The federal Head Start Act requires California to maintain a State Advisory Council on Early Childhood Education and Care (42 U.S.C. §9837b). The Act identifies numerous responsibilities for the Council, including conducting a periodic statewide needs assessment; identifying opportunities for collaboration; recommending strategies for increasing the overall participation of children in early education and care, including underrepresented and special populations; assessing the capacity of higher education to support the development of early childhood educators; and developing recommendations regarding professional development and career advancement, statewide early learning standards, and the establishment of a unified data system. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) allocated to California $10.8M in startup funds to support its work on these recommendations and other related projects. To fulfill its federal obligation – and to seek greater coherence in a system with many different parts – California is developing a comprehensive statewide plan for an integrated early learning system, the “California Comprehensive Early Learning Plan (CCELP),” that includes strategies for coordinating early care and education programs with health services.
CCELP Purpose and Key Outputs
The CCELP development project will convene a wide range of stakeholders to create a comprehensive plan for providing an effective system of early learning supports in California. Through the integration of a meta-analysis of existing services, expertise provided by subject matter experts, extensive collaborative planning, and a focus on stakeholder input, the CCELP will articulate a vision for early learning in California and a set of practical recommendations for achieving that vision.
The CCELP will address policies and programs affecting children from birth through age 5. The CCELP will go beyond a description of existing programs and discussions of how they might be improved or expanded, to provide a thoughtful design for what the state’s early learning system should look like in the future.
Key projected outputs of the CCELP planning work include:
- An assessment of the current services provided to young children and their families in California;
- A vision of how California’s early learning and care system will look, and how the state will support young children and their families in the next five to ten years; and
- A specific plan that details how California can effectively and appropriately move towards realizing the CCELP vision.
CCELP Implementation, Key Objectives, and Partner Roles:
The Child Development Division (CDD) of the California Department of Education has contracted with the San Mateo County Office of Education (SMCOE) to facilitate and manage the development of the California Comprehensive Early Learning Plan. To support this process, SMCOE seeks to coordinate a robust planning process that closely involves state and national partners1 focusing on:
- Conducting a meta-analysis of the status of existing services for children from birth to age 5;
- Reviewing national trends with an emphasis on the work of state advisory councils;
- Defining and measuring kindergarten readiness;
- Implementing an interactive and participatory statewide strategic planning process; and
- Developing a comprehensive plan for California’s coordinated early learning system, including a monitoring process and resource allocation plan.
For further information please call SMCOE at (650) 802-5645
1 Key implementation partners will include: American Institutes for Research, EducationCounsel, Council of Chief State School Officers, and the Glen Price Group.