Frequently Asked Questions
What is the purpose of the Early Learning Quality Improvement System Advisory Committee?
The Early Learning Quality Improvement System Advisory Committee is required to develop the policy and implementation plan for California’s Early Learning Quality Improvement System.
Why does California have an Early Learning Quality Improvement System Advisory Committee?
California’s leaders and residents recognize the value of high quality early learning experiences in preparing young children for success in school and life. The Superintendent of Public Instruction’s P-16 Council (2008), the Governor’s Committee on Education Excellence (2008), and the Joint Legislative Master Plan for Education (2002) have early learning policy proposals that sound a common theme and share core recommendations. These recommendations build on the existing public and private investments for California’s youngest children and recommend improvements to enhance outcomes for children and also achieve systemic effectiveness.
A key recommendation that was enacted into law with Senate Bill (SB)1629 (Steinberg – Chapter 307, Statutes of 2008) is to build a framework for a high quality early learning system. California is joining 21 states that are designing quality rating systems and 35 states that are using tiered reimbursement systems to improve outcomes for children by recognizing existing program quality, incentivizing higher program quality, improving workforce training and consumer awareness, and linking funding to quality. The Early Learning Quality Improvement System Advisory Committee’s plan will create a system that builds on research, state and federal policies and resources, and the work of California counties and other states.
Who are the members of the Early Learning Quality Improvement System Advisory Committee?
The Early Learning Quality Improvement System Advisory Committee consists of thirteen members and is co-chaired by Jack O’Connell, Superintendent of Public Instruction, and Glen Thomas, Secretary of Education, or their designees. In addition, the Advisory Committee members include:
- President pro Tempore of the Senate designee: Dave Gordon, Superintendent, Sacramento County Office of Education
- Speaker of the Assembly designee: Assembly Member Joan Buchanan
- Director of the Department of Finance designee: Jeannie Oropeza, Program Budget Manager, Department of Finance
- Director of the Department of Social Services: John Wagner
- Chairperson of the California Children and Families Commission designee: Kris Perry, First 5 California Executive Director
- Two representatives appointed by the Governor:
- Celia Ayala, Los Angeles Universal Preschool, Chief Financial Officer
- Dennis Vicars, Chief Executive Officer, Human Services Management Corporation
- Two appointments by the Senate Committee on Rules:
- Cliff Marcussen, Executive Director, Options, Inc.
- Consuelo Espinoza, Infant/Toddler Specialist, West Ed
- Two appointments by the Speaker of the Assembly:
- Yolie Flores Aguilar, Board Member, Los Angeles Unified School District
- One local educational agency teacher who teaches kindergarten
What are the elements of the policy and implementation plan for an Early Learning Quality Improvement System?
The Committee’s report shall address at least the following four elements of a quality improvement system:
- An assessment and analysis of the existing early care and education infrastructure, including other state and local early learning quality improvement systems. The assessment will identify and review existing quality rating systems in use and determine the features of those systems that are most effective in determining and improving quality.
- The development of an early learning quality rating scale for child development and care programs, including preschool, that serve children birth to five years of age, inclusive, including preschool age children, infants and toddlers. The early learning quality rating scale shall reflect features of quality rating systems that most directly contribute to high-quality care, as identified in the assessment.
- The development of a funding model aligned with the quality rating scale for child care and development programs that serve children from birth to five years of age, inclusive, including preschool.
- The advisory committee will consider and make recommendations on how local, state, federal, and private resources, including resources available through the California Children and Families Act of 1998, can best be utilized to complement a statewide funding model as part of a comprehensive effort to improve the child care and development system of the state, including, preschool.
What areas and features of high-quality programs may be considered?
The Advisory Committee will consider consumer awareness so that parents receive accurate information about the type of program in which their children are enrolled. The following features may be considered:
- developmentally, linguistically, and culturally appropriate practices
- staff qualifications and professional development and education needs
- staff compensation and retention
- group size and ratios
- learning environment
- statutory and regulatory compliance, including provisions of Title 5 and Title 22 of the California Code of Regulations relating to child care and development
- articulation within systems of care for children from birth to five years of age, and with the K-12 public school system
- the inclusion of children with exceptional needs and children with disabilities
- English learner support
- family involvement
- comprehensive health and development screenings using standard tools
- data collection and methods to support continuous quality improvement
- program management and leadership
How can interested parents, early educators and caregivers, and community members provide input?
The Advisory Committee will seek input through the following methods, and others that may be added:
- Four quarterly meetings during 2009 that will be open to the public;
- meetings of subcommittees with persons with expertise in early learning quality improvement systems in use nationwide; early care and education, including representatives from the higher education segments, the Commission on Teacher Credentialing, and administrators, caregivers, and teachers from both the public and private sectors; K-12 public school teachers; English language development, including primary and secondary language acquisition; education and care of children with exceptional needs and disabilities, infant and toddler care, consumer education; parent and guardian engagement; workforce development; facilities development; technical assistance; and program accreditation;
- a website hosted by the California Department of Education;
- at least four public hearings in different parts of the state during 2010; and
- possible videoconferencing and other methods to solicit input.
What is the timeline for the Advisory Committee’s work?
The Early Learning Quality Improvement System Advisory Committee will develop an interim report on its recommendations for the Legislature and the Governor by December 31, 2009, and a final report by December 31, 2010.
How was the Early Learning Quality Improvement System Advisory Committee authorized?
The Early Learning Quality Improvement System Advisory Committee was authorized by SB 1629 and was co-sponsored by State Superintendent O’Connell, Preschool California, Children Now, and the California Child Development Administrators Association. Leadership was provided by Senator Darrell Steinberg with co-authors including Senator Romero, Assembly Members Jones, Arambula, Brownley, Coto, Huffman, Karnette, Laird, Mullin, and Nunez.
How is the Early Learning Quality Improvement System Advisory Committee funded?
The Early Learning Quality Improvement System Advisory Committee is funded through the leadership and commitment to high-quality early learning programs of the First 5 California Children and Families Commission.