Date: December 2, 2015
Time: 4:00 pm – 5:10 pm
Facilitator: Jane Haddox Recorder: Jane Haddox
Office of Child Care Presentation. Jane Haddox reported she had
attended the NAEYC National Conference and was able to attend a session
titled "Update from The Office of Child Care on the Child Care and
Development Block Grant." The presenter was Ruth Schumacher. The main
portion of the session was Ms. Schumacher explaining the changes
involved with the upcoming federal mandates, including health and
safety minimums, training and professional development, access to high
quality providers, provider payment, professional pathway, family
engagement, and the timelines for implementation. The other portion of
the session was conversation how different states were struggling in
the child care field. A lady from Mississippi reported their providers
had to rally to keep their subsidy enrollment eligible rate from
dropping significantly. The process did save families from losing their
subsidy so they could continue to work. The presenter said their office
was not allowed to be involved in political happenings but the grass
root efforts within states and to federal representatives does seem to
make a big difference. She also reported it is not clear if the Federal
Government would include additional funding for the upcoming budget
year for child care.
Contacts with Governor's Staff. Jeanette Barker reported she has been
in contact with the Governor's staff about child care issues, mainly
flexibility of PreK days. She asked if the "Gathering of Support"
signatures being collected by WVCCU could be broken down by counties,
as this was a question the representatives had wanted more information
on. Jane Haddox, who is receiving the signatures, said she could do
this. She also said she could send this information out to the list
serve. This might motivate more providers in different counties to
participate so that their county is represented.
“Gathering of Support” Campaign. Jane Haddox reported that we have
2,244 signatures to date. Her center is just currently getting the
signature pages out to the parents. Jeanette Barker questioned the
letter to the child care professionals feeling that not all childcare
centers may have financial issues. Jane stated that any center can
make the presentation to their staff and families in any manner. The
signature page has all of the multiple issues listed that are resulting
in child care centers closing throughout the State. The best benefit
of gathering the signatures is that many citizens are being told
personal stories about the importance and benefits of early education
as the parents obtains the signature. The breakdown of the numbers is
Mountain Heart South (1317) Catholic Charities (365) Mountain Heart
North (239) Choices (159) Link (100) Connect (64). Mountain Heart
North has moved from the least amount up into the third spot. It was
reiterated that providers should continue to send as many signatures as
the can obtain. It was acknowledged that providers are so busy each
day, especially the ones providing direct care for the children.
"Our Children, Our Future" Campaign. Jeanette Barker reported that the
group had met with Secretary Bowling to discuss their top five campaign
issues. She said most of the conversation involved health issues. It
was stated it would be beneficial if child care could at some point
have some representatives to also meet with Secretary Bowling as
funding for the child care line item is through DHHR. The regional
meetings have been completed and "Our Children, Our Future.”
Kids and Family Day. There was discussion about the Kids and Family
Day at the Capital on January 14th. The event will be held from 8:00
am to 4:00 pm. Any person wanting to attend can go to Our Children,
Our Future website for more information. Jeanette Barker reported
she had registered WVCCU to have a table at the event. Jane Haddox
discussed some possible “catchy” ideas of things we could have at the
table. Possibly some way to show the importance of investing into the
quality of the early years due to brain research, such as comparing
wages of early childhood teachers (brain builders) to fast food workers
(sandwich builders), and comparing the weekly cost for child care to
the weekly cost for boarding a dog. Anyone with some other ideas
should email Jane or Jeanette to share. There was also discussion
about the importance of anyone attending to set up short meetings with
their local representative. Jeanette Barker volunteered to complete a
fact sheet that could be given to the representatives.
Other Actions. Jane Haddox ask the best method of determining which
state representatives the officers of WVCCU should meet with to
introduce themselves and the opportunities in early education. It was
mentioned that the contracted lobbyist would have some suggestions.
Jane Haddox and Judy Olsen will work on setting these meetings up.
Judy Olsen reported she that US Congressman Evan Jenkins was in town
and she was able to set up a visit with him at her center.
Representative Jenkins is on the Federal Finance Committee. He was
able to tour the center and talk with Judy about the concerns of
childcare (subsidy and minimum wage) and the importance of investment
due to brain development of the early years. She reported he was very
gracious for the visit and appreciated the invite and information. His
office responded to her with some opportunities in the child care
field. This information is cut and pasted below. Judy was also able to
meet with WV Senator Greg Boso. She explained that all representatives
she speaks with is appreciative of the conversation. They report it is
important for them to be aware of the concerns of the citizens they are
representing. There were discussions on the conference call that these
meetings are opportunities for elected officials to get to meet people
and possibly secure later votes.
