June 21, 2016 Print E-mail


Meeting Minutes of June 21, 2016
Approved on 7/7/16

I.          Welcome and Introductions

Present: Susan Buckley, Jessica Callahan, Ovieda Elliott, Sydney Fisher Larson, Nica Meggerson, Connie Sundberg

Staff: Mary Ann Hansen, Andrea Sousa

Consultant: Nancy Howatt

Guests: Kristie Alberti, Jeanine Lancaster

Absent: Mark Lovelace, Cameron Mull, Dian Pecora


Ovieda Elliott called the meeting to order at 5 pm



II.        Public Comments and Announcements

  • Commissioner Buckley shared that Humboldt is applying to be a Learning Community in regards to Help Me Grow. There is a need for ASQ trainings. The possibility existed to join a training offered in Del Norte County, but there is a great need in Humboldt County for this training.  The training date has not been set at this time.  It is anticipated holding a 2-day training.  Changing Tides Family Services is also interested in holding a training.  Mary Ann shared that through the Impact grant, First 5 Humboldt will be providing an ASQ training in the fall of 2017.



III.       Executive Director Report

  • Mary Ann extended her congratulations to the Board of Supervisors. The Board voted today to include Children & Family Mental Health in the marijuana tax language.
  • First 5 staff and Kim Puckett have been working on the Scopes of Work and the Evaluation Plans for the core programs for Fiscal Year 2016/17.
  • The May 18th kick-off event for the Impact grant was well attended and positive responses have been received.
  • Mary Ann and Sheri Whitt drove to Sacramento on June 2nd and met with Rusty Selix, Executive Director of the California Council of Community Mental Health Agencies and Mental Health America of California, and author of Prop 63/Mental Health Services Act. They also met with Toby Ewing, Executive Director of the Mental Health Services Act Oversight & Accountability Commission. Discussed was funding opportunities related to infant-family and early childhood mental health, and First 5 Humboldt’s prevention services already occurring in our County. Rusty’s suggestion was to write a white paper and to work directly with Darrell Steinberg to explore legislation to create a set-aside within the Mental Health Services Act, dedicated to prevention and infant-family and early childhood mental health.  Toby agreed to set aside funds for a white paper on infant-family and early childhood mental health. The white paper would be used as a foundation for discussion with the Mental Health Services Act Oversight and Accountability Commission about prevention services and priorities. Toby also agreed to discuss the innovation grant stream with the Commission and how infant-family and early childhood mental health might fit into that work. Mary Ann shared she also has a conference call set up with Moira Kenney, E.D. of the First 5 Association about this subject.
  • Garry Eagles has agreed to fund a part-time coordinator for the 0-8 Mental Health Collaborative to better support the Collaborative and making Meg’s and Beth’s work schedule more reasonable. The 0-8 Mental Health Coordinator will be housed with First 5.
  • Garry Eagles also agreed to co-sponsor the 0-8 Mental Health Collaborative’s May 2017 event focused on practical classroom strategies for working with children who have experienced trauma.
  • First 5 Humboldt has been selected as a pilot county for First 5 California’s Town Hall project. First 5 California has launched a town hall toolkit and we will receive up to $8,000 to host a Town Hall policymaker’s event focused on issues impacting children 0-5 and their families.  Mary Ann hopes she could attach the Town Hall meeting to the Children’s Mental Health Summit in October.  She is in contact with Senator McGuire’s office and Assembly member Wood’s office to set up a date.



IV.       Approval of Minutes: Commission Meeting Minutes of May 12, 2016

ACTION: The meeting minutes of May 12, 2016 were approved as written.



V.        Consent Calendar:

A.         April 2016 Postings

B.         May 2016 Postings

C.        Loleta Playgroup Proposal

D.        Fortuna Playgroup Proposal

ACTION: All consent calendar items were approved as presented.



