public online. The feasibility study should determine a recommended scope of
work, schedule, and financial plan.
*near-term consideration
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Health and Safety Recommendations
#7: The Commonwealth should support the Department in conducting a study to
thoroughly review transportation services funded by the Department. The study
should include an analysis of the Department's transportation rate structure,
transportation rate structures at other state agencies in the Commonwealth, the
true cost of transportation, and national best practices for providing early
education and care transportation.
#8: The Commonwealth should appropriate funding necessary for early education
and care program transportation services.*
*near-term consideration
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Access and Quality Recommendations
#9: The Commonwealth should appropriate resources to open access to early
education and care in the state by reducing the waitlist for Income Eligible early
education and care.*
#10: The Commonwealth should provide adequate resources to EEC and DCF to
manage and provide access to high-quality Supportive early education and care
services for children involved in the child welfare system to support their safety as
well as their cognitive physical, and social/emotional development.*
#11: The Commonwealth should appropriate resources to the Department to
allow continued progress on its programs and initiatives to increase the quality of
early education and care across the state. EEC’s current initiatives take into
consideration the strong relationship between quality and early education and
care rates, as they aim to simultaneously enhance program quality by targeting
both QRIS development and rate structure improvement.*
[*near-term consideration]
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Rates and Workforce Recommendations
#12: The Commonwealth should support funding progress toward the federal
child care provider rate benchmark and appropriate resources necessary for the
Department to conduct in-depth analysis and develop recommendations for a
child care provider rate structure that better reflects the true cost of care.*
#13: The Commonwealth should appropriate resources to the Department to
assess different options for structuring early educators’ compensation and other
incentives to better reflect and support quality initiatives. The Department should
work collaboratively with early education and care programs in the assessment
process and discussions of alternative options.
#14: The Commonwealth should support changes to the Child Care Quality Fund
to allow all early education and care programs access to the grant funding to
improve the quality programs through educator training and development and/or
the purchase of educational materials.
[*near-term consideration]
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Rates and Workforce Recommendations
#15: The Commonwealth should support EEC in the establishment of educational
standards for staff working in Residential programs having unsupervised contact
with children. In FY14, EEC licenses over 400 Residential programs. Residential
programs provide 24-hour care and services to the neediest and most at-risk
children in the Commonwealth. There are 356 licensed group care programs and
68 shelter care programs.
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Supporting Recommendations
#16: The Commonwealth should appropriate resources to allow EEC to develop
methods to efficiently share program information among EEC’s currently disparate
data systems: EEC’s investigations, background record checks, compliance, and
monitoring systems; as well as the Quality Rating Improvement System (QRIS)
and Professional Qualifications Registry (PQR). There should also be a process
for seamless data exchanges with other state agencies’ systems, such as with the
Elementary and Secondary Education’s Educator Licensing and Recruitment
(ELAR) and the Massachusetts Education Personnel ID (MEPID) and with
systems at DCF and DTA to support efficient child care subsidy referral and
management.
#17: The Commonwealth should appropriate resources to allow EEC to develop
applications and compatibilities so that EEC staff can access the Department’s
data systems remotely from mobile devices.
#18: The EEC Advisory Council should comprehensively monitor the progress
implementation of the Special Commission recommendations, and update and
revise if necessary.
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Special Commission Website
•
•
•
http://eeccommission.publicconsultinggroup.com/
Login: EEC, password: brainbuilding
Includes the cover letter and final report, schedule of meetings, agendas and minutes,
research, contacts, and background on the Commission and its mandate
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