February 9, 2017 Print E-mail


Meeting Minutes of February 9, 2017

I.          Welcome and Introductions

Present: Megan Blanchard, Jessica Callahan, Sydney Fisher Larson, Sheri Graham-Whitt, Nica Meggerson, Cameron Mull, Dian Pecora, Connie Sundberg

Staff: Mary Ann Hansen, Andrea Sousa

Consultant: Nancy Howatt

Guests: Linda Prescott, Nancy Kinziger

Absent: Mike Wilson


Cameron Mull called the meeting to order at 8:35 am

No Conflict of Interest with any of today’s Agenda Items were announced.


II.         Public Comments and Announcements

Commissioner Mull announced his resignation from First 5 Humboldt as of March 1, 2017.  Due to a heavy workload and a busy family, he feels he cannot devote the time necessary to serve on the Commission.  Cameron will remain a member of the Commission’s Fiscal Committee.  Commissioners and Mary Ann thanked Cameron for his service.


III.        Executive Director Report

  • Mary Ann introduced new Commissioners, Megan Blanchard and Sheri Graham-Whitt, who were appointed by the Board of Supervisors on January 17, 2017.  The second terms/re-appointments of Commission members Dian Pecora and Sydney Fisher Larson also were approved by the Board of Supervisors on Jan. 17, 2017.
  • The IMPACT grant is moving along, which is designed to enrich early childhood learning settings through a First 5 California grant.  Jennifer Gonzales is the Program Coordinator for the IMPACT grant and Celia Haro provides support to the Spanish-speaking providers who participate in the IMPACT grant. The IMPACT Hub made an additional $12,000 in funding available, with them majority of funds being used through QRIS to train observers. Some of the funds will be used to bring an ASQ “Train the Trainer” workshop to Humboldt County.  The Commission’s ECCE Committee committed additional funds for the ASQ training. When the “Help Me Grow” program gets off the ground, the ASQ tool will be used. Commissioner Blanchard mentioned that an ASQ training would be beneficial for the nursing program.  Commissioner Pecora clarified that ASQE also includes the Social-Emotional tool. Commissioner Graham-Whitt inquired about the availability of ASQ trainings and if trainings are available on an ongoing basis.
  • Mary Ann, along with Commissioners Pecora and Graham-Whitt participated in the annual First 5 Association “Advocacy Day” with Legislatures in Sacramento. Commissioner Pecora shared that Senator McGuire and the State Dental Committee seemed very receptive to suggestions. Commissioner Graham-Whitt said she was impressed with the quality of materials from the First 5 Association. She applauded the First 5 Association for putting together and organizing the annual event. Commissioner Pecora also attended the annual meeting of Commissioners and reminded Commissioners to always advocate for the rural communities.
  • The First 5 Association hired Heather Little as the “Help Me Grow” coordinator.
  • Mary Ann updated Commissioners on the implementation of Prop.64, the California Marijuana Legalization Initiative. The sale and subsequent taxation of recreational marijuana will go into effect January 1, 2018.
  • The Humboldt County Board of Supervisors is working on identifying targeted funding for Measure S, the local marijuana cultivation tax, through interactive budget input sessions throughout the County. Input can also be submitted online. Mary Ann and Commissioner Graham-Whitt were instrumental in including children’s mental health language into Measure S.
  • A folder was routed which included a letter from Senator McGuire, the Strategic Plan, a Times Standard article, and a flyer about the county budget meetings.
  • Mary Ann is holding a meeting this afternoon with local funders about ACES.  The 0-8 Mental Health Collaborative received an ACES-focus grant from Humboldt Area Foundation.  Mary Ann also met with staff from the California Center for Rural Policies and the Smullin Foundation about ACES.


IV.        Approval of Minutes: Commission meeting minutes of January 12, 2017

ACTION: The meeting minutes of 1/12/17 were approved as written.


