EEC Annual Legislative Report February 14, 2012
Context • Legislative language requires EEC to report on Universal Pre-Kindergarten (UPK), Mental Health initiatives and the Workforce Development System • FY2012 Budget Language requires a feasibility study of the MA Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies • Report seeks to provide anupdateon EEC’s five-year Strategic Plan andwill frame this year’s accomplishments and future planned activities by the Board’s Strategic Directions and Indicators of Success
What EEC Must Report (at a Minimum) • Progress in achieving goals and implementing programs authorized under M.G.L. c. 15D; • Progress made towards universal early education and care for pre-schoolaged children; • Progress made toward reducing expulsion ratesthrough developmentally appropriate prevention and intervention services; • Behavioral health indicators; • Rules and regulations promulgated by the Board related to civil fines and sanctions, including the types of sanctions and the amount of the fines; and • Findings and recommendations related to the study on the programmatic financing and phase-in options for the development and implementation of the Massachusetts universal pre-kindergarten program.
EEC System Components and Strategic Directions: Legislative Report EEC Strategic Directions
FY2012 Context will include: • Conclusion of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) Funding • Race to the Top - Early Learning Challenge Funding • Work of the Board of Early Education and Care
Example: Strategic Direction: Quality Indicator of Success: MA Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) has been developed, validated, funded and implemented with full involvement of EEC’s community partners and EEC staff. Accomplished This Year • FY2011 Launch of On-line System for Programs to Manage QRIS Participation • As of January 2012, of the 10,910 total programs licensed by EEC, 16.3% (1,778) of programs have submitted final applications to participate in the QRIS. • Of the 1,778 programs, 1,660 programs have a subsidy agreement with EEC (which indicates that 28.3% of the 5,741 subsidy providers participate in QRIS. Continued on next slide
Example: Strategic Direction: Quality Indicator of Success: MA Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) has been developed, validated, funded and implemented with full involvement of EEC’s community partners and EEC staff. Accomplished This Year • Implementation of FY2011 and FY2012 (in progress) QRIS Program Improvement Grants • In FY2011, 100 FY2010 grantees were monitored; over 1,100 providers were trained on advancing on the QRIS; and 445 program level grants to early education and care and after school programs. • In FY2012, 376 applications were submitted for this grant (including 73 after school programs, 159 center and school based programs and 144 family child care programs). • Verification of Programs • The verification process for the 2,255 QRIS applications has begun (expected to be completed by Early March 2012)
Example: Strategic Direction: Quality Indicator of Success: MA Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) has been developed, validated, funded and implemented with full involvement of EEC’s community partners and EEC staff. Planned for Next Year • Evaluation of the QRIS Standards • Over 4 years, EEC plans to hire a vendor to validate the tiered QRIS, ensuring program quality matches assigned tiers and leads to improved child outcomes. • Move Toward Universal Participation in the QRIS and Quality Improvement • Through RTT funding, MA proposes to fund program supports, online professional development training, and technical assistance for early childhood programs to increase both program participation and level advancement on the tiered QRIS.
Example: Strategic Direction: Quality Indicator of Success: Programs seeking to improve their quality have access to a range of resources and supports. Accomplished This Year • Professional Development Programs • FY2011 Educator and Provider Support RFP • Institutions of Higher Education Mapping Project • Targeted Professional Development Resources • Early Educator Scholarship Program: In FY2012, 1,004 applicants approved by EEC • Professional Qualifications Registry (as of December 2011, 49,670 educators were entered) • Assessment Supports (In FY2011 896 educators were trained in 29 differentiated trainings (introductory, intermediate and advanced levels) and 694 child assessment tools and 5,101 on-line licenses (needed per child) were given out.
Example: Strategic Direction: Quality Indicator of Success: Programs seeking to improve their quality have access to a range of resources and supports. Planned for Next Year • Educator and Provider Support: using data gathered during the first two years of the 3 year grant, EEC continues to refine the requirements for continuation grants. • Institutions of Higher Education (IHE) Mapping Project: EEC is funding a part time position at DHE beginning focus on implementation of the Early Education Compact and supporting educators in completing their degrees. • Targeted Professional Development Resources for the Field:EEC will work with EPS grantees and their Readiness Center partners to make resources available through the Readiness Center Network. • FY2012 Assessment Grant: it is anticipated that a total of 800 educators will benefit from training and 225 programs will receive assessment and/or screening tools.