VI.       Information Item: Subcommittee & Workgroup Reports

  • Evaluation – no report
  • Fiscal – the Fiscal Subcommittee met to continue reviewing fiscal policies. The Subcommittee has reviewed the Policy for Administrative Cost, the Contract & Procurement Policy, the Fiscal Policy, and the Sustainability Fund Policy. As part of the revision, the Subcommittee is suggesting merging Sustainability Fund Policy language into the Fiscal Policy. Recommendations will be presented to the Commission in the fall, after the annual Commission’s Retreat has occurred and the Strategic Plan has been considered. The Supplantation Policy will be reviewed at the Fiscal Subcommittee meeting in August.
  • ECCE – the Early Childhood Care & Education Subcommittee will give an update later on in the Agenda.
  • Strategic Plan Workgroup – the Strategic Plan Workgroup will give an update later on in the Agenda



VII.     Action Item: Commission Budget for Fiscal Year 2016/2017

Per the Commission’s annual budget development process, the budget for Fiscal Year 2016/17 was considered.  The budget was reviewed at the last meeting. New in the FY 16/17 budget is the separation of playgroups from other parent & family support programs and family resource centers. Placeholders were put in the budget for the Loleta Playgroup and the Fortuna Playgroup proposals, which were approved today.  In addition, the City of Trinidad is interested in restarting the playgroup and a proposal for a foster parents/foster children playgroup is in the works.  We are awaiting the submittals of these two proposals.  To comply with the Playgroup Initiative, we will then have 20 playgroups in place, if the proposals are approved.


Prop.10 revenue for the Fiscal Year 2016/17 budget may be lower than expected, due to the new law that was implemented in June 2016 to increase the cigarette smoking age to 21.  This new law will impact future Prop.10 revenues.  Mary Ann shared that we will receive a one-time allotment from the Board of Equalization of around $7,000. In addition, unspent funds from Fiscal Year 2015/16 will cover the short-fall of the 2016/17 budget.


Commissioner Elliott inquired about the possibility of staff moving the Commission office to a new location.  Mary Ann explained that the Commission office is looking to move to a new location, due to the office not being ADA compliant, we need a bigger conference room, various part-time staff will be housed with us, and some mold allergy issues have arisen. A meeting with the Executive Committee will be scheduled to discuss possibilities in terms of moving to a new location. Moving expenses will be included in the revised budget, after the Audit has been completed.

ACTION: The Commission Budget for Fiscal Year 2016/17 was approved as presented.



VIII.    Action Item: First 5 Humboldt Ten Year Forecast

Nancy Howatt shared the First 5 Humboldt Ten Year Forecast, June 2016. For the Fiscal Year 2016/17 budget (green section of the ten year forecast), as mentioned, we are expecting lower revenue than budgeted, but unspent funds from the Fiscal Year 2015/16 budget will cover the shortfall.  With the increase of the cigarette smoking age to 21, it is anticipated receiving about $20,000 - $30,000 less in future revenue. Nancy participated in a state-wide fiscal call on Monday and informed Commissioners that the First 5 California revenue projection was developed two years ago and the projection has not been updated.  We are not sure if this will have an impact on us, since Humboldt County’s birthrate has remained stable and our revenue percentage has remained at .29%. Some counties are estimating a 20% less revenue stream than has been projected by First 5 California for future budgets.


Nancy pointed out that we have to transfer $486,881 out of the Sustainability Fund in order to cover the Fiscal Year 2016/17 budget.  The ten year forecast keeps with the commitment of funding core programs at (close to) $1 million per year. The change from the last fiscal year ten year forecast is that the Playgroup Initiative is staying at a flat rate, instead of increasing each fiscal year. If the Commission decides to continue funding core programs at $1 million in future years, the Sustainability Fund will be depleted by Fiscal Year 2024/2025.


For the 2015/16 components of ending fund balance, should the General Fund balance at June 30, 2016 exceed $1,061,829 and/or the Sustainability Fund exceed $4,030,705, the transfer from the Sustainability Fund will be reduced by the amount of the excess after budget revisions.


The next four years (blue section of the ten year forecast) fall within the new Strategic Plan cycle, which are Fiscal Year 2017/18 through Fiscal Year 2020/21. Depending on the Strategic Plan and decisions made by the Commission, the fiscal forecast may change. The Fiscal Subcommittee has been in discussion about the ten year forecast and continued funding, and will bring recommendations to the Commission in the future. The ten year fiscal forecast will be updated after the Audit has been completed and will be submitted with the revised budget.

ACTION: Commissioners approved the First 5 Humboldt Ten Year Forecast, June 2016, as submitted.



IX.       Discussion Item: Quality Early Childhood Education

Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) Subcommittee member Kristie Alberti shared an infograph about quality child care, prepared by Jennifer Gonzales and the ECE Subcommittee. Quality child care promotes cognitive, physical, language and social emotional development and contributes to later school success.


