December 10, 2015 Print E-mail

Meeting Minutes of December 10, 2015

(approved on 1/14/16)

I.  Welcome and Introductions

Present: Susan Buckley, Jessica Callahan, Sydney Fisher Larson, Ovieda Elliott, Sheryl Lyons, Cameron Mull, Dian Pecora, Connie Sundberg
Mary Ann Hansen, Andrea Sousa
Nancy Howatt
Jessica Grant, Jeanine Lancaster, Meg Walkley, Beth Heavilin
Mark Lovelace

Sydney Fisher Larson called the meeting to order at 8:05 am


II.  Public Comments and Announcements

-  Commissioner Fisher Larson attended the Open Door Community Health Centers annual meeting and shared that the number of uninsured patients has gone down from 40% to 6% in one year, due to the Affordable Care Act’s health insurance enrollment opportunities.

-  Jeanine Lancaster shared that the Betty Kwan Chinn Day Center and Eureka Parks & Recreation Division are doing a literacy outreach event with the Library.

-  Commissioner Lyons announced that the newly hired Director of the Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS) did turn down the appointment.  Phil Crandall, the current Director of DHHS is retiring the end of December 2015.


III.        Executive Director Report

  • Mary Ann shared a handout about California Earned Income Tax Credit (Cal EITC). Many people are not aware that they qualify for assistance and paid up to $200 to file their taxes.  The Cal EITC information will be posted on our Facebook page, so providers can share this valuable resource. In addition, a 2012 working paper found that the increased family income associated with the federal Earned Income Tax Credit reduces the incidence of low birth weight and increases mean birth weight of newborns between 6.7 and 10.8%.
  • The California Health Care Foundation has released the report Major Transition with Minor Disruption:  Moving Undocumented Children from Healthy Kids to Full-Scope MediCal on implementing MediCal expansion to include hundreds of thousands of California children who are undocumented. The report includes a breakdown by counties.
  • The First 5 Express (formerly Hands-on-Health) van is coming to the Humboldt County Library in the spring of 2016.
  • Mary Ann has been doing work in Hoopa through her work at HSU with a grant from Humboldt BRIDGES. Mary Ann has been training early childhood program staff in Hoopa to prepare the staff for Dr. Perry’s Neurosequential Model of Education, which will be offered in the spring of 2016.  In addition, Meg Walkley and Beth Heavilin will offer a workshop in Hoopa through the grant on using reflective practice in education and family support settings.
  • An audit with the Board of Equalization (BOE) showed that the BOE has been mishandling funds and has shown a lack of oversight.  This audit did not include the Prop. 10 funds, which are anticipated to be audited in the near future.
  • Our First 5 IMPACT application was submitted yesterday and we were the first County to submit an application.  First 5 California did provide an extension to counties who are not ready to submit by tomorrow’s deadline.  The First 5 IMPACT grant will bring in around $660,000 over a 5-year period to Humboldt County. Funds will be used to provide professional development to playgroup leaders, family child care providers and early childhood educators from center-based programs.  We are also anticipating hiring a part-time coordinator to oversee the grant.
  • The First 5 California newsletter “First 5 CA Focus” was released last week.  It includes an article on e-cigarettes and the ballot initiative currently gathering signatures.
  • Kim Puckett and Mary Ann have been discussing evaluation forms we use and updating them to make them more user-friendly. The Evaluation Action Team also met to review the evaluation forms at the last meeting. In addition, discussed was developing a social media packet on the effectiveness of playgroups.
  • Mary Ann, Beth Heavilin and Meg Walkley have submitted an article to the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), entitled “Rooted in Partnerships: Growing a More Responsive Early Childhood Mental Health System,” which has been accepted. The article will be published in the March 2016 issue of Young Children.
  • Mary Ann talked about starting a blog for Commissioners to share First 5 related information.


IV.  Approval of Minutes: Commission meeting minutes of November 17, 2015
Commissioner Lyons requested changes on page 6, Discussion Item IX, under the Harm-reduction comment. She said the she made that comment and not Commissioner Fisher Larson.  In addition, she would like to rephrase a comment, adding that Humboldt County is perceived as being tolerant about marijuana use.
The minutes of November 17, 2015 were approved with the corrections.


V. Consent Calendar:
September 2015 Postings
October 2015 Postings
Meeting Schedule for 2016
CLIF Award: Child Abuse Prevention Coordinating Council Roundtable
All Consent Calendar items were approved as presented.