Key Initiatives Advanced in FY2012 Highlights of the FY2011-2012 initiatives that advanced the work of EEC include: • Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) Reform • Redefining Universal Pre-Kindergarten (UPK) • Race to the Top – Early Learning Challenge • Comprehensive Child Data System • Early Childhood Information System (ECIS)– Access to Parental Consent Forms at a Variety of Access Points • ASQ – Access to Children Beyond Formal Child Care Settings • Alignment of Quality with a Rate Reform Initiative • Availability of On-line Resources
CCR&R Reform • Over the past year, EEC has received input from a variety of sources that point to a need for reform of our CCR&R System. • As a result of analysis and discussion (NACCRRA, CAYL, SAC Family Survey, CCR&R staff and Board members), EEC plans to move forward with a reform effort in four phases, which will ultimately result in a new CCR&R model through a competitive bid that implements new standard policies, procedures and protocols starting January 1, 2013.
Redefining Definition of UPK • EEC’s Board, and its Committees, allocated time in FY2012 to discuss the further development and definition of UPK, including refinement to the structure, purpose, funding mechanism and alignment with QRIS. • Some topics discussed relative to advancing the UPK program include: • Connecting UPK participation to level 3 in QRIS • Serving “high needs children” as defined in the RTTT-ELC grant and through the use of formative assessments and screenings • Submission of individual child data • Movement toward median compensation • Program matches • PreK-3 alignment • Fund use
Race to the Top – Early Learning Challenge • Securing $50M over the next four years will allow Massachusetts to continue strengthening our current system of early education and care and allow many initiatives to go to scale. • Specific projects will be carried out by both public and private sector partners and will result in full implementation of the Massachusetts Early Learning Plan. The projects are either direct community investments or are statewide infrastructure investments with secondary gains for communities.
Comprehensive Child Data System • EEC has continued work on the new IT Unified system • web-based commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) Financial Assistance system that will help manage EEC business practices and promote a more unified and efficient system of early education and care • The system will help: • streamline statewide early education business processes • improve child and family data • manage annual financial assistance • HCL America was chosen as the apparent winning bidder. The project began in early December 2011
ECIS: Access to Parental Consent Forms at a Variety of Access Points • EEC’s goal is to provide opportunities for families to complete parental consent forms at a variety of access points. • EEC began a pilot with CFCE grantees designed to get their input on EEC’s first draft of a Parental Consent form that will be used as part of the ECIS; • The parental consent form is a tool that allows CFCE information that will enhance their capacity to identify and provide the most appropriate resources /referrals to families. • One UPK FY2012 grant objectives (continued from FY11) includes an agreement to provide child level data, with parent consent, allowing children to be assigned a State Assigned Student Identification (SASID).
Ages and Stages QuestionnaireAccess to Children Beyond Formal Child Care Settings • As part of implementation of Help Me Grow, EEC is currently piloting the use of the Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ) screening tool in 15 CFCE programs, with the goal of integrating this into the CFCE model across the Commonwealth. • Help Me Grow is a prevention program designed to identify children at risk for developmental or behavioral problems and to connect these children to existing community resources. • The ASQ creates a structured opportunity for grantees to talk with parents about child development, with specific attention to the needs of their children. An integral part of the screening process is linking families to local resources to support their child’s development. • Next Year, through RTT funding, the purchase of ASQ) screening toolkits will be provided to 107 CFCE grantees to engage families in their child’s development, norm-referenced assessments to support individualized instruction of licensed and licensed exempt early education and care programs.
Alignment of Quality with a Rate Reform Initiative EEC has initiated an analysis of the current cost of providing quality, whole child education and care reimbursement in the Massachusetts mixed delivery system. • This approach will be the first step in the reform of the child care rates for subsidized child care that takes into account all costs associated with quality programs. • The study will explore different costs per child according to the ages of children and settings of child care to establish items in the business of early childhood program delivery. • Ideally, EEC will have an interactive model that will present current “settings” in the Massachusetts child care system and allow users to adjust settings for a range of components tied to the state’s QRIS standards to see the cost implications. • The cost model will also allow users to examine the effects of various methods of allotting money, including modeling the cost implications of changing child care reimbursement rules. • The model will present results at the county, regional, or state level and will estimate the costs for providers based on provider characteristics.
Availability of On-line Resources • Targeted Professional Development Resources: EEC developed a series of on-line courses on the Preschool Guidelines, the Early Learning Guidelines for Infants and Toddlers, the Core Competencies, and Early Literacy. • On-Line Professional Development Calendar: collects data on opportunities offered throughout the state • 847 courses listed in 2011 • 482 of those were funded in part or in total by EEC • 351 Courses were evaluated and 7,730 Educators attended the evaluated professional development offerings • Improved Access to Care: development of an on-line waiting list application links all waiting list activities to the enrollment and placement of children in programs (August 2011 rollout).