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I_I_SchoolReadiness_2018A 07/10/2018 09:09:35 AM Committee Summary

Date 07/10/2018
Martinez Humenik *
Merrifield E
Pettersen *
Wilson X
Priola E
Buckner X
Time 09:09:35 AM to 11:50:07 AM
Place HCR 0112
This Meeting was called to order by Buckner
This Report was prepared by Rachel Kurtz-Phelan
Hearing Items Action Taken
Call to Order and Opening Remarks Committee Discussion Only
Overview of Bill Request and Fiscal Note Process Committee Discussion Only
Update from the Early Childhood Leadership Commission Committee Discussion Only
Update from the Colorado Department of Human Services Committee Discussion Only
Update from the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing Committee Discussion Only
Update from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment Committee Discussion Only
Public Testimony Committee Discussion Only
Wrap Up and Next Steps Committee Discussion Only

09:10:27 AM
Representative Buckner, chair, called the meeting to order and roll call was taken.

Overview of Bill Request and Fiscal Note Process - Committee Discussion Only

09:14:45 AM  
Jane Ritter, Office of Legislative Legal
Services, and Anna Gerstle, Legislative Council Staff, came to the table
to discuss the fiscal note and bill request process.  Ms. Ritter distributed
and explained a document outlining the bill drafting process and deadlines
[Attachment B].  Ms. Gerstle explained the fiscal note process and
answered questions about the bills that were proposed by the 2017 Early
Childhood and School Readiness Legislative Commission (ECSRLC).

Update from the Early Childhood Leadership Commission - Committee Discussion Only

09:22:00 AM  
Kristina Heyl, Director of the Early Childhood
Leadership Commission (ECLC), came to the table to begin her presentation
[Attachment C].  She discussed the four previous ECSRLC bills that
passed during the 2018 legislative session.  She provided an overview
of the ECLC, which she explained is a statutory commission charged with
ensuring and advancing a comprehensive service delivery system to help
pregnant women and children from birth to age eight.  She stated that
the ECLC's mission is to advise and make recommendations to the General
Assembly, state agencies, and the ECSRLC, and to monitor and advance strategies
that increase access, quality, and equity of early childhood services and
supports across the state.  Ms. Heyl discussed in further detail the
ECLC subcommittees and working groups.
09:27:59 AM  
Ms. Heyl spoke about several of the ECLC's
latest accomplishments, such as the Colorado Early Childhood Workforce
2020 Plan.  She stated that nationally over half of early childhood
workforce members are on public assistance, and explained the need to discuss
recruitment, retention, and compensation strategies for this population
across multiple agencies that support this workforce.  Ms. Heyl discussed
the 11 recommendations given by the ECLC's Early Childhood Communications
Collaborative.  She answered questions about how the ECLC is communicating
with parents and caregivers and about the need to involve health care providers
in the communications process.  She talked further about the Early
Childhood Colorado Framework.
09:37:20 AM  
Ms. Heyl stated that the ECLC's priorities
going forward include expanding early childhood awareness; communicating
statewide the importance of early childhood education; preparing and helping
to support new state leadership; supporting the early childhood workforce;
and continuing to align and coordinate to make sure families have the most
seamless transition from early childhood to K-12 schooling.  She answered
questions about how to make access to early childhood more equitable across
the state, and about the need to reach across multiple state agencies and
local organizations to help promote and ensure access.
09:43:04 AM  
Ms. Heyl answered questions about why early
childhood providers struggle to find qualified staff, and explained that
the 2020 Workforce Plan lays out six goals to help remedy the problem.
 Senator Martinez Humenik spoke about the importance of all stakeholders
coming together to figure out a solution to the lack of available workforce
in a variety of industries, including early childhood.
09:48:20 AM  
Representative Buckner spoke about the
need for strong parental involvement in early childhood education.  Ms.
Heyl stated that there is an ECLC working group looking at innovative strategies
to increase the number of early childhood educators in Colorado.

Call to Order and Opening Remarks - Committee Discussion Only

09:14:27 AM  
Representative Buckner provided opening
remarks and reviewed the committee charge memorandum [Attachment A].

Update from the Colorado Department of Human Services - Committee Discussion Only