VI.  Information Item: First 5 California IMPACT Grant

Commissioners received an update on the submitted First 5 California IMPACT Phase 2 grant application.  First 5 California already has approved the base-layer funding in the amount of $240,000 for Humboldt.  The Phase 2 application will bring in an additional $420,000 over the next 4 ½ years. Technically, we are half way through the first year. We hope to hire a part-time coordinator by the end of March 2016 to oversee the grant.

The grant will provide trainings, professional learning opportunities and it has a coaching component.  We budgeted for 50 participating sites, with 41 sites required to participate.  Sites will include all playgroup sites, a number of family child care sites, center-based child care sites, Tribal child care programs, Head Start and State-funded programs. Training components include Family Strengthening, ASQ, and Reflective Practice.

Nancy Howatt shared the 5-year IMPACT budget with Commissioners. The budget breaks down anticipated expenditure by each Fiscal Year.  Per last year’s Audit Report our administrative overhead cost was 13%, therefore we were able to use this percentage in calculating the indirect cost of the budget. Each county has a 4:1 match requirement to support the First 5 IMPACT efforts. Our county exceeds the match requirement, due to the playgroup cost that is covered by the fiscal agents for each playgroup. The IMPACT budget can be adjusted on a quarterly basis and we will receive reimbursement for expenditures by First 5 California on a quarterly basis. Nancy suggested putting the revenue aside for the indirect cost until the Commission decides how to best use these revenues.

Mary Ann talked about the Quality Rating & Improvement System (QRIS). A QRIS is a systemic approach to assess, improve, and communicate the level of quality in early care and education programs. QRIS awards quality ratings to early care and education programs that meet a set of defined program standards. By participating in the QRIS, early care providers embark on a path of continuous quality improvement. Humboldt County does not yet have a QRIS in place, but we support QRIS and the RFA will be available in the spring.

The First 5 IMPACT requires evaluation and a data base. Several options for data bases are available and First 5 Humboldt staff and consultants are leaning toward using the Pinwheel data base. Commissioner Fisher Larson shared that the Pinwheel data base is easy to use, and that aside from county-wide data, site by site data can be extracted, which is useful in serving the need of each site. Mary Ann said the data base is easy, accessible and affordable, with $200/year program fee. Commissioner Lyons inquired about how First 5 Humboldt could help with paying the fee for smaller child care programs. Commissioner Fisher Larson suggested the possibility for child care providers to apply through the Helping Hands Humboldt program to cover the cost, if they are not participating in IMPACT.  Nancy Howatt suggested that maybe some funds from the indirect cost revenue could be assigned to help with this.

First 5 California will announce by February if our grant application was approved.  Mary Ann will provide updates as they become available.


VII.  Information Item: Zero To Three Conference
Meg Walkley and Beth Heavilin recently attended the Zero To Three 30th National Training Institute in Seattle, Washington. Meg reported that 3,000 people from seven countries, and every State in the US attended. Attendees participated in a “Zero To Three Rally for Babies” Twitter storm to political candidates. When Meg attended the Zero To Three conference in California a few years ago, the message was to find their “rock stars” to promote the importance of the 0 to 3 period of development.  At this year’s conference, the 0-3 message permeated.  Meg shared that she learned that Zero To Three was working with movie producers to incorporate the 0-3 message through popular television shows and video blogs and normalizing the message.  The Governor of Washington and the Mayor of Seattle attended the conference and talked about what they are doing for the 0-3 population.  Nadine Burke-Harris gave a presentation and talked about Strategies for adverse childhood experiences and toxic stress.

Beth Heavilin announced that she will create a document for the Commission with resources and materials gathered at the conference.  She will e-mail Andrea the link to share with Commissioners. Beth and Meg shared the First 5 Humboldt playgroup work with a poster presentation at the conference. The poster layout was framed around the family strengthening work and parent resiliency work both Meg and Beth are doing in the playgroups. Meg and Beth distributed cards during the conference that included QR codes for ordering/downloading information for our Playgroup Initiative Manual. The presentation was about 1 ½ hours and they made great connections with people from other States. Some people took photos of the poster to share with their agencies. Meg shared that the playgroup work that we are doing in Humboldt is aligned with what is happening elsewhere in the country. Meg and Beth both enjoyed talking with other conference participants about the playgroup work.

Professional development was a big conversation throughout the conference sessions. The National Academy Press just released a new book “Transforming the Workforce for Children Birth through Age 8 – A Unifying Foundation,” by the Institute of Medicine and National Research Council, which can be downloaded for free at the website.  In addition, Zero To Three is developing online trainings, aligning the workshops with evaluation work.  Commissioner Fisher Larson expressed concern that the document is not a living document and the number of early education jobs in Humboldt County they are anticipating is not correct.  This needs to be updated/changed.

