March 23, 2017 Print E-mail


Meeting Minutes of March 23, 2017

I.          Welcome and Introductions

Present: Jessica Callahan, Sydney Fisher Larson, Nica Meggerson, Dian Pecora, Connie Sundberg, Mike Wilson, Megan Blanchard (5:30 pm)

Staff: Mary Ann Hansen, Andrea Sousa

Consultants: Kim Puckett, Maria Vanderhorst

Guest: Nancy Frost

Absent: Sheri Graham-Whitt


Dian Pecora called the meeting to order at 5 pm


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



II.         Public Comments and Announcements

A correction to today’s meeting Agenda was announced under Agenda Item V. Consent Calendar Item B.  Evaluator Kim Puckett explained that this Evaluation Framework aligns with the old Strategic Plan, which was used through Dec. 2016, and does not align with the new Strategic Plan, as described in the Agenda. The 2016 Evaluation Framework was received and reviewed at the last Commission meeting. Commissioners will receive the 2017 Evaluation Framework, which aligns with the 2016-2020 Strategic Plan, at a future meeting.

Dian Pecora shared that she really likes the article from Commissioners Buckley and Sundberg in the latest humkids newsletter edition. The article gives an overview of First 5 Humboldt’s history as a funder and talks about the shifting of becoming a convener and policy leader. She suggested submitting the article as a “My Word” article to the Times Standard.

Mary Ann received an invitation to the swearing in ceremony of the new Superintendent of Public Schools.  She asked if a Commissioner could attend the ceremony, since she will be in Sacramento that day.


III.        Executive Director Report

  • IMPACT Coordinator Jennifer Gonzales will be on maternity as of June 2nd.  We are planning on hiring Jennifer Mager in an Extra Help position to fill in until Jennifer Gonzales returns from her maternity leave.
  • Humboldt County Office of Education (HCOE) no longer will be able to fund the 0-8 Mental Health Collaborative Training Coordinator position (Star Mohatt) as of the start of next Fiscal Year. Therefore, we will not continue funding the Nutrition Specialist and will be using those funds to partially cover the 0-8 Mental Health Collaborative Training Coordinator until another funding source is secured.
  • Lorey Keele from Redwood Community Action Agency has submitted her application for filling the First 5 Humboldt Commission position that was vacated by Cameron Mull.  Lorey’s appointment should be on next Tuesday’s Board of Supervisor Agenda.
  • The Program Evaluation Team (PET) is meeting next week to review the First 5 funded programs and to make recommendations to the Commission.  The PET recommendations will be reviewed at the Commission’s April and May meetings.
  • The Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) Subcommittee is providing an Ages & Stages Questionnaire (ASQ) Train-the-Trainer event from June 20 – June 22, 2017.
  • Star is working on providing a Quality Rating Improvement System (QRIS) training in April.
  • An all-day event with Steve Graner is scheduled for May 20th at the Sequoia Conference Center at HCOE. The event’s topic is “Putting the Neurosequential Model Into Practice in the Classroom.” The ECCE Subcommittee is offering mini grants that will pay for the Steve Graner workshop registration and the materials used during the event to providers working directly with children in a licensed childcare program or tribal childcare program that serves children age 0-5.
  • Mary Ann provided an update on the Measure S County budget meetings.  Input can be given online at the website. Online input so far has not benefitted children’s mental health, so please give your input. Dian congratulated Mary Ann on the advocacy she has done to include children’s services in the Measure S funds distribution.
  • The North Coast Grantmaking Partnership is working on the “next steps” approach in regards to Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and agreed that a community-wide systems approach is the best way to go.  The Partnership is scheduled to view the “Paper Tigers” video next week.  Commissioner Callahan suggested contacting Congressman Huffman about the ACEs work in Humboldt County.  She shared that Congressman Huffman is doing a weekly podcast and that would be a good way to inform the public about ACEs.
  • Mary Ann recently participated in a “Help Me Grow” next steps meeting.  Changing Tides Family Services and other community partners are interested in implementing the “Help Me Grow” program.
  • Mary Ann participated in a Mental Health Services Act meeting today. Discussed was formulating a long-term plan for the funds.  Public Hearings are scheduled for input.
  • The flyer Pints for First 5 Humboldt was routed, which is a fundraising event sponsored by the Redwood Curtain Brewing Company. Funds raised will go toward purchasing musical instruments for First 5 Humboldt sponsored playgroups.  The event is scheduled for April 12th from 3 pm to midnight.  Mary Ann asked for volunteers to host our table.  We will have CDs and our newsletter on hand for distribution. Sydney Fisher Larson, Dian Pecora, and Maria Vanderhorst volunteered to take some shifts.
  • First 5 Humboldt will be sponsoring a presentation done by HSU Graduate Students on May 6th during Arts Alive about immigrants and inclusion.
  • The Public Hearings for the First 5 California Annual Report for Fiscal Year 2015/16 and for the First 5 Humboldt 2016-2020 Strategic Plan is scheduled for Monday, April 24, 2017 from 3 – 5 pm in the First 5 Humboldt conference room.  Due to low public attendance at public hearings that were scheduled in the evening in prior years, we are trying to offer the public hearings during the day to see if attendance will be higher.



