Early Childhood Task Force Digest - July 2019

ECTF Digest

July 18, 2019

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In Partnership with Santa Monica Cradle to Career

Please send digest submissions or corrections to: ectf@smgov.net


 To smooth transitions from home to pre-K to kindergarten, states must invest in every aspect of early ed

Barmore, The Hechinger Report

Unlike most states, West Virginia offers free, universal preschool to all 20,000 of its 4-year-olds, as well as to 3-year-olds with special needs. Experts here say the effort to offer every child in the state a high-quality preschool spot has taken lots of time and money — almost 20 years so far and $98 million in state spending in 2018 — to get right. “Data shows if it’s not going to be a quality program, then it’s not going to impact children and families,” said Nancy Hanna, an associate superintendent of Greenbrier County Schools who oversees early childhood education. Hanna said collaboration and a focus on enabling children to self-regulate are two of the most important elements of her county school district’s success.

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 Infants and toddlers the most undercounted in census; California wants to change that

Stavely, EdSource

If small children aren’t accurately counted, California could potentially get less federal funding than needed for programs such as Head Start. Many county and city governments also receive funding from both the state and federal government tied to census counts and local governments also use the counts for planning purposes.

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 How U.S. Child Care Is Segregated: A Brooklyn Story

Hurley, CityLab

When talking about school-aged children, the ­­­­­­­benefits of mixing kids from different class backgrounds are substantial and well-documented. But for kids too young for kindergarten, the effects of economic integration are far from understood. ­­­­­­This is largely due to lack of opportunity. In the United States, government funding for child care has almost always been reserved for the poor, with everyone else forced to seek private arrangements defined by what they can—and cannot—afford. In other words, segregation by class has been baked into the United States’s approach to child care, leaving few opportunities to explore economic integration.

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 Parenting can be a full-time job. Activists want the tax code to treat it that way.

Matthews, Vox

However, a new policy idea, endorsed by a number of Democrats in Congress and pushed by the influential (and deep pocketed) Economic Security Project, would transform the safety net for non-working parents overnight. The idea, known as “caretaker EITC” (and part of a broader proposal formally dubbed the “Cost of Living Refund”), would treat caring for children or vulnerable adults as a job, and entitle caretakers to a full EITC credit for their work.

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 3-Year-Old Asked To Pick Parent In Attempted Family Separation, Her Parents Say

Moore, Morning Edition, NPR

At a Border Patrol holding facility in El Paso, Texas, an agent told a Honduran family that one parent would be sent to Mexico while the other parent and their three children could stay in the United States, according to the family. The agent turned to the couple's youngest daughter — 3-year-old Sofia, whom they call Sofi — and asked her to make a choice.

"The agent asked her who she wanted to go with, mom or dad," her mother, Tania, told NPR through an interpreter. "And the girl, because she is more attached to me, she said mom. But when they started to take [my husband] away, the girl started to cry. The officer said, 'You said [you want to go] with mom.' "

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 Huggies puts dads on diaper boxes for first time

Tyko, USA Today

Its new Special Delivery diapers feature fathers front and center with babies – a first for the company that once got criticism for ads that portrayed fathers as disconnected from the caretaking role. There are seven different box designs – three with men and babies and four with women and babies – in the new premium diaper line that touts plant-based ingredients, leak protection and “ultimate softness,” said Kristine Rhode, Huggies North America brand director, in an interview with USA TODAY. “We really believe in celebrating all parents and the great job that parents are doing,” Rhode said, noting moms have been featured on boxes before. “When you think about the important role that dads have in the family today and how that continues to grow, we wanted to make sure they were equally celebrated.”

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 When Public School Starts at Age 3 [Opinion]

Williams, NYTimes

Free public school starting at age four, or even three, is growing in many American cities. It’s gaining traction as a way to help young children learn the reading, counting and social skills that prepare them for kindergarten. It also promises to help close academic gaps between rich and poor children. Above all, it may have lasting benefits for attendees, including success in school and better lives as adults.

But promises are not guarantees, and universal pre-K works better in some places than in others. Washington, D.C., runs one of the country’s oldest, best-funded, most comprehensive pre-K systems. So what can other cities learn from Washington’s success?