Jane Haddox asked if anyone knew a way to determine the number of
centers that have closed. WVVCU members have been told there have been
86 centers close since January 2014, which is alarming. It was
suggested that a member make contact with a legislative representative
to see if they would have the ability to obtain this information.
Jeanette Barker said she would work on this goal. Jane Haddox reported
we have not received the 801 reports as of now. She also has emailed
the child care division to see if there is anything our group can do to
be helpful on the Federal Mandate changes sthat are upcoming in 2014.
Jeanette Barker reported that the plan for the mandate should be on
public comment within a few weeks. The group will watch for this
information so it can be shared with providers and families.
The next conference call will be Wednesday,
January 6, 2015 from 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
The number will be 1-605-475-4700 The code will be 405519
Jeanette Barker, Executive Director
Playmates Preschools and Child Development Centers
WVCCU Conference Call Minutes
Date: October 21, 2015
Time: 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Facilitator: Jane Haddox Recorder: Jane Haddox
"Gathering of Support" Signature Pages. Jane Haddox reported that they have contacted all child care centers within the state and probably have active emails for about 90 percent of them. All of these programs have been emailed information and the signature pages. In-home providers and in-home child care facilities have been mailed information from four of the six regional resource and referrals. The other two resource and referral regions will be mailed within the week. There have been 521 providers mailed so far from these public lists. The total providers that will receive the information will be around 1000 early care professionals. If most participate and ask their families to gather signatures, our campaign could have a massive amount of support. Judy Olsen reported that at her center she has offered the incentive of one free day of child care to the parent who gathers the most signatures. She also is offering one day off with pay for the staff member who gets the most signatures. It was discussed that incentives or goals would be very helpful to generate more participation. Jane Haddox reported she would send out some emails showing our progress as the pages are returned. The return date will probably go up into the first few weeks of November as some of the mailings are not out as of this date. There was a question of how the signature pages would be used. It was reported that the signature page explains the many, many challenges facing the field that combined is ultimately closing centers. It also lists the benefits of investments, and the opportunities of quality early care and education. These statements being shared with community members will help others understand the crisis at hand. Therefore, when WVCCU members and leaders meet with state leaders later this fall, they will have the support of many community members. And they can share the amount (the total number of signatures) to prove that child care is an important issue to West Virginia citizens. Our Children Our Future Campaign. Jeanette Barker reported on the progress of the regional forums that will be taking place this fall. The topic of "Protecting Child Care Centers" was voted as the second platform item so we need volunteers throughout the state to speak at the regional forums. The list of dates and locations were emailed to the group. We had some volunteers for some areas, and Melissa Colagrasso offered to contact WVCCU members directly to ask for speakers within their region. The speaker of the forums will give a short introduction of why child care is a good investment, and the current multiple challenges facing the industry. They will also be available for questions. Melissa Colagrasso will help the volunteers with talking points. Other Actions. Jeanette Barker reported she is forwarding group meeting notes and conversations to WVCCU lobbyist. He is available to guide and give input to the group.
