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									                           Board of Early Education and Care

                                      April 14, 2009
                                    1:00 PM – 4:00 PM

                Greenfield Community College, Main Campus, Sloan Theatre
                                    1 College Drive
                                 Greenfield, MA 01301

                                         MINUTES

Members of the Board of Early Education and Care Present
    Sharon Scott-Chandler, Chairperson
    Paul Reville, Secretary of Education
    Marilyn Anderson Chase, Designee of the Secretary of EOHHS
    J.D. Chesloff
    Elizabeth Childs, M.D.
    Carol Craig O’Brien
    Julie P. Culhane, Ph.D., Vice-Chairperson
    Orlando Isaza
    Lynson Moore Beaulieu
    Mary Pat Messmer

       Sherri Killins, Ed.D. Commissioner of the Department and Secretary of the Board

Members of the Board of Early Education and Care Absent
    Chi-Cheng Huang, M.D.

The meeting was called to order at 1:16 p.m.

Comments from the Commissioner
Commissioner Killins thanked everyone in Western Massachusetts for their warm welcome
including, the Western Massachusetts Early Childhood Leadership Association (WLNA), and
stated that she was grateful to have been able to visit the Greenfield Family Learning Center
before the Board meeting. She noted that the program houses a Family Learning Center,
an Early Head Start program, a Massachusetts Family Network (MFN) program, a Parent-
Child Home Program and a Healthy Families program-- all the models EEC has at the local
level. Commissioner Killins offered special thanks to the Executive Director for Community
Action, Jane Sanders, who spoke about the struggles for funding programs and the ability to
run literacy programs for adults.

Commissioner Killins also thanked Greenfield Community College (GCC) and their President,
Robert Pura, for hosting the May Board meeting and noted GCC’s commitment to early
education. She added that GCC has a Building Careers program at the college, and the
importance of the program is well understood.

Commissioner Killins thanked the Western Massachusetts regional office staff for a great job
planning the logistics of the day’s event, and offered a special thanks to Kathy Webber, an
EEC Family Child Care Licensor, who organized and displayed all the artwork from the
children who attend the Greenfield YMCA, the First Church Nursery School, and Ja Duke,


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and Michelle Rubin, a Large Family Child Care Provider, who created table favors for the
Board members to keep as a memento.

Commissioner Killins then referenced the Commissioner’s Report which was included in the
Board materials, and she provided the following updates and highlights from the report.

 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA)
Commissioner Killins thanked everyone for sending comments regarding the process for
spending ARRA funds. These new resources, although one-time in nature, present an
opportunity to make progress in expanding access to child care assistance and increasing
program affordability, while continuing EEC’s work to improve program quality across the
Commonwealth.

 Universal Pre-Kindergarten (UPK)
Commissioner Killins noted that EEC has confirmed the eligibility of the 51 new UPK
Classroom Quality grantees. EEC is excited to move this project forward and to learn more
about what is working in this grant program through the UPK Evaluation, which will look at
3 and 4 year olds and UPK programming related to at-risk children. She noted that it is not
the resources alone that are necessary nor can we state that the resources alone made a
significant difference but we want to make sure we measure what we can that improves
quality.

 Child Care Regulations
Commissioner Killins stated that the new regulations were on today’s agenda and will be
discussed in greater detail.

 Income Eligible Re-Procurement
Commissioner Killins confirmed that EEC issued the Request for Responses (RFR) for
Income Eligible Child Care Financial Assistance contracts and that the responses are due
April 24, 2009. More than 550 people attended the bidders’ conferences that were held
throughout the state last month, and that interest was much appreciated. The RFR has not
been rebid in 11 years and during that time the field and the Department have grown a lot.
EEC looks forward to receiving the bidders’ responses.

 CPC Subsidy Transition
Commissioner Killins acknowledged that there have been bumps in the transition of subsidy
management from the local CPC lead agencies to the EEC automated billing and placement
systems. Some families have lost access to financial assistance for child care due to lack or
income or service need, which is sad because we believe in and understand the value of
early education, but we are mandated to serve families that are eligible under the federal
and EEC rules and regulations.

As of March 31st, 12% of families have been found ineligible; 241 of those were found
ineligible due to either a documented break in service, or they are now over income.
Commissioner Killins recalled a sad story about a family that was $6.00 over income, but
noted that the bar has to be set somewhere. EEC is doing what it can to review what
policies it has control over and which policies are not optional, adding that EEC really feels
for families in these difficult times.

 Birth to School-Age Task Force
Commissioner Killins announced that the Birth to School-Age Task Force held its first
meeting on March 23rd and will convene again on May 27th and July 22nd. Commissioner
Killins noted that she hopes to get recommendations from the Task Force by October in
order to move forward. It is clear that the cost of running programs for this age group is a
factor due to many requirements and the field is struggling with this issue.