IV.        Approval of Minutes: Commission Meeting Minutes of February 9, 2017

ACTION: The meeting minutes of 2/9/17 were approved as written.



V.         Consent Calendar:

  1. December 2016, January and February 2017 Postings
  2. 2016 Evaluation Report (see correction/announcement under Public Comments and Announcements)
  3. ACEs Follow-Up
  4. First 5 Association Policy Fund

ACTION: All Consent Calendar Items were approved as presented.



VI.        Information Item: Subcommittee & Workgroup Reports

Evaluation: The Evaluation Action Team has not met since the last Commission meeting


Fiscal: The Fiscal Committee met on March 1st to act on recommendations to the Commission in regards to the new Strategic Plan Goal 1.  Per the newly revised Fiscal Policy, the draw-down from the Sustainability Fund needs to be reduced/eliminated in order to not go below the $2 Million mark.  The updated “First 5 Revenue Projections” are recommended for approval, which incorporates the Humboldt County Birth Rate data, revenue received over the last ten Fiscal Years, estimated declining revenue percentage, and projections developed by Nancy Howatt for future Prop.10 funds.   The Fiscal Committee is recommending to reduce program funds by $400,000 within fiscal years 2018/19 and 2019/20, and to further reduce expenses by 3-5% each year thereafter, unless we can identify additional funding sources.  The Fiscal Committee also has been working on the Playgroup Funding Matrix and is recommending to use Plan B as the funding formula.


Parent & Family Support (PFS) Committee: The PFS Committee met on February 24th to receive updates about IMPACT and QRIS.  The Committee also reviewed the Playgroup Funding Matrix and is recommending to use Plan B as the funding formula. The Bonus section of the Playgroup Funding Matrix was discussed and updated.  The PFS Committee discussed best ways to merge with the Early Childhood Care & Education (ECE) Committee.


Early Childhood Care & Education (ECE) Committee: The ECE Committee met on March 20th and reviewed applications for the Helping Hands Humboldt grant.  The ECE Committee approved the two applications, but chose to close the grant, because it has not been successful.  The Committee decided to offer mini grants to early childhood educators for the upcoming Steve Graner event, and will start exploring ways to better meet the needs of the ECE community.



VII.       Information Item: 2016 Evaluation Report

Evaluators Kim Puckett and Maria Vanderhorst showed a PowerPoint presentation with highlights of the 2016 Evaluation Report. The structure of the 2016 Evaluation Report reflects the evaluation framework of the old Strategic Plan (2012-2016).  This is the last evaluation report under the old Strategic Plan.  The Evaluation Report contains the results of evaluation activities conducted during calendar year 2016.  The structure of the report reflects the Evaluation Framework 2016, which shows funded programs under each Strategic Plan Goal Areas. Each goal area incorporates actions and indicators.


Today’s highlights focus on a few indicators under each Strategic Plan Goal Area. Data is compiled from multiple data sources, including program surveys, program reports, qualitative measurements, and data record reviews from federal, state, and county data.


Goal 1: Increase the number of children and pregnant women in good health.  Slides shown represented the data for early prenatal care and oral health.


Goal 2:  Strengthen connections among parents, families and communities. Slides shown represented the data for the First 5 Humboldt playgroups, participant survey results for PFS programs and playgroups, participant survey results related to literacy, participant survey results for playgroup-related literacy and for early childhood and family mental health specialist support for parents in playgroups.


Goal 3:  Further quality child care and education for young children.  Slides shown represented the data for the IMPACT grant, Leap Into Literacy, the Library Partnership, and the Kindergarten Screening Tool.


Goal 4:  Promote coordination of prevention services:  Slides shown represented the structure of the 0-8 Mental Health Collaborative, the data for 0-8 Mental Health Collaborative trainings, and data around the 5 protective factors. One slide showed First 5 Humboldt collaborative partners, linkages and forums.


