We all presented at the 2018 First 5 California Child Health, Education, and Care Summit!GPG was honored to present at the First 5 California Summit in April 2018. The third Child Health, Education, and Care Summit was held in Southern California and brought together more than 700 individuals who work on behalf of children and families. The event featured renowned speakers, a wide range of breakout sessions, and opportunities to connect (and reconnect) with colleagues and friends.
Below are some reflections from the event and from our session on Transforming the Workforce implementation efforts in California. Many thanks to First 5 California and its staff for convening this group and hosting an inspiring, thoughtful, and organized summit!
The summit celebrated recent successes in the early childhood education field – The transition to Quality Counts California and launch of its new website, new partnerships with Vroom, the success of Talk. Read. Sing., and the projected additional $236.7 million that will come to California through federal increases to the Child Care and Development Block Grant program. This year marked the 20th anniversary of the passage of Prop 10 (The Children and Families First Act) and the birth of the First 5 movement! The summit also celebrated new and ongoing supporters and champions of early childhood (including Mario Lopez!) and returning First 5 California Commissioner Molly Munger.
Early childhood is experiencing growing support across the state and the nation. California polling results from the Choose Children Campaign (which were shared at the summit) demonstrate that 69 percent of the public wants California’s next governor to prioritize quality early childhood education programs.The summit highlighted foundational and emerging research, in a wide range of disciplines, all making the case for investments in early childhood. Dr. Andrew Meltzoff from the Institute for Learning and Brain Sciences and Dr. Dana Suskind from the Thirty Million Words Initiative discussed learning in the earliest years, the brain science behind child development, and the role of speech and interaction in early learning. Dr. Vincent Felitti, founder of the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) Study, presented on the impact of trauma on child development, the ways in which adverse childhood experiences impact adults, and the importance of family strengthening and prevention. Dr. Dowell Myers from the Sol Price School of Public Policy at USC presented on the demographic imperative of early childhood investments, and Dr. Ajay Chaudry presented innovative ideas for state and national systems-building and investment efforts.
Summit breakout sessions were equally well-rounded. At the pre-summit sessions, Quality Counts California Consortia Members focused on quality system-building efforts. Sessions on the following days covered topics like family motivational interviewing, developmental screenings, school readiness, district- and county-level ECE efforts, fatherhood, mental health, financing and investment, and workforce efforts. There was ample time before and after sessions to follow up with presenters and share information with colleagues.
GPG presented a breakout session called Transforming the Workforce: Early Childhood Education Workforce Efforts in California. During the session, GPG provided an overview of the California Transforming the Workforce for Children Birth through Age Eight implementation plan and ongoing implementation efforts, highlighted ongoing professional learning system building efforts, and presented and solicited feedback on a Systems Framework for a Professional Early Learning Workforce in California. Additional information on this initiative is available at twb8-ca.net.
We thank First 5 California for the opportunity to present at the summit, and for their leadership and tireless effort to bring the field together so all children get the best possible start in live and thrive.