 Early Childhood Educators (ECE) Scholarship Program
Commissioner Killins reported that the ECE scholarship will support more than 1,000 early
education and care and out-of-school time educators, progressing toward a degree.
Working together with Commissioner Freeland of the Department of Higher Education, a
group has been established to review the scholarship guidelines and make
recommendations for student success in this program.

 EEC Annual Legislative Report
Commissioner Killins stated that the EEC Annual Legislative report is posted on EEC’s
website (http://www.eec.state.ma.us/AboutEEC.aspx).

 Licensing: Supporting Interested Family Child Care Providers
Commissioner Killins reported that EEC has created and piloted family child care pre-
provider meetings in the EEC Central and Western Regional Offices. These meetings,
conducted in both English and Spanish depending upon need, provide an overview of what
becoming a family child care provider entails and acquaint potential providers with EEC
licensing staff and EEC’s regulations. This initiative has proven to be extremely successful
and we hope to expand the availability of these meetings.

 Translation Initiative
Commissioner Killins stated that EEC continues to address how the agency will provide
information in multiple languages. She noted that EEC is in the process of developing an
agency Translation Policy for FY 2010 that outlines procedures for translation services
offered to limited English Proficiency (LEP) populations. EEC is in the initial stages of
developing this policy in partnership with the Massachusetts Office of Refugees and
Immigrants and soon will be looking for feedback from the EEC Advisory Council.

 Unified Technology System
Commissioner Killins reported that the Unified IT project is moving forward and a lot of
internal work continues as EEC works toward securing a new vendor. The Advisory
Council’s Professional Development Subgroup assisted with the professional development
pieces of the new system.

  Background Record Checks (BRC): Improvement in Turn Around Time
Commissioner Killins announced that the backlog of BRC checks has been steadily
decreasing (currently by 40%) and the turnaround time has decreased as well (from 30
days to 19 days). Meanwhile, the IT unit continues to work on the electronic data exchange
with DCF, which should be operational by the end of April. Commissioner Killins thanked
providers for their patience while EEC works to address the BRC backlog and to expedite the
process.

  Rate Increases
Commissioner Killins reported that the rate increase for contracted providers is now
available in the on-line billing system (e-CCIMS). Contracted providers submitting invoices
in the month of May for April services will bill at the new rates. The voucher provider rate
increase will be implemented in mid-April through the Child Care Resource and Referral
(CCR&R) agencies who manage the voucher billings. The CCR&Rs will have access to the
new rates for voucher providers in June for services rendered in May. All rate increases are
retroactive to July 1, 2008.
Comments from the Secretary of Education
Secretary Reville apologized for arriving late, explaining that he was delayed because of
planning for today’s budgetary announcements in Boston which he will speak to shortly. He
was sorry to have missed his colleague, GCC President Pura, and stated that it was nice to
see this strong higher education and early education collaboration. Secretary Reville added
that he was glad to be in Greenfield, stating that he grew up in the area and it was good to
be back.

Secretary Reville noted that there is a lot happening at this time with stimulus funding
coming in to support the state and the field of early education and care. This funding could
not have come at a more opportune time, and he appreciated the serious consideration that
is being given to the best uses of these funds in order to benefit the field of early childhood
in the most significant ways. Secretary Reville added that it is important to recognize that
Governor Patrick played a critical role, within a small group of governors, to support
stimulus funds being used for the education system as it is a crucial piece of the
infrastructure in progressing forward. This is a major investment and discussions are
happening about how to use the funds in an expedited and appropriate manner. It is also
important to recognize that these stimulus funds will not fill all the gaps but do offer an
opportunity to prevent some damage erosion in the system and to introduce some reform in
education. There is an opportunity to increase the quality and affordability of programs by
working smarter and more efficiently, as we move forward and apply this funding as
effectively as possible.

Secretary Reville stated that the Governor would be announcing today some significant
budget issues for the fourth quarter, along with the actions the Governor plans to take to
address the issue

Secretary Reville noted that there are signs that the economy is picking up and that there
would not be many additional cuts this year because we are too far along in the year. There
are other devices which will be looked at in regard to stimulus funds. It is expected that
there will be a significant shortfall for fourth quarter revenues which will affect how we
move forward.

Secretary Reville acknowledged that the House budget usually builds off of the Governor’s
budget, but the opposite should be expected for this year; we will watch that closely and
will make revisions on that basis. Secretary Reville added that stimulus funds will be used to
buttress our efforts and we will adhere to our legal obligations.