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 School's Out! Here's How to Keep Your Preschooler Busy Until Kindergarten Starts

Neely, LAist

With most school milestones, it's usually not the children who are freaking out. It's the parents. That's especially true of the journey from preschool to kindergarten and the uncharted waters of elementary school. To ease that transition, the L.A. County Office of Education (LACOE) recently held their first-ever conference focused on just that. One of the workshops offered focused on what parents need to know about the summer before kindergarten. Below are a few tips LACOE offered to keep children stimulated to avoid the "summer slide."

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 California wants to find out if you — or your kids — have experienced trauma

Stavely, EdSource

Erin Gabel, deputy director of external and governmental affairs for First 5 California, a commission focused on children newborn to 5 years old, said trauma screenings are especially powerful when coupled with the budget’s expanded funding for screening infants and toddlers for developmental delays. “We see those things together and are incredibly excited about the power of prevention and how that may lead to truly addressing the achievement gap,” Gabel said. She said 70 percent of developmental delays are not identified before kindergarten. “By the time children have entered kindergarten, we’ve lost a peak era of brain development for them. Ninety percent of brain development is happening before the age of 5.”

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 They May Be in Demand, But Child Care Workers Still Struggle to Make Ends Meet


Alexander does get some income from the state by taking care of kids who qualify for child care subsidies. But she says it can be frustrating dealing with the bureaucracy. “I have to limit myself on how many subsidy families I can take because it takes so long to get paid," she said. "So I would work all of July, say, and it wouldn't be till mid-August before I got paid for July. So I'm looking at six weeks of no pay there.” On top of that delay, the reimbursement rates offered by the state are often less than what Alexander charges for her service. That leaves her with the tough decision — absorb the cost difference or ask her already financially strapped families to pay more.

Alexander would like to have more say over the state rules that affect her business. That’s why she’s such a strong supporter of Assembly Bill 378. The bill would allow in-home day care providers to unionize. Assemblyman Kevin McCarty, D-Sacramento, supports the bill. He said unionizing could give child care workers a voice and help incentivize them to stay in the industry.

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 Obstacles deter many California child care providers from building, expanding facilities

Stavley, EdSource

Across California, child care providers have run into similar problems trying to open new centers and expand existing licensed family child care homes. The rising cost of purchasing or renting buildings, in addition to local zoning and permit requirements and a lack of technical assistance for navigating the process are all hurdles too difficult for many providers to clear. But California needs more child care space. About 745,000 low-income children under 6 years old in California are eligible for subsidized child care but are not enrolled in a state-subsidized program, according to the California Budget and Policy Center, a nonpartisan organization analyzing a range of state policies.

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 The Cayton rethinks what a children’s museum can be in 2019

Gelt, LA Times

But what exactly is the mission of a modern children’s museum? At a time when society feels like it’s fracturing and the culture is dividing, Cayton organizers see their museum as a place for children — and their parents — to find connection.

Cayton is not only a gathering space for families of various economic backgrounds, races, religions and ethnicities. It’s also meant to be a sort of children’s utopia — a place to learn, explore and practice skills that could lead to success and happiness in adult life.

“This is a place,” Netter says, “to practice being human.”

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 How My Childhood Helped Me Become The Reporter I Am Today

Neely, KPCC

My mom, Edwina Neely, ran a home daycare for 14 years in Maryland. She taught kindergarten and grade school before she decided to start the business, Loving Angels Daycare, so she could stay at home with her youngest children. It’s where I grew up.

So many of the early childhood education workforce issues I cover, like low pay and high turnover rates, are things she knows about first hand. Even with a master’s degree, she was paid $20,000 to run a childcare center at a school.

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 Policy & Research

 Kindergarten behavior predicts adult earning power

Mongeau, The Hechinger Report

New research used tax return data to determine the income, at age 33 to 35, of 2,850 children tracked by the Quebec Longitudinal Study of Kindergarten Children, an academic research project following kids from kindergarten through adulthood. The analysis, led by first author Francis Vergunst at the Université de Montréal, found that children who were bad at paying attention as 6-year-olds earned less than their peers as adults. The study also found that boys, but not girls, who were aggressive or who scored low on measures of “prosocial” behavior in kindergarten also earned less than their peers as adults. These findings held even when economic status and IQ were taken into account. The study was published online in the journal JAMA Psychiatry in June 2019.