Goal 5:  Build a stable funding base to sustain core programs over time.  Slides showed the decline of Prop.10 revenue, numbers served, and ethnicity data of children served by First 5 Humboldt.


Commissioners thanked Kim and Maria for their presentation and for the comprehensive Evaluation Report.  Kim reminded Commissioners to contact her or Maria for questions or input in regards to the Evaluation Report.



VIII.      Action Item: Rescind Previous Sustainability Policy

Commissioners approved the revised Fiscal Policy at the last meeting. The revised Fiscal Policy incorporated Sustainability Policy language, eliminating the need for a separate policy.  It is recommended that the Commission rescind the now redundant Sustainability Policy.

ACTION: Commissioners rescinded the Sustainability Policy of January 11, 2007.



IX.        Discussion Item: AB 844

Mary Ann received a request from Jeanette Hurst of 2-1-1 Humboldt to write a letter of support for AB 844:  California Marijuana Tax Fund:  funding for support system navigation services:  minimum performance standards. Mary Ann initially declined writing a letter of support, but Jeanette asked to put her request on the Commission Agenda.


Commissioners mentioned that this bill does not support children age 0-5 directly and that the Commission is not an expert in regards to support system navigation. Some Commissioners said that, if the bill is approved by the Assembly, this could become a possible ongoing funding source for 2-1-1 and it would build a good infrastructure for 2-1-1.  It is also anticipated that the “Help Me Grow” program will be incorporating the 2-1-1 model, so this could be beneficial to families with children.


Commissioners recommended for Mary Ann to inquire with Senator Woods and Senator McGuire if they support the bill. Commissioner Wilson said that the Board of Supervisors could write a letter of support, if it is something the Commission would want to sponsor.


Commissioners agreed to defer making a decision until they receive more information from Senator Wood and Senator McGuire.


This Agenda Item will be continued at a future meeting.



X.         Information Item: Playgroup Funding Equity Proposal

Commissioners reviewed the Playgroup Funding Matrix.  Mary Ann explained that she drafted the Matrix because there was no equity structure in place for funding playgroups.  Some playgroups only receive $3,000, while others receive $15,000.  There is no consistent funding element in place to support playgroups, which presents an equity and transparency issue.


The Playgroups started as a grass-roots movement and were community-driven, but now are considered institutions. She would like to see the playgroups being returned to community-based activities, and would like to shift the responsibilities back to the playgroups and communities.


The Fiscal Committee and the Parent & Family Support Committee have been reviewing and discussing the Playgroup Funding Matrix in several meetings, input was given from both groups, and the Matrix was updated.


If the new playgroup funding structure is approved, it would go into effect as of Fiscal Year 2018/19, which would give the playgroups one year to prepare for the restructure.  The funds would be distributed through a “playgroup grant,” with certain benchmarks and goals attached.  Community support will be a big part for providing funding to playgroups.


The Playgroup Funding Matrix was developed using the following Fiscal Year 2015/16 data for each playgroup:  # of days/week, total # of sessions last year, average # of child per session, current contract amount, and current rate per day per child.  The average rate per day per child was compiled at $25.  Using the $25/per day/per child amount, Mary Ann developed three Grant amount funding options.  Plan A has a minimum set amount of $3,000; Plan B has a minimum set amount of $5,000; and Plan C has a minimum set amount of $7,500.  Both the Fiscal Committee and the Parent & Family Support Committee preferred Plan B as the Grant funding structure. Using Plan B, almost all smaller playgroups would see an increase in funding.  The playgroups associated with Family Resource Centers currently have more funds attached to them. With the Plan B funding model, these playgroups would see a decrease in funds.


Expected outcomes, using an equal funding model would be:  1) Increased community partner buy-in.  2) Clear responsibility for playgroup functioning.  3) Clear expectations and guidelines for continued funding.  4) Reduction in First 5 Humboldt staff time dedicated to managing playgroups and required documents.  5)  Increased funding transparency; and           6) Increased parity.


This Agenda Item will be continued at the next meeting.




XI.        Information Item: Fiscal Management Guide

Due to time constraint, this Agenda Item was deferred to a future meeting.



The meeting was adjourned at 6:55 pm.



Next Meeting:

Thursday, April 13, 2017

8:30 am to 11 am

First 5 Humboldt Conference Room

525 Second Street, Room 203, Eureka


Chair:  To be determined



Future Meetings:

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

Thursday, June 22, 2017 from 5 – 7 pm

Commission Retreat – July 13, 2017 - 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