Secretary Reville stated that work continues at the Executive Office of Education as they
plan to submit legislative reforms for education and efficiencies. The Readiness School Effort
will move forward under the jurisdiction of schools with related performance standards. This
effort will be lead by community based organizations, groups of teachers and a variety of
models aimed at school innovation and the creation of alternative structures in education. A
regional system of readiness centers is also being assembled and will bring higher education
and other key stakeholders to the table to focus on key challenges, including urban literacy
and supporting teachers in their first three years of practice.

Secretary Reville added that the notion of regionalization can bring further coordination and
regional collaboration. Franklin County is a good example of a governance structure that is
working and offers efficient purchasing opportunities, collaboration and shared services; this
model is being aggressively looked into.
Secretary Reville stated that the Governor is deeply committed to doing more for infants
and toddlers, such as cultivating literacy rich environments. The vision of the Readiness
Report is important to navigate towards; even in these difficult times, we need to manage
more tightly and keep an eye on the most effective parts of the system.

Chairperson Scott-Chandler thanked the Secretary for his comments and agreed that we are
still advancing the agenda on behalf of children and families. Secretary Reville reiterated
that the priorities are still on the table and that we are still reaching for the same goals
while working as hard as we can, which is a testament to the field of early education and
care.


Statements from the Public
The Board of Early Education and Care makes up to 30 minutes available for persons in the
audience to address the Board on specific agenda items. In order to hear as many speakers
as possible, the Board limits individuals to three minutes, although written material of any
length can be submitted to Chairperson Scott-Chandler or Commissioner Killins.

      Robin Shapiro – LEAP Schools and MICCO Organization - commented on the
       Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) noting that while MICCO fully
       endorse QRIS, many program Directors have significant concerns regarding the
       accreditation component because it is timely and expensive. She requested that
       other quality measures be considered that align with the accreditation requirements.

      Janice Brandisi – Resources for Child Care (Child Care Resource & Referral
       agency serving Berkshire) – testified on behalf of the CCR&R networks,
       highlighting their key functions and their recent efforts in the transition of financial
       assistance from Community Partnerships for Children (CPC) programs.

      Cindy Milner- Community Partnerships for Children (CPC) Coordinator –
       commented on the importance of collaborations between family child care providers,
       group centers, public schools and other stakeholders and provided examples of
       comprehensive services that support children and their families, such as speech and
       on-site behavior consultation. Ms. Milner added that all programs need support to
       improve the quality in the field and invited the Commissioner to visit Ludlow for the
       “Week of the Young Child” activities.

      Tammy Mosher – ARMY One Source- asked that the Board remember military
       families, especially those associated with the Reserve and National Guard who are
       dealing with deployments.

      Tom Ryan- HRSD – commented that the current financial strains and the existing
       structures that are in place, such as reimbursement rates, are not meeting the needs
       of providers, adding that local relationships between Family Child Care, Group Child
       Care, and preschools should be preserved.

      Alison Morrisey – Hampshire Education Collaborative (HEC), stated that she is
       an Early Childhood Mental Health Consultant and although she is impressed by EEC’s
       response to preschool expulsions, she wanted Mental Health support services
       through the CPC program preserved.

      Amy Hall- Child Care of the Berkshires – commented on maintaining local access
       to programs, including CPC, PCHP, MFN and JFSP. She asked the Board to consider
    the unique qualities of Western Massachusetts, such as the geographic barriers to
    services (distance, limited public transportation) and the difficulty and need for
    outreach. Ms. Hall added that regionalizing contracts would make it hard for
    Western Massachusetts to meet communities’ needs.

   Lillian Vania - Northern Berkshire CPC / Child Care of Berkshires –
    commented that the CPCs’ functions should not be regionalized, stating that they are
    successfully meeting communities’ needs and often maximize in-kind services for
    space and coordination.

   Barbara Finlayson – Hampshire Education Collaborative (HEC) – commented
    on the unique qualities of the western part of the state and noted that one person
    often serves many roles but has limited time to provide all needed supports. Ms.
    Finlayson asked that the Board consider rural challenges when supporting diversity.

   Lynn Notzelman- Ware Coordinator Joint Family Support Program (JFSP) –
    discussed the benefits of the JFSP model which reaches additional parents at-risk
    and connects those parents to play groups and early literacy environments.

   Denise Courcherner, Grandson attends playgroup at Ware JFSP – commented
    on the personal benefits her grandson receives through his participation in
    playgroups, as he would otherwise be in an isolated area with no child interaction.
    She provided the Board with a packet of testimony and voiced her hope that the
    Board will continue to support these types of programs.

   Sue Doucette – Pittsfield Public Schools –commented that the Pittsfield PCHP
    program is partially funded by the EEC grant while the public school covers the
    remaining costs. She invited the Board to visit Pittsfield.