V.         Consent Calendar:

A.         CLIF:  CAPCC Roundtable

B.         CLIF: ACES Grant Supplement

ACTION: Both Consent Calendar items were approved as presented


VI.        Information Item: Subcommittee & Workgroup Reports

Evaluation: The Evaluation Action Team has not met since Dec. 13, 2016. The Commission received an update at the January 12th meeting.

Fiscal: The Fiscal Committee met on Feb. 1st and reviewed the First 5 California Prop.10 Revenue Projection, discussed the Playgroup Funding Matrix, and discussed how funded programs fit within the focus areas of the new Strategic Plan.

PFS: The Parent & Family Support Committee met on Jan. 27th to discuss the in-depth reviews for the Discovery Museum and the FUN Play Center, received information about the upcoming PFS workshop on May 12th, received an update on the IMPACT grant & the Parent Café training, and reviewed the Playgroup Funding Matrix.

ECCE: The Early Childhood Care & Education Committee met on Feb. 6th and received updates on the IMPACT grant and QRIS.  The ECCE Committee is also working on a policy statement related to child care and early education, which will be presented to the Commission at a future meeting.


VII.       Information Item: HCOE Nutrition Partnership

Linda Prescott and Nancy Kinziger updated the Commission on the progress of the work on improving nutrition practices within playgroups. The Bottom Line Practices document for playgroups was updated and now includes language about food guidelines for serving, preparing & storing food, and snack practices. The updated Bottom Line Practices document was shared with playgroup leaders during the Fall PFS Workshop. Nancy uses the Bottom Line Practices as a framework when doing site visits and evaluation with playgroups. CalFresh funding is being used to buy equipment for the playgroups, like blenders and cutting boards. New snacks at playgroups are introduced through Harvest of the Month, along with education materials, activities, and books.

Linda has been looking into a reimbursement strategy for the playgroup snacks with the California Department of Education. Currently, the Arcata Play Center site is a pilot for snack reimbursement for a 6-week period. Nancy is tracking the cost of the snacks and the reimbursement rate and said it looks promising.  Photos of nutrition activities were shared.

Commissioner Callahan inquired about the change of food choices in the playgroups. Nancy said that overall she is seeing positive changes of snack options in the playgroups.  Commissioner Fisher Larson asked why reimbursement is being sought for serving snacks, instead of breakfast. Linda clarified that the California Department of Education offers reimbursement for “at-risk” meals for either a snack or for supper.  Since the playgroups meet in the morning, the snack reimbursement was the only option to apply for reimbursement.  Linda said if the pilot project with the Arcata Play Center is a success, then other playgroups will be able to apply for the reimbursement process.  The Mattole Playgroup and Southern Humboldt Playgroups already expressed an interest in participating. The reimbursement process is already in place with the schools, so Linda is hoping to expand the application to include the playgroups.

Commissioners thanked Linda and Nancy for their update.


VIII.      Action Item: Commission Officers

Per the Commission’s Bylaws, at the January Commission meeting officers for the Commission are proposed, and at a subsequent meeting nominees are selected by Commissioners.  At the January meeting, Sydney Fisher Larson and Dian Pecora were nominated to serve as co-chairs, and Megan Blanchard was nominated to serve as chair-elect for 2017.

ACTION: Commissioners selected Sydney Fisher Larson and Dian Pecora to serve as co-chairs for 2017, and Megan Blanchard to serve as chair-elect for 2017.


IX.        Discussion Item: Evaluation Framework

The Evaluation Framework was reviewed.  The Evaluation Framework outlines First 5 goals and indicators to measure First 5 funded programs. This Framework is for the period January 2016 through December 2016, which still falls under the old Strategic Plan framework. The framework was updated to reflect the programs we are serving under the Strategic Plan goals. The Strategic Plan Goals 2012-2016 were:  Goal 1:  Increase the number of children and pregnant women in good health.  Goal 2:  Strengthen connections among parents, families, and communities.  Goal 3:  Further quality child care and education for young children.  Goal 4:  Promote coordination of prevention services.  Goal 5:  Build a stable funding base to sustain core programs over time. First 5 Humboldt funded programs are placed under each sub-goals, within each Action/Indicator.