*Jeanette Barker also discussed the importance of supporting the flexibility and parent choice of the WV PreK program. As of 2016 all WV PreK classrooms must be in attendance for five days a week. One model that was showcased at the WV PreK Institute involved parents being hired to work daily within the classrooms so the teacher could complete the duties of lesson plans and servicing IEPs. The legality of this model was questioned as the WV PreK health and safety checklist states that two people must be in the classroom at all times, one of whom must be the teacher. It seems unclear how a model utilizing parents with no experience it is more beneficial than trained child care professionals. It was also discussed that the full week mandate takes away parent choice and will eliminate the need for child care collaboration. It was reported that Wood County originally had nine centers participating in WV PreK but are now down to only four because the other five centers have closed. It was suggested that Jeanette Barker contact the Office of Early Learning to see how many centers are actually participating in WV PreK and how much that number is decreasing. As centers close throughout the state, working families are being left without places to care for their children. And the state is losing the opportunity for education within the formative years. It would take legislative action for this upcoming mandate to be changed. Last year a bill did pass through the house and senate, but was vetoed by the Governor. *Judy Olsen reported she had received a response to an email she had sent to Nancy Exline, a representative of DHHR. The response stated there could be no increase of the state subsidy child care rates as the Governor has just recently mandated a 4% decrease of budgets. This is because of a decrease of tax revenues due to declining coal and gas productions within the state. The group reiterated that it is important that state leaders understand the field of early care and education is an investment that saves the state in future costs. Research proves the return on investment. Also federal mandates will require an increase in subsidy rates in 2016. Without an increase of total funds into early care and education, the result will be that many working families will lose subsidy care, and they will not be able to afford child care. These families will be forced to quit their jobs and ultimately the state will need more funds to cover these families as TANF recipients. *Jane Haddox reported that one resource and referral shows the number of active providers within their region decreased by 239 within just a two year time frame. She also reported there is a list front and back of centers that have closed throughout the state. The goal will be to make some contacts to get some personal stories of why these centers have closed. "Lights on After School" Week. Jeanette Barker reported that this is an educational campaign that celebrates after school programs. October 22, 2015 is the main day of celebration and acknowledgment. Other: Website Maintenance. Jeanette Barker reported that she has met with the contracted person for the WVCCU website page. He is able to add any information the group would like. There are several pages that are not utilized. Pictures can be placed on the website if any member would like to forward to Jeanette Barker. Any suggestions for other topics will be appreciated. The group
did decide to continue posting minutes of the group. He also asks for suggestions of key phrases in order to increase the traffic level of the site. The increase would result on more "hits" to the site. Jeanette Barker also asks the group to be thinking if they would like to continue paying to have the site. This decision would be made in the upcoming year as that is time to renew for the domain name, etc. The total cost is around $800. This includes the maintenance of the site. Jeanette reported the group currently has the funds to cover the expenses, but should keep in mind that the DHHR $5000 grant is no longer available.
The next conference call will be Wednesday, November 4, 2015 from 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
*Attachments included are signature pages & explanation of “gathering of support” project.
"• Brain research proves the importance of early care and education, child care is a major part of the work-force infrastructure, and the return on investment for early education is high.
• The federal government has mandated increases of the subsidy rates in 2016. Not increasing total funds will result in a decreased number of eligible families for the state subsidy program (Link, Choices, Connect, Mountain Heart, Child Care Resource Center.) These families will then be forced to quit their job because they cannot afford child care. Therefore, the state will experience MORE financial expenses for TANF funds.
• Minimum wage, which is the typical salary for child care professionals, has increased and is increasing more in 2016. WV PreK is going to five days a week resulting in less parent choice and more financial concerns. Budgets are not balancing, and child care centers are closing. • The last raise for state subsidized care was in 2009. Centers cannot improve quality, and non-subsidized parents cannot keep paying more because the state is not paying the true cost of care.
West Virginia Childcare Centers United
West Virginia Child Care Centers United (WVCCU) wants to help state leaders understand the current situation for children/families and child care professionals in West Virginia. Currently the state is not paying the true cost to have high quality care for our youngest citizens in the state. The subsidized program for child care (Link, Connect, Choices, Mountain Heart and Child Care Resource Center Catholic Charities) has not had an increase of rates since 2009. In fact, there were cuts to the program in 2011. And there are new federal mandates that must go into effect in 2016. These mandates will create even more problems for families if more money is not invested.
Our goal is to get thousands of signatures that will show support for you and the field of early care and education. Our group will tally these signature pages and share the total number with state leaders to ask for more money to be invested into child care. You can help improve the situation for your children and families, and your field, by sharing this information with the families in your care. Explain to families that these signatures will assist WVCCU leaders to help state leaders understand this upcoming major problem. Our goal is to prevent parents from losing their subsidized certificates from Link, Connect, Choices, Mountain Heart, Child Care Resource Center. Also, tuition parents cannot keep having tuition raised because the state is not paying enough for these subsidized spaces.
Ask EACH family to take a signature page and fill it up with signatures. Anyone over 18 with a West Virginia address can sign the paper. They should ask ALL family members, people at their work place, and other places, such as sporting events, church, etc. The goal would be for each family to get the page as full as possible. Take a sheet yourself and get it filled with signatures. Our state leaders care about what is best for the future of our state, and they are elected to serve the people. Please take a few minutes of your extremely busy day to help us help state leaders understand child care is IMPORTANT!
Please try to have signature pages returned to Jane Haddox by the middle of November. (We can certainly take pages after that time if you have some come back later.) WWCCU officers want to meet with state leaders in late November and want to have a huge showing of support for early care and education.