   Kay Lissick – Hampshire Education Collaborative (HEC) – shared her concern
    that funding reductions prohibit quality improvements, such as NAEYC accreditation,
    and noted that in 2005, 13 out of 18 of providers supported by HEC were accredited,
    but now only 7 have maintained accreditation. Ms. Lissick noted that providers are
    discouraged and asked that EEC carefully look at how on-site consultation and
    program quality supports are made available to sustain quality improvements. She
    submitted a letter to the Board.

   Camaris Denson, Preschool Enrichment Team (PET)– testified that there are
    barriers to continuing education for teachers, as these individuals may not have a
    GED, and may need ESOL or college readiness coursework in another language. Ms.
    Denson noted that if funding such as the ECE scholarship was made available PET,
    and similar agencies, could work with colleges and communities to meet the needs of
    these teachers.

   Steven Hurtley - Valley Opportunity Council – asked that the Board use as much
    stimulus funding as possible for child care financial assistance in order to keep
    parents working and keep programs full so that they can afford to maintain quality
    measures.

   Susan Shift - Montessori School of Northampton – commented on the benefits
    of the CPC Councils and how they provide support for professional development, on-
    going classroom consultation, and general support for parents. Ms. Shift stated her
    concern that the rate reduction has caused programs to increase the private tuition
       rate resulting in reduced parent choice and that service need eligibility is tied to
       parents versus the child.

      Nancy Topping Tailby - MA Head Start Association – commented on the
       creation of a Head Start State Advisory Council (SAC), agreeing that the strategic
       planning responsibilities of the SAC are shared by the EEC Board, but added that that
       the SAC should include members of the Head Start community. She stated that Head
       Start looks forward to working with the Board to fully leverage the ARRA funds for
       competitive grants.

      Audrey Ford Victor – Springfield Family Support – stated her support of the
       MFN and PCHP programs, adding that these funds proactively fund quality programs
       that have a large return on investment and empower parents as their child’s first
       teacher.

      Corky Klimczak - Hampshire Family Network / Hampshire Education
       Collaborative (HEC) – commented about the challenges of running small programs
       during this time of budget cuts, and stated her support for the new vision for family
       support and the need for equity across the state.

      Jane Sanders – Community Action – spoke about the unique barriers faced by
       providers and families in Western Massachusetts, including limits on access to
       services, lack of transportation, distance between services, child abuse (2-3 times
       more than the state average) and poverty.

      Karen Green – Western Massachusetts Early Childhood Leadership
       Association (WLNA) – commented on and described the WLNA, noting that it is a
       unique group that represents all four Western MA counties and works through
       collaborations to improve early education and school age care by empowering people
       to take action.

      Barbara Black- Northampton Public Schools– thanked the Board for coming,
       adding that Western Massachusetts constituencies need to see them more often.

      Rachel MacLean – Leverette MA Child Care Program - addressed the
       importance of support for CPC and HEC, as they serve families that would otherwise
       not be served.

Chairperson Scott- Chandler thanked those who testified and reported that she received two
pieces of written testimony which will be copied and provided to all Board members.

End of public comment period.

Due to time constraints and concerns that one or more Board members would have to leave
the meeting early, Chairperson Scott-Chandler asked that the Board move the discussion
related to Infrastructure further down the agenda, so that the other agenda items that
require Board votes can be discussed and voted on while all members are present.

Routine Business:

On a motion duly made and seconded, it was:
VOTED that the Board of Early Education and Care approve the minutes of the
March 10, 2009 Board meeting, as presented by the Commissioner.
The motion passed unanimously.
Disclosures:
Prior to turning to the Agenda items for discussion, the Chairperson opened the floor for
Board Member conflict of interest disclosures. Chairperson Scott-Chandler stated that her
employer is an EEC grant and contract recipient and that she submitted a written disclosure.
Board Member Mary Pat Messmer also disclosed that her agency receives EEC funding and
stated that she submitted a written disclosure. Board Member Carol Craig O’Brien verbally
disclosed that her employer, the Westwood Public Schools, currently receives EEC funding
and has a potential interest in receiving additional funding.

Board Committee Reports

       Policy and Programs
      Board Member Childs reported that the agenda items for today’s discussion encompass
      the committee’s work and that she would provide committee updates as necessary as
      each agenda item is discussed.

       Fiscal and Budget
      Board Member Chesloff also noted that the committee’s work would be covered during
      today’s agenda items.

       Planning and Evaluation
      Board Member Moore Beaulieu gave the committee report for the Planning and
      Evaluation Committee, noting that the Committee discussed the proposed formation of
      the Head Start State Advisory Council, the proposed Advisory Team appointments, the
      CCDF State Plan, the UPK program evaluation and child outcomes.


Items for Discussion and Action:

 I.      EEC Child Care Regulations Reform - Discussion and Vote to Promulgate

Phil Baimas, EEC’s Associate Commissioner for Workforce Development, provided the Board
with an update on EEC’s child care regulation reform initiative, which included a review of
the work EEC has done since the last Board meeting to address the Board’s concerns on
children’s oral health, safe fall (use) zones for outdoor play and staff professional
development requirements. Associate Commissioner Baimas referred Board members to
the presentation included in the Board binders.