Data for the Evaluation Framework comes from various sources, including from First 5 Humboldt funded programs, County data and County Health Status Profiles, California Health Interview Survey (CHIS), Humboldt County Office of Education, and other sources.

Commissioner Pecora inquired about the Action “High-quality, accessible child health and dental care” under Goal 1 and asked if WIC data is being utilized for this Action.

The Program Evaluation Team (PET) uses the Evaluation Framework to measure the achievements of the Commission’s work, and for framing recommendations for the next funding cycle.

Mary Ann shared that next year’s Evaluation Framework will be developed using the objectives, actions and indicators of the new Strategic Plan 2016-2020.


X.         Action Item: Fiscal Policy

Commissioners reviewed the Fiscal Policy at the December 8, 2016 meeting and at the January 12, 2017 meeting. The Fiscal Committee worked on revising the Fiscal Policy for several months. The revisions were then put on hold until the approval of the new Strategic Plan, and then further updates occurred.

The charge of the Fiscal Committee has been strengthened under the Fiscal Oversight section of the Policy, and the Sustainability Fund language was re-written. The Fiscal Policy also describes seeking funding opportunities to leverage funds for programs and services.  Commissioners briefly discussed the language of the Sustainability Fund.

The Fiscal Committee is recommending approval of the revised Fiscal Policy.

ACTION: The revised Fiscal Policy was approved as written.


XI.        Information Item: Fiscal Management Guide

Commissioners reviewed the Strategic Planning section of the Fiscal Management Guide, produced by the First 5 Association of California.

Per statute, each First 5 Commission is required to develop a Strategic Plan that includes goals, objectives, and strategies for achieving those objectives. The Strategic Plan must be developed using a collaborative process that includes input from stakeholders, and an assessment of needs, trends, and the current environment.

The procedures for implementation of the Strategic Plan were reviewed.  Strategic Plans need to be reviewed on an annual basis and revised as necessary and appropriate. Aside from the goals and objectives, Strategic Plans must include indicators and a long-term financial plan.  We are required to hold one or more community input sessions each year.  For First 5 Humboldt, the usual term for the Strategic Plan is four years, and the term for a long-term financial plan is ten years. Commissioners inquired about the community input sessions/public hearings for the Strategic Plan.

The long-term financial plan must include components, content, and commission-specific activities.  The financial plan must be adopted by the Commission to show its intent to allocate funds in future budget periods, and must be adopted after a public hearing.  First 5 Humboldt receives the 10-year financial plan twice per year during Commission meetings, which are open to the public.

Commissioners talked about the format of the Strategic Plan 2016-2020.  Mary Ann announced that the Strategic Plan will also be made available in a digital format.



The meeting was adjourned at 10:15 am.

Next Meeting:

Thursday, March 23, 2017

5 – 7 pm

First 5 Humboldt Conference Room

525 Second Street, Room 203, Eureka


Chair:  Dian Pecora



Future Meetings:

Thursday, April 13, 2017 from 8:30 – 11 am

Thursday, May 11, 2017 from 8:30 – 11 am

Thursday, June 22, 2017 from 5 – 7 pm

Commission Retreat in July – date and location TBD

Thursday, August 10, 2017 from 8:30 – 10:30 am

Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017 from 5 – 7 pm

Thursday, Oct. 26, 2017 from 5 – 7 pm

Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017 from 8:30 – 10:30 am

Thursday, Dec. 14, 2017 from 8:30 – 10:30 am



Minutes compiled by Andrea Sousa, Executive Secretary, First 5 Humboldt, 525 - 2nd Street, Suite 201, Eureka, 95501