09:53:51 AM  
Mary Anne Snyder, Director of the Colorado
Office of Early Childhood (office) in the Colorado Department of Human
Services,  Erin Mewhinney, Director of Early Care and Learning, and
Mary Martin, Director of the Division of Community and Family Support,
came to the table to begin their presentation [Attachment D].  Ms.
Snyder discussed the history, purpose, and priorities of the office, which
include: school readiness, ensuring all children having a safe, stable,
and nurturing environment, and promoting resilience in early childhood.
 She discussed home visitation programs, small infant and child mental
health work, head start collaborations, family wraparound services, and
early intervention.  She discussed the importance of focusing on a
two-generation strategy approach to support both children and parents/caregivers.
 She stated that the office is working on getting the lowest income
children into high-quality child care.  Ms. Snyder explained that
one goal of the office is to increase access to high-quality early childhood
programs by increasing the percentage of level 3, 4, and 5 quality rated
licensed child care providers that rated through Colorado Shines.  She
talked about importance of high-quality early childhood education in helping
break the cycle of poverty, reducing incarceration rates, and the need
for future services.
10:04:43 AM  
Ms. Snyder spoke about some of the office's
recent legislative successes, including Senate Bill 18-162 pertaining to
a substitute placement agency licensure program.  Representative Wilson
asked questions about the family, friends, and neighbors network (FFN)
and what the office is doing to support these people.  Ms. Snyder
mentioned that over 60 percent of children in Colorado are in something
other than licensed child care during the day.  Representative Bucker
stressed the need to get the word out that there is assistance and support
for members of the FFN.
10:12:31 AM  
The committee discussed strategies to communicate
the availability of resources to the FFN network.  Ms. Snyder talked
about ways the department is reaching out to grandparents through a program
called Healthy Steps.
10:19:39 AM  
Ms. Snyder discussed the Colorado Shines
Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) and Senate Bill 18-099 which
aligns early childhood quality improvement programs.  She talked about
the Early Childhood Workforce Development Information System, reforms to
the Child Care Assistance Program and House Bill 18-1335 which pertains
to county Child Care Assistance Program block grants.  Ms. Mewhinny
answered questions about the policies that make Colorado a national leader
in the early childhood arena, including House Bill 14-1317 which developed
a tiered reimbursement system for providers as they move up in quality
rating, discounted parent co-pay amounts for higher-rated child care programs,
and a flagged background check system.
10:30:55 AM  
Ms. Snyder discussed early childhood mental
health programs, early intervention programs, child maltreatment prevention
programs and House Bill 18-1064 which established a training program to
prevent child sexual abuse.  Mike Kling, Director of the Family Resource
Center Association which support the 30 family resource centers across
the state, came to the table to answer questions.  He spoke about
the various locations of family resource centers, which are community-based,
home-grown, nonprofit organizations.  Ms. Snyder spoke about several
more of her office's key focus issues, including: early childhood mental
health and its intersection with expulsion and suspension, the importance
of parenting courses for parents of young children who exhibit challenging
behavior, and an emerging field of research looking at putting Early Childhood
Mental Health specialists in classrooms to work individually with challenging
students and their teachers to develop capacity-building and policies to
reduce suspensions and expulsions.  Jordana Ash, Director of the Infant
and Child Mental Health Unit in the Office of Early Childhood, came to
the table to answer questions about the number of children from birth to
age 3 that have been referred for mental health services.  She explained
that many of the referals stem from typical behavior issues that a child
care provider or other adult in a child's life are not equipped or trained
to handle in a way that is not punishing or trauma-inducing.

10:54:46 AM  
Ms. Snyder discussed the intersection between
International Building Codes (IBC) and family child care home situations
which tend to violate IBC standards for small businesses. She talked about
background checks and the need for possible legislation pertaining to interstate
background checks.

Update from the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing - Committee Discussion Only

11:08:21 AM  
Dave DeNovellis, Legislative Liaison for
the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing (department), came to
the table to begin his presentation [Attachment E].  He spoke about
Health First Colorado and Child Health Plan Plus, which is a supplemental
insurace plan for children and pregnant women who do not qualify for Medicaid.
 He spoke about the department's work with Early Intervention (EI)
providers, how the department and providers can better partner with more
state and local programs and organizations, and the need to examine whether
improvements can be made to billing practices for EI services. He talked
about well child visits and the department's Accountable Care Collaborative.

Update from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment - Committee Discussion Only

11:22:59 AM  
Erin Ulric, Deputy Director, Prevention
Services Division of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment
(department), came to the table to begin her presentation [Attachment F].
 She spoke about several of the department's programs that pertain
to early childhood and school readiness, including the "I am Moving,
I am Learning" curriculum, which is a teacher-led physical education
curriculum; the "9 Ways to Grow Healthy Colorado Kids" campaign;
the department's recommendations pertaining to breastfeeding, developmental
screening, immunizations, and maternal mental health; the Child Fatality
Prevention System; the Essentials for Childhood program; Women, Infants,
and Children (WIC) supplemental nutrition services; the Child and Adult
Care Food Program; and statewide family-planning initiatives.  She
answered questions from the committee.

Public Testimony - Committee Discussion Only

11:43:01 AM  
Representative Buckner opened the floor
for public testimony.  Evie Hudak, representing the Colorado Parent
Teacher Association and herself, came to the table to provide suggestions
for legislation.  She spoke about the TEACH program by Qualistar that
funds further education courses for early child care providers and the
need to continue tax credits for early child care providers.
11:44:56 AM  
Ms. Hudak continued to discuss ideas for
potential legislation.  She suggested identifying which recommendations
from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment Child Fatality
Report can be implemented through legislation at the state level.  She
also suggested that the committee schedule presentations on early childhood
discipline and toxic stress, the two-generation/ASCEND program from the
Aspen Institute, and the Strengthening Families approach from the Office
of Early Childhood.  She concluded by encouraging the committee to
watch a documentary called Raising America.

Wrap Up and Next Steps - Committee Discussion Only

11:47:53 AM  
Representative Buckner told the committee
that the next meeting will take place on August 8th at 9:00 am.  Representative
Pettersen requested that the committee hear from the business community
on how the state can create incentives for businesses to increase access
to child care for their employees.

11:50:07 AM   Committee Adjourned

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