Three critical components of what makes child care a quality child care are:  1. Education of Providers.  2. Positive relationships with young children.  3. Living Wage and continuity of care.


Education of Providers:  Child care setting where providers have at least a BA are more likely to be of higher quality and include richer language environments, enhanced literacy environments and better teacher-child interactions.  Positive relationships with young children:  Valuable time, energy and resources can be saved on future interventions when educated providers build thoughtful, purposeful and positive relationships with children.  Living wage & continuity of care:  Early learning programs which support staff retention through livable wages, and continuing education opportunities are able to offer the continuous and stable care that helps children thrive. Kristie mentioned that First 5 Humboldt has made a constant effort to offer continuing education opportunities for the early childhood community over the years.


Commissioners reviewed two charts that showed degree attainment by type of childcare (center-based, family child care listed and family child care unlisted), and the degree attainment by age of children served in center-based care. Kristie shared that providers with higher levels of education tend to work more in preschool age programs.


Only 10 % of US child care is considered high quality. Studies have shown that by age three, low income learners heard an average of 30 million fewer words than their high income peers, and their vocabulary is half as large.  This word gap extends to an achievement gap throughout the school years. Children who have been in high quality child care programs have better language skills and improved skills in many other areas, including improved reading and math skills. ECE teachers with higher degrees provide a more language rich environment.


Kristie shared a personal story about her experience in getting involved with early childhood care and education.  She said that her story is one of many stories.  Most early childhood educators are drawn into the field after taking some ECE classes. She strongly encourages the Commission to continue offering continuing education opportunities for the ECE providers in Humboldt County. Commissioners thanked Kristie for her presentation.



X.        Information Item: Strategic Plan Workgroup Progress

Commissioner Callahan is a member of the Strategic Plan Workgroup.  She shared that the workgroup has been looking at Strategic Plans from other counties and has been working on simplifying the current Strategic Plan. Our current Strategic Plan has five goals and several sub-goals/actions under each goal. The new Strategic Plan will have one goal and several focus areas within the goals.  The workgroup’s overall goal is for the Commission to be seen as a catalyst for positive change and to not be seen as a funder.


Commissioner Fisher Larson, also a member of the Strategic Plan Workgroup, mentioned that with declining revenue the Commission’s focus should be reevaluated.  The workgroup suggests that the Commission should build on what we have done and work with community partners to foster optimal development for children age 0-5 and their families. The Commission’s effort should be on ensuring that there is an infrastructure in place to support the continuance of a singular voice in our county that advocates for children 0-5, their families, and prevention services.  As revenue declines, the Commission will no longer be able to be a primary funder for programs serving children age 0-5 and their families.


The Strategic Plan Draft Purpose Statement and Goals was reviewed.  The workgroup proposes the new Strategic Goal to be: “First 5 Humboldt will be a strong organization able to serve as a catalyst of sustained positive change for children 0-5 and their families into the future.” Commissioners reviewed the Focus Areas within the Strategic Goal, which are: Focus Area 1: Children are in good health, both mentally and physically.  Focus Area 2: Parents, family members, primary caregivers and the community are able to support children’s optimal development.  Focus Area 3: Prevention services are coordinated and prioritized within our county.


Commissioners gave input into the Strategic Plan Draft Purpose Statement and Goals.  Overall, Commissioners liked the simplicity of the Strategic Plan description. Commissioner Elliott suggested to include special education and cognitive development language in one of the Focus Areas.  Commissioner Buckley suggested adding pregnancy related language (pregnant women) in one of the Focus Areas.


Mary Ann shared that the Commission Retreat will primarily be dedicated to the Strategic Plan. Commissioners will work on further reviewing the Strategic Plan Draft Purpose Statement and Goals, and forming Objectives/Actions under the Focus Areas.


The meeting was adjourned at 6:25 pm.


Next Meeting:

Thursday, August 11, 2016

8:30 am to 10:30 am

Office of First 5 Humboldt

1012 – 2nd St., Eureka

Chair:  Jessica Callahan

Commission Retreat:

Thursday, July 7, 2016

8:30 am to 3:30 pm

Humboldt Area Foundation

363 Indianola Road, Bayside


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




Future Agenda Items:

  • Humboldt County Birth Data
  • Fiscal Policies
  • Approval of revised Subcommittee Membership



Future Meetings:

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