Beth participated in a session on Autism where a study was shared about when and how behavioral signs of autism spectrum disorders emerge in the first years of life.  Beth also participated in a session on the newly updated DC 0-5, a tool for therapists for diagnosing mental health issues in children age 0-5.  The updated tool has new indicators for 0-5 and the tool is a stand-alone tool that is child specific.  The updated DC 0-5 will be unveiled at next year’s conference.

Meg attended a session on “Learning from Elders” about Native American practices in Oregon.  Advocacy work is being done in Oregon about evidence-based practices, including creating a structure for programs to include tribal best practices. Change in legislative language now includes “Tribal Best Practices” in addition to “Best Practices.” Meg was wondering if this advocacy work could be transferred to our area.  Commissioner Fisher Larson asked about “Practice-based evidence.”  Meg said that the term was not used, but examples of practice based evidence was consistent with the Tribal Best Practices, such as in the greetings and basket-making practices – practices that are important to the Native American culture.

Both Beth and Meg attended staff development workshops and shared handouts. They are considering how to bring this information into her work with the 0-8 Mental Health Collaborative and how to move it into the systems-change conversation. Meg asked for suggestions from the Commission on how to proceed. Meg referred to a handout from Zero To Three that includes “Stages and Drivers – Exploration, Installation, Initial Implementation, and Full Implementation;” and “Improved Outcomes for Children – Effective EC Strategies.” This model has the leadership piece as a driver to move forward. In the work with the 0-8 Mental Health Collaborative, the missing driver is the administrative piece. Commissioner Fisher Larson pointed out that the word “Education” is not mentioned in the drivers.  She said that training is not the only driver, but education is essential for Improved Outcomes for Children. Mary Ann mentioned that the First 5 IMPACT grant blends both training and education. Beth shared that she is working with three departments at HSU in doing “crosswalks” to include supplemental training to complement the education component. Commissioner Lyons mentioned that in the Selection driver the education piece comes up a lot and is valued. Commissioners discussed training components vs education components for Improved Outcomes for Children.

Commissioner Buckley talked about Early Intervention and how to adjust the responsiveness in the referral systems, for instance in the CWS track. Commissioners discussed bringing awareness to practices/policies and how to discuss this with partners.  Also, more county-wide data is needed.  Meg talked about the education component and how local education administrators could look at funding formulas in early education and how they contribute to continuum of care for social/emotional development in early education. Meg also shared that Humboldt BRIDGES discussed doing asset-mapping to identify cross-disciplinary gaps and what’s already in place.

One handout “Foundations for Success (Ramsey County MN) Continuum of Care” was examined. Specific color-coded funding keys are highlighted that show funding distribution for Prevention, Early Intervention, Interventions, and Intensive Interventions. In addition a handout for Statewide Early Childhood Mental Health Continuum of Care, where workshop participants can fill in the funding sources for their communities, was shared. Commissioner Elliott said that this model is a great foundation piece for the children’s budget without showing the dollar amount. Nancy Howatt shared that Wendy Rowan and she had meetings with County officials and department heads about developing a children’s budget, but they were met with resistance. Nancy said she also liked the model from Ramsey County. Commissioner Fisher Larson pointed out that programs should drive the budget and not the budget drive the programs. Jeanine Lancaster talked about the True North Organizing Network and how they provide education for citizens how to read the budget in regards to programs.

Mary Ann suggested continuing this discussion at a future meeting. Commissioner Buckley suggested forming a small group to do preliminary work about having a 0-3 systems support conversation. Commissioners agreed that a common general level of awareness needs to be in place before further steps can be taken. Commissioners also liked the idea of developing a chart like the Ramsey County “Foundations for Success Continuum of Care” chart, instead of a children’s budget at this time.


The meeting was adjourned at 9:30 am.


Next Meeting:
Thursday, January 14, 2016

8:30 am to 10:30 am
Office of First 5 Humboldt

Chair:  Susan Buckley

Minutes compiled by:  Andrea Sousa, Executive Secretary, First 5 Humboldt, 1012 - 2nd Street, Eureka, 95501

Future Meetings:
Thursday, Feb. 11, 2016 from 8:30 – 10:30 am
Tuesday, March 22, 2016 from 5-7 pm
Thursday, April 14, 2016 from 8:30 – 11 am
Thursday, May 12, 2016 from 8:30 – 11 am
Tuesday, June 21, 2016 from 5-7 pm
Thursday, Aug. 11, 2016 from 8:30 – 10:30 am
Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2016 from 5-7 pm
Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2016 from 5-7 pm
Thursday, Nov. 17, 2016 from 8:30 – 10:30 am
Thursday, Dec. 8, 2016 from 8:30 – 10:30 am