* The papers can be mailed: Early Education Station 817 30th Street Point Pleasant, WV 25550
* The papers can be scanned in and emailed: firstname.lastname@example.org
* The papers can be faxed: 304-675-4956.
* The papers can be photographed and texted to: 304-593-6350.
* The papers can be photographed and messaged to Early Education Station's Face book business page.
Also, we would love for you to be able to keep up with what is going on with these changes. You can send your email address, fax number, or Face book contact to Jane Haddox, and we will add you to our list. We send out minutes from our conference calls and other actions we are doing. In fact, WVCCU will have a conference call on November 4, 2015 to discuss our progress and other current actions. Anyone can call and listen, and join the conversation if they choose. The agenda and conference numbers will be emailed to any contacts we have. In the meantime, start sending out the signature pages, and get support for your children.
Brain research shows the first five years are the most important in human development. We change the future every day as we interact with our young children in care! Our goal is to get some additional money invested into the field so we can do more for our children's future. Thank you for doing this! And thank you for the love and care you give to your children every day!
Date: January 26, 2016
Time: 4:00 pm – 4:50 pm
Facilitator: Jane Haddox Recorder: Jane Haddox
Current Subsidy Increase. The group discussed the wonderful news that was received on Monday about the increases for child care subsidy. The increase will be $4 per day for each age group. Jeanette Barker clarified the difference between the two separate plans that are shown on the DHHR website. She explained that the current year’s plan is shown because it is being adjusted to reflect the additional moneys that have been now set aside for child care. These increases will take effect immediately and providers should see this increase in payments within the next month to month and half. Jeanette Barker and Jane Haddox had the opportunity to speak with Janie Cole, Director at WV DHHR Division of Early Care and Education, about the increases. She had reported this was the first time the state has been able to be at the 75 percentile of the state rate market survey. Janie Cole was very pleased and complimented Nancy Exline, Commissioner of WV DHHR, for supporting the current needs of child care. The additional moneys also allowed for the cap intake of the subsidy eligibility rate to remain the same. Therefore all families eligible for subsidies will remain eligible for this current year.
Federal Mandate Draft. Jeanette Barker reported that the second part of the DHHR announcement on Monday included the WV DHHR draft plan that will be submitted for approval to the federal government. This plan is to meet the Early Care and Education requirements that have been placed on all states by the federal government. This plan also includes increases for the subsidy rates. If approved, these rates would take effect on September 1, 2016. This draft also shows the eligibility rate staying the same. These are all very positive for children and families.
Jeanette Barker and Jane Haddox both suggested that all providers take the time to review the draft and share their comments. They should see how the changes will affect their particular program and the number of families. The actual affects on individual families and programs would be important to share. Written comments may be submitted online where the plan is, or by mail to WV Department of Health and Human Resources, Attn: Division of Early Care and Education, 350 Capitol Street, Room B18, Charleston, West Virginia 25301. All comments must be received no later than close of business on February 10, 2016.
The huge concern that was discussed is the 12 month certificates that are being mandated by the federal government. This mandate will require that all eligible families receive full time care for a 12 month period once they are eligible for subsidy. The draft asks that this mandate be pushed back to October 2017 because of the highly negative effects on families and programs. The challenge with the 12 month certificates is that the additional cost for full time care will greatly decrease the number of families that can be served. State officials have reported that it probably would knock at least half of the currently eligible families off of the system. Page 48 of the draft shows the details of this change. The plan shows a freeze would be in effect and only TANF, foster care and CPS families would be exempt from the freeze. Jane Haddox expressed her great concern of this scenario because the working family would be the families not eligible for care. It seems a family would be forced to quit their job because they could not afford child care, and then ultimately need to become a family on the TANF (Temporary Aid for Needy Families) costing the state more money in the long run.
The Department of Health and Human Resources, Bureau for Children and Families, is conducting a public hearing on the proposed child care and development block grant state plan for federal fiscal years 2016 through 2018. The meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, February 10, 2016 from 1:00 PM until 3:00 PM. The hearing will be located at the Schoenbaum Family Enrichment Center, 1701 Fifth Avenue, Charleston, WV. All providers are recommended to attend this meeting.
Flexibility of PreK Days. Jeanette Barker reported that Senate Bill 146 has been introduced and would give county PreK teams the flexibility to choose either a four day or five day model. The language that has been added to the bill would require that all counties meet the minimum required weekly educational minutes. She had the opportunity to meet with the Governors staff and was given the feeling that the Governor would support the bill if no changes were made to the current writing of the bill. Center directors are encouraged to contact their local representatives asking for their support for Senate Bill 146 as the mandated change for the five day per week model would be one more negative concern for many child care centers.
