Goal 3: Further quality child care and education for young children Print E-mail

Goal 3: Further quality child care and education for young children

The need for high quality child care and early education opportunities has been a consistent concern and focus for First 5 Humboldt throughout the years.

Action: High quality child care and early education are widely available, and support social and cognitive development

Child Care and Early Education Indicators

  • # ECE/child care providers participating in continuing education & training
  • # of child care programs/providers participating in activities that increase their quality
  • Availability of formal child care for working parents
  • Increase in the amount of time child care providers read to children in their care
  • #/% parents and children going to the library regularly
  • #/% families participating in English and/or bi-lingual Storytimes
  • #/% of families that perceive the library as “family friendly”
  • #/% children entering kindergarten ready to learn

Synopsis of results related to Child Care and Early Education indicators: Ten Helping Hands Humboldt grants were provided to Early Childhood Educators to help improve their program quality. 24 Early Childhood Educators took part in the Mentor Program. 130 ECE providers participated in First 5 Humboldt ECE workshops. Formal child care is available for 24% of working parents in Humboldt County. Child care providers participating in the Library’s Leap into Literacy Program report increasing the time they read to children.
The frequency with which people go to the Library or Bookmobile has increased slightly for all respondents including Spanish speakers and American Indian/Native American parents/caregivers. The perception of the Library as a family-friendly place has increased slightly from last year for most parents/caregivers except for a decrease among American Indian/Native American parents/caregivers.

Results from projects related to ECE/child care providers participating in continuing education and training and quality improvement

Helping Hands Humboldt Awards The purpose of Helping Hands Humboldt is to assist with building a workforce that provides quality care and education for young children. The program provides funding for ECE providers to further their professional growth in order to improve the quality of their services to young children. Grant awards range from $250-$2,000.In 2015, ten grants were awarded. Most of these grants focused on improvements to outdoor play spaces. A full description of all grants awarded is available at the First 5 Humboldt office.

ECE Workshops Three workshops were conducted for ECE providers in 2015. These included “Nature-Inspired Play” with 69 attendees, “Nature-Inspired Play Technical Assistance Workshop” with 13 attendees, and a “Loose Parts” workshop with 48 attendees.

Facebook Page The Humboldt County Early Childhood Educators has a Facebook group page which is an active hub for early care and education providers. Weekly posts include job opening announcements, curriculum and resource sharing, workshop/training announcements, etc. The group currently has 313 members, up from 259 in the prior year.

Mentor Program In 2013, a partnership with the California Department of Education’s Mentor Teacher Program was finalized to provide enhanced Mentor Teacher support to Early Childhood teachers wanting to apply to the Mentor Program and travel reimbursement and meeting support to current Mentor Teachers. This program enhancement places an emphasis on supporting access for rural participants from southern and eastern Humboldt who might not otherwise be able to participate. In 2015, a total of 24 people participated in two Director Mentor seminars.

Humboldt ECE website The website was launched in Fall 2013 as a way to pull ECE professionals together for the purposes of providing a venue for networking, providing a link to a centralized training calendar, and providing links to resources, current information, and materials. The website, www.Humboldtece.org had 2,172 visitors in 2015, up from 1,010 in 2014.


California Child Care Portfolio results related to child care availability

Data from the 2015 California Child Care Portfolio (the most recent data available) of the California Child Care Resource and Referral Network indicates that in Humboldt County licensed child care is available for 24% of children ages 0-12 with parents in the labor force, down from 25% in 2013 and 27% in 2011. For California, this figure was 25% in 2015, in 2013, and in 2011. These figures do not include license-exempt programs.


Humboldt County Library Partnership results related to child care and early education

The Library’s Leap into Literacy Program provides and delivers book bins and theme bags to twenty-one child care and other early education programs throughout the County. Approximately 675 children were served throughout 2015. 5,050 books, 134 theme bags, and 145 Big Books were distributed to these programs in 2015. Eighty-seven separate deliveries were made to program in locations ranging from the “Humboldt Bay Area” to Orleans, Ke’pel, Bridgeville, and Rio Dell. The results of the 2015 Leap into Literacy evaluation show that staff members at these programs continue to give very high praise for the Leap into Literacy Program. When asked if the book bins and theme bags have helped to increase the amount of time early childhood educators read with children, the results presented in Figure 38 show that the bins and bags indeed continue to help increase the amount of time children are read to at ECE sites.


Early Childhood Educator voices about the
Leap into Literacy Program

  • The program allows for all children to be a part of the HCL which is something not all children in other places get to experience
  • Keeps our children reading
  • Being able to introduce new topics and language to the children
  • [Provides] access to wide variety of topics and culturally diverse material
  • The wonderful quality of books has made it possible to rotate a huge quantity of books in our reading area and science area
  • The books have increased the diversity of interests, subjects, and characters we can introduce to the children
  • I cannot express what a wonderful addition these books are to our class
  • Being able to have books that we don’t have in our classroom. It’s nice to have something new and different. Also, it introduces me to books that I may not necessarily have selected if given the chance
  • New books on a regular basis! This stimulates reading between our students and staff

Because of the support of First 5 Humboldt, the Humboldt County Library can purchase a much wider array of books and other materials for young children and for parents and can offer a greater variety of activities for young children and their families. In 2015, these activities included Share a Story in English which was presented monthly in Hoopa; Spanish Share a Story which was offered monthly at the McKinleyville Family Resource Center; weekly/monthly Storytime using Story Kits at Arcata, Blue Lake, Fortuna, McKinleyville, Rio Dell and Trinidad libraries; monthly Baby Signs Workshops; Baby Read and Grow which was offered at the Eureka, McKinleyville and Trinidad libraries in 2015; Family Literacy Nights, Family Fun Nights, and special programs were offered numerous times throughout the year and included performances by Baba Jamal Koram, Four Shillings Short, Seabury Gould, Ali Freelund, and Scenes from the Nutcracker with Dream Quest Ballet among others.