Associate Commissioner Baimas explained that the regulation reform committee had
convened into smaller working groups to research the issues presented by the Board at the
last Board meeting, and then worked with the Board’s Program and Policy Committee to
develop recommendations for the Board around these three particular issues. He then
summarized the recommendations to the Board.

With respect to oral health, it is proposed that EEC revise the regulations to require tooth
brushing in all programs that children attend for more than 4 hours or include a meal.
School age child care programs that only meet these criteria during school vacation weeks
and do not operate in the summer need not comply with this requirement, and EEC will
address this exception through policy. EEC will provide technical assistance and make other
resources available to all programs irrespective of whether they are required through
regulation to provide children with an opportunity to brush their teeth.
With regard to safe fall (use) zones for outdoor play Associate Commissioner Baimas
reviewed the options listed on slide 8 of the presentation. Associate Commissioner Baimas
and Board Member Childs reported that the Program and Policy Committee reviewed the
options and is recommending, among other things, that fall zone requirements for family
child care providers be phased in and be required by 2012 to give Family Child Care
programs time to retrofit existing equipment. To that end, the regulations would be revised
to require fall zones for all new equipment installed after the effective date of the
regulations.

With regard to staff qualifications and professional development relative to diverse learners,
Associate Commissioner Baimas and Board Member Childs reported that the Program and
Policy Committee reviewed the options listed in slide 11 of the presentation. The
Committee is recommending that the regulations be revised to increase the percentage of
required professional development that must address diverse learners from 25% to 33%.
Furthermore, the Committee is recommending that EEC develop a policy, for consideration
by the Board, which will state that all required professional development must include
diverse learners.

Board member Chesloff asked whether EEC looked into using stimulus funding to the cover
costs of implementing some of these initiatives. Commissioner Killins responded by stating
that EEC is continuing to look at that option, and will bring that for Board consideration as
we continue to explore options for spending stimulus funding. Associate Commissioner
Baimas concluded the presentation, noting that the regulations would go into effect in
January, 2010, which will allow time for staff and the field to prepare to meet the new
requirements.

Board Member Childs summarized the Program and Policy Committee thinking on this
agenda item, noting that the Committee really tried to incorporate all the previous
discussion from the last Board meeting. Board Member Childs moved to accept the
regulations subject to the recommendations of the Program and Policy Committee.

On a motion duly made and seconded, it was:
VOTED that the Board of Early Education and Care approve the Department’s
revised and restructured licensing regulations governing family child care, group
child care, and school age child care programs, as presented with the three
changes recommended by the Program and Policy Committee relating to children’s
oral health, safe fall zones for outdoor play and professional development
requirements, and that the Board further authorize the Commissioner to submit
the proposed regulations to the joint committee on education and the house and
senate committees on ways and means at least 60 days prior to promulgation, as
required by Chapter 15D, sections 3(f) and 8(a), and further authorize the
Commissioner to file the revised and restructured regulations with Secretary of
the Commonwealth, in accordance with M.G.L. c. 30A, for publication and
promulgation by January 1, 2010. The vote was unanimous.


II.    Planning for American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) Funding –
       Update and Discussion

Amy Kershaw, EEC Deputy Commissioner for Programs, referred Board members to the
American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) Funding presentation included in their
Board binders and summarized the materials. The presentation included a review of the
ARRA constraints, guiding principles, federal and state guidance, funding expectations,
EEC’s process to collect ideas, prioritize proposals for the use the funds, and next steps.

Deputy Commissioner Kershaw emphasized that Massachusetts has been selected as one of
sixteen states to be regularly reviewed and audited by the GAO regarding its use of ARRA
funds. The ARRA funds are to be spent in accordance with existing federal Child Care
Development Block Grant (CCDBG) regulatory requirements, including monitoring and
auditing requirements, but that our federal and state oversight authorities have clearly
indicated that there will be additional accountability and tracking requirements for these
funds.

Board member Chesloff observed that in the current economic climate, the expansion of
funding in any area seems to be in conflict with existing budget and appropriation funding
limitations and asked about the “supplement but don’t supplant” ARRA rule.
Commissioner Killins responded that the Department received recent federal guidance that
if the legislature makes cuts after ARRA funds are received then that could be considered
supplanting, but as long as the Department does not change decisions about money that it
currently has, it is fine. Basically, states cannot say to agencies that because you are
getting “x” amount in federal ARRA funds, we are taking state funding away. Secretary
Reville stated that clear guidance is needed and admitted that there are areas of gray. At a
minimum, for accountability and tracking purposes, the money should go where it is
directed to go; states have some discretion as to how these funds will be used and may go
back as far back as FY 2006.