Kids and Families Day. Jane Haddox reported on activities WVCCU will have at this event. The display will follow a super hero theme, and will show facts about the positive difference early care and education can make. The three ring binder will be displayed showing the 2,700 + "signatures of support" for early care and education. The table will also have a foam board with 117 cut outs of a building with children to represent the number of child care centers that have closed since 2009. We will also put a thank you sign to DHHR for the recently announced subsidy increases that will certainly help with this crisis.
Super hero masks and shields, which state "Save the World through Early Care and Education," will be given to children attending the event. Jane Haddox reported that she had emailed all WV delegates and senators with these facts, and asked them to watch for the little superheroes at Kids and Families day who are counting on them. Judy Olsen suggested that WVCCU representatives try to meet briefly with DHHR to show them the signature page book and to assure them these people are extremely appreciative of the recent subsidy increases.
Our Children, Our Families. Jeanette Barker reported this organization has around 1,400 people registered for Kids and Families Day. The event will start at the Cultural Center with speakers explaining the issues of support from Our Children, Our Future. Because of previous support of voting from child care centers, child care is a top issue that will be discussed and supported by this group during the event.
Future Goals. Jane Haddox spoke about her desire for WVCCU to reach out to providers to ask about their needs to help their centers move to a Tier 2 or Tier 3 status. Quality programs for WV children is the ultimate goal. Also centers that move up on the quality tier program receive an additional $2 per day increase in their subsidy rate which is typically highly beneficial to center budgets.
The next conference call will be Wednesday, February 17, 2016 from 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
The number will be 1-605-475-4700 The code will be 405519
Council Members Present: Michele Baranaskas, Jeanette Barker, Janie Cole, Traci Dalton, Kay Goodwin, Becky Gooch-Erbacher, Ginger Huffman, Cathy Loggins, Darlene Martin, Jane McCallister, Jim McKay, and Pam Roush.
Staff Present: Gretchen Frankenberry, Sue Collins
Guests Present: Melanie Clark, Monica DellaMea, Julie Pratt, Laurie McKeown, Kim Tieman
A. Welcome and Call to Order:
Council Chairman Kay Goodwin welcomed the Council members and called the meeting to order at 10:05 am.
Secretary Goodwin introduced all guests present, new member Jane McCallister replacing Laura Barno as the
Children’s Welfare Representative and Cathy Loggins, New Labor Representative, works at Appalachian Council
Head Start and Sue Collins now working with Gretchen and supporting the work of the Council.
B. Approval of the June Meeting Minutes
Becky Gooch-Erbacher moved that the Council adopt the minutes as written and circulated.
Ginger Huffman seconded the motion.
C. Subcommittee Updates:
Jim McKay gave an update on the Family Support Committee.
Kim Tieman gave an update on the Health Committee.
Gretchen Frankenberry gave an update on the Project Launch Committee.
Pam Roush and Traci Dalton gave an update on the Professional Development Committee.
Melanie Clark gave an update on the Higher Education Committee.
Traci Dalton moved that the Council approve Common Core Course Curriculum.
Michele Baranaskas seconded the motion.
D. Update from the Data System Project
Gretchen Frankenberry gave an update on the Data System Project.
E. Update from the Office of Early Learning.
Monica DellaMea gave an update on recent work of the Office of Early Learning.
F. Update from the Early Care and Education.
Janie Cole gave an update on the work being done by the Division of Early Care and Education at DHHR.
G. Update on upcoming ECAC Meeting and events.
Gretchen Frankenberry gave an update on upcoming ECAC meetings and events.
H. Partners in Community Outreach Presentation
Julie Pratt presented her study on Partners in Community Outreach’s report Strategies for Building a Statewide
System of Home Visiting in West Virginia.
I. Special Recognition
Secretary Goodwin recognized Traci Dalton for her service to the Council. Traci has accepted a new job at Zero to
Three and will no longer serve a council member.
J. Public Comment
ECAC QUARTERLY MEETINGS DATES:
Wednesday, November 13, 2015 at the Center for Professional Development*
Wednesday, February 10, 2016 at the Center for Professional Development
Wednesday, May 11, 2016 at the Center for Professional Development
*Please note that Council members have noted many conflicts with this meeting date and the date has been changed from November 18, 2015.