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 Care.com Survey Finds Rising Cost of Child Care Is Causing Families to Save Less, Work Less, Spend Less, And Have Fewer Children

Business Wire

The sixth annual Cost of Care survey from Care.com (NYSE: CRCM), the world’s largest online destination for finding and managing family care, found nearly half of families spend 15% or more of their annual household income on child care. For the second consecutive year, the survey found more than 70% of families reported paying 10% or more of their income on care. (The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (DHHS) definition of affordable care is 7%.) And two-thirds of parents say they’re spending more on child care than they did last year.

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 California finally to move ahead with 'cradle to career' data system

Fensterwald & Freedberg, EdSource

With $10 million in funding, an ambitious timeline and a champion in Gov. Gavin Newsom behind it, the Legislature this week passed legislation for a statewide education data system that will follow children from infancy through the workplace.

The marching order for what Newsom is calling a Cradle to Career Data System is included in a lengthy bill elaborating on the 2019-20 state budget for education. It lays out steps over the next 18 months that will determine what the system will look like, how it will be governed, who will have access to data and how privacy and security will be handled.

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 Building blocks: California’s proposed early education legislation

Stavely, EdSource

California is making unprecedented investments in young children. EdSource is tracking 27 early childhood bills introduced in the Legislature this session that focus on a host of issues, from expanding paid family leave to improving access to preschool. This list will be updated as the bills make their way through the Legislature. Bills that have stalled are shaded gray. Last updated on July 11, 2019.

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 Intergenerational and Intragenerational Externalities of the Perry Preschool Project

Heckman, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Global Working Group

This paper examines the impact of the iconic Perry Preschool Project on the children and siblings of the original participants. The children of treated participants have fewer school suspensions, higher levels of education and employment, and lower levels of participation in crime, compared with the children of untreated participants. Impacts are especially pronounced for the children of male participants. These treatment effects are associated with improved childhood home environments. The intergenerational effects arise despite the fact that families of treated subjects live in similar or worse neighborhoods than the control families. We also find substantial positive effects of the Perry program on the siblings of participants who did not directly participate in the program, especially for male siblings.

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 California Moves One Step Closer To 'Pre-K For All'

Neely, LAist

The Pre-K for All Act of 2019 would expand the state-funded pre-K program to make sure all 4-year-olds and 3-year-olds from low-income families can attend. It would also increase qualifications and pay for teachers, and it would change income eligibility limits so that middle-income families can access the program, too. [See updated status of this bill above, under link tracking all CA EC legislation]

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 America must focus on the early childhood education workforce [Opinion]

Smith & McHenry, The Hill

Child care and education programs are a way to fight intergenerational poverty, yet the very professionals responsible for caring for children and helping to break that cycle are often living in poverty themselves. As the need for child care for working families increases, the need for a high quality workforce will also expand, and these problems plaguing the field will only grow. Congress should consider the ways it could support the early care and education professionals who are helping both the working parents of today and the workforce of the future achieve great success.

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 Undecided About 2020? Vote for Kids.

Lipper & Lazarus, Medium

Heading into the 2020 elections, current and future elected officials who champion children will need active, persistent, and vocal voter support to be able to deliver on their promises. Voters and activists can start now to create the momentum and support for those policymakers committed to doing the right things for children. Here’s how voters can raise their voices for children in the upcoming elections, support those who champion kids, and help vote out those who do not. You can take action in the following ways:

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 Extinct human species likely breast fed for up to a year after birth

Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)

Infants of the extinct human species Australopithecus africanus(link is external) likely breast fed for up to a year after birth, similar to modern humans but of shorter duration than modern day great apes, according to an analysis of fossil teeth funded in part by the National Institutes of Health. The findings provide insight into how breast feeding evolved among humans and may inform strategies to improve modern breast-feeding practices. The study appears in Nature.

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 The Early Home Environment of Latino Children: A Research Synthesis

Cabrera & Hennigar, National Research Center on Hispanic Children & Families

Our review of the research suggests that the evidence on how the early home experiences of Latino children help them grow and develop is limited in scope and breadth and is largely not based on theoretically driven research. It is striking that most of this research has focused more on the adversities that Latino families face, rather than on their strengths, that it confounds ethnicity and socioeconomic status (SES), and that it does not consider the heterogeneity of Latinos in the United States.