There was some Board discussion regarding the availability of ARRA special education funds.
Deputy Commissioner Kershaw explained that preschool special education ARRA funds will
be funded through IDEA Part B. As is established practice, these funds will be administered
by EEC with guidance from ESE. The $10.2 million in ARRA funds will go directly to school
districts via formula based grants and will be administered in two allocations. The first
allocation will be administered for distribution on July 1 with a focus on recovery and the
second will be administered in the fall with a focus on reform and reinvestment.

Board Member Moore Beaulieu asked whether there was any IDEA Part C ARRA funding,
what is it used for and who administers that. Deputy Commissioner Kershaw responded
that the IDEA Part C funds will be administered by the Department of Public Health for Early
Intervention. There was some discussion on whether the special education funds
administered by EEC can be used to ensure smooth transitions for children aging out of
Early Intervention programs and aging into special education services provided by the public
schools.

Board Member Chesloff reported on the Fiscal and Budget Committee’s work and discussed
the draft principles for ARRA expenditures as listed on slide 9 of the presentation. Board
Member Chesloff noted that the first three themes--sustainability, accountability, and
economic impact-- are from the federal government. The remaining three principles–
Collaboration, Reform and Prioritization– were developed by the Committee and are
consistent with the Board’s strategic plan. He noted that the Board’s Strategic Plan values
all children and all families, but in times of fiscal constraint, children and families at-risk
must come first.

Deputy Commissioner Kershaw provided an overview of EEC’s public outreach and planning
process, through which EEC collected 77 unduplicated ideas from the field relative to the
expenditure of ARRA funds. The ideas, along with the rationale, baseline data, and source
of the idea are catalogued in two charts that are included in the Board binders. These charts
are organized into two categories-- Access and Quality-- to align with the two CCDBG ARRA
funding streams, and the ideas are scored applying the Board’s strategy screen. The charts
of ideas were presented to the Advisory Team and Committees of the Board, where the
ideas were reviewed and prioritized by meeting members for Board consideration. She then
reviewed the results of this prioritization process. She presented the preliminary priorities
for Quality Funds, noting that the number one priority was to invest in programs to meet
and maintain quality standards and requirements, such as new licensing requirements,
professional development, accreditation and assessment. Deputy Commissioner Kershaw
presented the preliminary priorities for Access Funds which include: summer-only
vouchers, continuity of care (e.g., children aging-up, siblings), extension of the job search
service need from eight weeks to 26 weeks to match federal unemployment to recognize
the difficulty of finding a job in this economy, and a two year self sufficiency voucher. She
stated that EEC does not have sufficient funding to advance all these priorities. EEC is
seeking the Board’s guidance in prioritizing how to use this limited funding.

Several Board Members asked about the time limits tied to these ARRA funds. Deputy
Commissioner Kershaw responded that there is a specific two-year time limit with some
funds tied to a start date of July 1, 2009. Board Member Chesloff stated that he continues
to be concerned about creating a “cliff” for families and providers when this two year
funding ends. Chairperson Scott-Chandler cautioned that we
can tell people it is for two years but we know that in two years families will come to us for
more money. Board Member Beaulieu suggested that EEC create a contract that lets
families know that there is a two year limit to the funding, but allows EEC to extend
vouchers should additional funding become available.

Several Board members voiced concerns about access to funds. These concerns included
quantifying access to funds; minimizing the burden to families after the two year period
expires; and tracking and achieving outcomes.

Board member Moore Beaulieu remarked that she had heard that a significant number of
families are leaving programs because they are not eligible and asked whether this was a
statewide phenomenon that will affect current statewide levels of funds. Deputy
Commissioner Kershaw replied that there are two things happening. The first is that with
the CPC transition, 12% of the families were found not eligible. Second, we are seeing a lot
of attrition due to people losing their jobs. If EEC is able to expand the job search, we
would want to expand it to working families that have lost their jobs. These funds should
be directly linked to current challenges in the system due to the current economy.

Deputy Commissioner Kershaw added that families are struggling right now, and cautioned
that if we don’t effectively and efficiently use the money to address the current funding gap
and support families, we are going to see programs close; families that can’t work will result
in lost jobs and classrooms closing. She stated that EEC will come back to the Board with a
full plan to address the use of ARRA funds for Quality and Access, but asked the Board to
move forward quickly and approve the expenditure of a portion of the funding for “summer
only” vouchers for children of working families.

Commissioner Killins reminded Board members that there would be an opportunity for the
Board to vote on appropriate budget appropriations in May but they now had the chance to
vote on appropriating $2.5 million to provide access to summer-only care.