In 2015, the Library reported an attendance of 2,915 children and adults at 119 programs and workshops sponsored by First 5 Humboldt, down slightly from 3,126 children and adults at 130 workshops/performances in 2014. Additionally, in 2015, 2,144 children and adults were reached through Story Kit programs at branch libraries, up from 1,348 children and adults in 2014. All numbers may be duplicated.


Results related to library indicators from the First 5 Humboldt Participant Survey

The Participant Survey conducted with 431 parents/caregivers of 0-5 children taking part in First 5 Humboldt funded programs in 2015 included questions about the library. These questions were also asked on Participant Surveys from 2006-2015. Results are as follows:

  • 82.2% of all respondents feel very or somewhat comfortable going to the library with their young child, up from 78.7% in 2014.
  • 86.2% agree or strongly agree that the library is a good place to get information about parenting. This is a slight increase from the figure of 85% in 2014.

As seen in Table 5, mean scores for the library being a “family friendly” place for families and young children increased for the first few years of funding and have remained fairly stable since, with a slight increase in 2015.

The library is a “family friendly” place for families with young children

2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Mean (4=strongly agree, 1=strongly disagree) 3.16 3.17 3.25 3.32 3.35 3.33 3.31 3.29 3.28 3.36

Table 5

91.8% agree or strongly agree that the library is a “family friendly” place for families with young children, up from 87.3% in 2014.

Results related to the Library from the First 5 Humboldt Participant Survey, Hispanic/Latino and American Indian Families

Given First 5 Humboldt’s interest in improving library services for families with young children and increasing access to the library for Spanish speaking families and for American Indian families it is important to look at the responses to the questions about the library for these groups. When comparing English and Spanish speakers and American Indian/Native American parents, results (in means) for the years 2013-2015 are presented in Table 6.

1= a few times/year or less and 4= once/week or more

Spanish Speakers English Speakers American Indian/Native American All respondents
2013 2014 2015 2013 2014 2015 2013 2014 2015 2013 2014 2015
How often do you and your child go to the library or bookmobile? 1.72 1.93 2.1 1.9 1.9 1.96 1.7 1.8 1.81 1.9 1.9 2.0
How often do you and your child attend “Storytime” at the library? 1.32 1.46 1.54 1.31 1.42 1.45 1.24 1.6 1.64 1.33 1.4 1.5

Table 6

1=Strongly disagree, 4=Strongly agree

Spanish Speakers English Speakers American Indian/Native American All respondents
2013 2014 2015 2013 2014 2015 2013 2014 2015 2013 2014 2015
The library is a family friendly place for young children 3.23 3.26 3.55 3.3 3.3 3.32 3.23 3.56 2.94 3.3 3.28 3.36

Table 7

Attendance at the library and library programs has increased slightly for all groups. Table 7 shows scores related to the perception of the library as a family friendly place have decreased for American Indian/Native American parents/caregivers and increased for Spanish speaking parents/caregivers. For respondents as a whole, scores on this question improved very slightly.

Parent voices about the library

  • Our local librarian, Elizabeth, is so great with young children, including my son. I feel that she is part of the reason why he gets so excited when I say “we’re going to the library today!” Yay! :)
  • No story time in Blue Lake. A reading time would be a great addition to the library. Blue Lake library is awesome!
  • Quisiera advertir más a la comunidad latina, a veces por el español no saben/I wish they would advertise it more to the Latino community, sometimes they [Latino Community] do not know because of the language(barrier)
  • The bookmobile lady is very good, she selects books on the things my kids really like and she makes sure these books come in the bookmobile to Orleans. I appreciate this extra effort
  • We are served by the bookmobile and it is so wonderful. Bedtime includes storytime and it is great to have new books to read thanks to the bookmobile!
  • Really value the books on parenting, story time, books, and the toys (doll house) at the library
  • We love Humboldt libraries-we are lifetime members!


Playgroup results related to school readiness

In 2012, the Humboldt County Office of Education (HCOE) developed the Kindergarten Screening Tool (KST) to screen incoming kindergartners regarding their readiness for school. The KST measures children’s readiness in four domains: Language/Literacy, Mathematics, Social Emotional, and Self-Portrait. In 2015, 86% of all Kindergartners were screened using this tool. In 2014, this figure was 80%. Of the 1,453 students screened in 2015, Kindergarten teachers reported that, as best as they knew, 64% of these students had attended playgroup before starting school. As seen in Table 8, from 2012-2015, the average score for those that attended playgroup was higher than for those not attending playgroup.

2012 2013 2014 2015
Percent of Kindergartners Screened 89% 88% 80% 86%
Percent of Kindergartners Screened that Attended Playgroup (as reported by teacher) 59% 20% 18% 64%
Playgroup Attendees Total KST Score 77% 80% 77% 77%
Playgroup Non-Attendees Total KST Score 70% 72% 72% 71%

Table 8

Additionally, HCOE reported that for children that attended preschool, the average score was 75% (compared to 77% for playgroup attendees) and for children that attended both preschool and playgroup the total score rose to 80%. For details on 2015 KST scores for playgroup attendees as compared to non-attendees, see Figure 40.