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 Early Childhood Professionals



Project Grow – an interdisciplinary training program for early childhood special educators and speech language pathologists


Free noncredit courses for Intro to Early Care and Education Certificate (SMC)


Watch Me! Celebrating Milestones and Sharing Concerns

Free 1-Hr, 4-module course (in English & Spanish) on the importance of monitoring children’s development and how to talk to their parents about it.

 Early Childhood Resources

 Measles Information from LA County Department of Public Health


DPSS Outreach Staff @ VAP on Tuesdays

Please remind parents that they can apply for CalFresh and/or Affordable Health Care benefits at Virginia Avenue Park every Tuesday.


SM Alerts
Reminder to sign up at SM Alerts (for emergency & public safety alerts) to receive direct notification from the Santa Monica Office of Emergency Management, Police Department, and/or Fire Department when action from the public is needed. Other sources of information are the Facebook/Twitter feeds of the City of Santa Monica, SM Police Department, and SM Fire Department. Lastly, childcare providers are encouraged to call the non-emergency dispatch number at 310-458-8491 with any questions about an incident’s impact on their program.


Milestone Tracker app for parents – also in Spanish!

The CDC is pleased to announce that its free app, the Milestone Tracker, is now available in Spanish! This mobile app is part of a suite of free, family-friendly materials available through the Learn the Signs Act Early program.


Early Childhood Education & Financial Assistance

Have a question about available early childhood education and financial assistance?
Contact Connections for Children at 310-452-3325.


Vroom! App 

Help children 5 and under learn and develop! Show parents how they can use our fast, free Vroom tips to nurture their child’s learning and become brain-building heroes.


Conferences, Trainings, and Events

 ► CA Childcare Preventative Health & Safety Course (English) July 20, 2019

Connections for Children (Century Blvd)

>> Learn More >>

 ► Ashford University Early Childhood Education Virtual Conference (FREE)

July 24-26, 2019


>> Learn More >>

 ► Stewards of Children Child Abuse Prevention Workshop

Jul 25, 2019

Santa Monica Main Library – RSVP for childcare

>> Learn More >>

 ► Adult, Child and Pediatric First Aid/CPR/AED Certification Training

Aug 3, 2019

Connections for Children (Century Blvd)

>> Learn More >>

 ► Early Childhood Summit

August 26-27, 2019

Phoenix, AZ

>> Learn More >>

 ► IDA Statewide Conference

September 13-14, 2019

San Jose, CA

>> Leanr More >>

 ► Raising Connected, Happy, Successful Kids through Art

Sep 14, 2019

Los Angeles, CA

>> Learn More >>

 ► 4th Annual Vivian Weinstein Leadership Day: Best Practices in Early Childhood

Sep 23, 2019

CA Endowment

>> Learn More >>

 ► Zero to Three’s Annual Conference

Oct 2-4, 2019

Ft Lauderdale, FL

>> Learn More >>

 ► Stewards of Children Child Abuse Prevention Workshop

Oct 16, 2019

Virginia Avenue Park – RSVP for childcare

>> Learn More >>

 ► Opening Minds Early Education Conference

Jan 29-Feb 1, 2020

Chicago, IL

>> Learn More >>

 ► Young Child Expo & Conference

Apr 28 – May 1, 2020

New York, NY

>> Learn More >>

Currently Enrolling


The Therapeutic Preschool (Day Treatment Intensive at PSJ

Child and Family Development Center) has openings in September. Medi-Cal accepted.

>> See flyer >>

 SMMUSD has preschool openings for 2019-20.

>> See website >>

 Untitled No. 1 School – English & Spanish applications

>> See website >>

Immigration: Resolutions & Resources

Restriction of Immigration Enforcement Actions in “Sensitive Locations”

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has longstanding policies that restrict immigration enforcement actions in “sensitive locations,” including early care and education programs. This resource is intended to inform early childhood professionals about DHS sensitive locations policy.

>> Learn More >>

Supporting Children and Parents Affected by Family Separation

>> Learn More >> | Resources for educators  | Resources for families

Statements on Family Separation:

Ca depARTMENt of education

first 5 la


Zero to three


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A letter from your Mayor

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Additional Resources:

Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles

Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles

American Civil Liberties Union

Public Counsel

Andrew Gibsonfrontpage