On a motion duly made and seconded, it was:
VOTED that the Board of Early Education and Care approve that up to $2.5 Million
of the Child Care Development Block Grant Funds received by the Commonwealth
of Massachusetts through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) be
used for the purpose of providing “Summer Only” child care financial assistance to
the children of working families, subject to appropriation and allotment, and
subject to the following policy objectives:

1. priority will be given to families/children residing in underperforming districts based on
   Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (ESE) district/ school accountability
   status determinations;
2. priority will be given to children whose siblings are already enrolled/receiving child care
   financial assistance from EEC; and
3. children will be authorized to attend summer-only programs that can demonstrate that
   they have a specific program component or focus that addresses summer learning loss.

It was further VOTED that the Board authorize the Commissioner to develop and
submit a plan that meets these specific policy objectives to the Secretary of
Education for consideration. The vote was 9 in favor, 1 abstention, 0 in
opposition. Secretary Reville abstained, and stated that he looks forward to receiving the
Commissioner’s plan as specified in the vote. The motion passed.

Marylin Anderson Chase excused herself from the meeting.


III.   Planning for FY2010 EEC Grant Awards – Discussion and Vote

Deputy Commissioner Kershaw referenced the March Board meeting presentation on this
topic and indicated that she would be presenting the recommendations for EEC Grant
planning for FY2010 developed by the Board’s Policy and Program Committee. Deputy
Commissioner Kershaw provided a brief overview of each of the EEC Grant Programs,
explained how they aligned with the Board’s strategic directions, and reviewed FY2009
budget reduction impacts to particular grants.

Deputy Commissioner Kershaw referred Board members to the materials in their Binders
which included a “Vision Statement” for enhancing family access, education and support
through the coordination of local services. The proposed criteria for the Coordinated Local
Family Access and Community Supports Request for Response (RFR) grants are in
furtherance of this vision, which includes specific child, family and community outcomes.
She explained that EEC proposes to seek voluntary joint grant proposals from communities
to encourage and further support comprehensive planning and delivery of local family
access and supports while allowing for greater flexibility. This year’s planning will inform a
potential competitive bid in FY2011. Deputy Commissioner Kershaw noted that the planned
RFR was extremely responsive to many of the comments provided during public testimony.

With regard to the UPK grants, Deputy Commissioner Kershaw acknowledged EEC is not
expecting new funds for UPK in FY 2010, and that the focus for the FY2010 fiscal year is
more to refine expenditure parameters and simplify administration for existing grantees.
Other areas of proposed change include establishing specific grant outcomes. Deputy
Commissioner Kershaw also outlined several key system-building/policy development issues
with regard to Universal Pre-K that will need to be addressed by the Board over the coming
year but will not impact FY2010 renewal grants for existing UPK Classroom Quality
grantees.

With regard to professional development and accreditation grants, Deputy Commissioner
Kershaw reviewed proposed grant outcomes and plans to consolidate these two grants into
a simple application for Community Partnership Councils (CPCs) along with their proposed
changes. Deputy Commissioner Kershaw noted that professional development was
particularly affected by mid-year (9C) budget cuts and that by consolidating the grants, EEC
hoped to create economies of scale and increase the viability of these critical local services.
The RFR process will also seek to reduce duplication at the local and regional level, as well
as encourage collaboration. EEC will be undertaking a similar process to amend the Child
Care Resource and Referral Agency (CCR&Rs) contracts for professional development.

Board Member Chesloff asked whether any of the grant proposals would result in cost
savings. Deputy Commissioner Kershaw responded that efficiencies in administration and
service delivery are expected to result from the implementation of the proposed changes,
but that the whole – at each level – remains underfunded. With the consolidation and
proposed changes to the grants, EEC hopes to realize greater efficiencies, while working
toward a common vision. Commissioner Killins noted that we have already seen two 9C
cuts for this population, so we are not looking to further reduce funding at this time.

There was some discussion regarding the interplay between the Community Partnerships for
Children (CPCs) the Massachusetts Family Networks (MFNs), Parent Child Home Programs
(PCHPs), and Joint Family Support Programs (JFSPs). Deputy Commissioner Kershaw was
asked whether EEC will continue to have these separate programs or will rename them and
was asked how that will work. She responded that EEC has developed a new notion of local
family support and that this is an opportunity for the Secretary, the Governor’s office, and
the Board to define what the Commonwealth wants, as well as rebrand and define that
vision in FY2011. The current year will serve as an important partnership with communities
to help understand challenges and opportunities. PCHPs will be expected to continue to
deliver the federally required model but will be administratively integrated with the other
grants. Board Member Moore Beaulieu noted that the proposal seems to be closely aligned
with what CPCs are already delivering and is this just a name change. Deputy
Commissioner Kershaw noted that many required services are indeed the same but also
that there are expanded responsibilities and age ranges that incorporate the other grants
being consolidated. Commissioner Killins stated that what we need is for everyone to come
together and if it adds value we will change the name.

Board Member Childs stated that the Program and Policy Committee felt this proposal was
one step forward toward a coordinated family responsive system, and that we were building
on an existing partnership with providers by letting them tell us what works for them at
their level. Board Member Childs added that the proposed changes reflect the value of
coordination and brings together families in the local area. She commented that that the
idea is to improve efficiency – less overhead, more for services-- while harnessing the
creativity of what’s happening on the ground level. Board Member Childs asked Board
Member Craig O’Brien for her thoughts. Board Member Craig O’Brien stated that she is
abstaining from the discussion and vote due to a conflict of interest. It was noted that there
was ample public comment on this issue today, and that the Board should consider whether
the proposal is reflective of the public comments received.

There was some discussion on accreditation. Board Member Moore Beaulieu asked why the
accreditation success rate of the current grants was so low, and suggested that there
needed to be tracking of programs that decided not to seek accreditation. One Board
member noted that Massachusetts continues to be the number one place for accredited
centers. Deputy Commissioner Kershaw responded that perhaps the proposed RFR can
include a question to better understand the challenges facing programs in achieving
accreditation.

Board Member Childs added that the overall proposal today is reflective of the Policy and
Programs Committee discussions, including the overall concern that outcomes be included
as a central part of any EEC funding efforts. Deputy Commissioner Kershaw concluded the
presentation by describing the timeline needed for RFR development, posting and review in
order to award grants by July 1, 2009. Board Member Craig O’Brien notde that she would
refrain from voting on this motion.

On a motion duly made by Board Member Childs and seconded, it was:
VOTED that the Board of Early Education and Care approve the Department’s
policy objectives and guidelines, as detailed in the presentation to the Board on
April 14, 2009, for the award of grants in fiscal year 2010. The vote was 8 in
favor, 2 abstentions, and 0 in opposition. Board members Carol Craig O’Brien and
Lynson Moore Beaulieu abstained from voting. The motion carried.

Commissioner Killins noted that it was already past 4:00, but asked that if Board members
could just stay for a few more minutes she would like the Department’s General Counsel to
briefly discuss the CCDF State Plan agenda item, as it will require Board action at the next
Board meeting.

IV.    Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) State Plan - Discussion

Constantia Papanikolaou, EEC’s General Counsel, referred the Board members to the
materials in their binders, which included a PowerPoint presentation on the Child Care and
Development Fund (CCDF) State Plan timeline and requirements. She briefly explained that
the State Plan is the Commonwealth’s federal grant application for CCDF funds, and that the
Department is the state’s CCDF lead agency in this regard. EEC estimates that over $538
million in federal and state funds will be available to the Commonwealth for Fiscal Year
2010; this includes CCDF and TANF direct federal dollars, TANF transfer funding and over
$76 million in state match and maintenance of effort. The Commonwealth’s State Plan
essentially describes to the federal government how EEC spends all of this funding
consistent with the CCDF goals and purposes, and as such the State Plan summarizes just
about everything that EEC does. It is submitted every two years in order for EEC to
continue to receive CCDF funds. EEC’s next State Plan is due to CCDF by July 1, 2009.

In the interest of time, General Counsel Papanikolaou asked the Board to turn their
attention to the slide that lays out the next steps and the submission timeline. She
indicated that the Board Planning and Evaluation Committee will make the first attempt at
reviewing the plan between now and the May 12th Board meeting, and that the document
will be posted for the full Board’s review prior to the May Board meeting. General Counsel
Papanikolaou explained that there should be no surprises in the Plan, and that the State
Plan process is not to be viewed as an opportunity to introduce new topics; the Plan is
intended to reflect how EEC has spent and intends to spend CCDF funds.

The Board vote scheduled for May 12th will be a vote to put the State Plan out for public
comment. EEC expects to hold at least two public hearings on the document in the end of
May. EEC will then summarize the public comments received and will ask the Board, at the
June Board meeting, to vote to approve the document and authorize the Department to
submit it to ACF by or before July 1st. Finally, General Counsel Papanikolaou advised the
Board that they should feel free to submit verbal or written comments to her on the Plan
throughout the development process up to and including the June 9 th Board meeting.

Chairperson Scott-Chandler concluded the meeting by again thanking Greenfield Community
College for hosting the board meeting in Western Massachusetts, and the EEC Western
Regional Office and WLNA for hosting the public luncheon and taking care of all the logistics
for the meeting.
On motion duly made and seconded, it was:
VOTED that the meeting adjourn at 4:17pm, subject to the call of the Chairperson.


                                     Respectfully submitted,
                                     Sherri Killins, Ed.D.
                                     Commissioner of the Department and
                                     Secretary to the Board

								
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