April 13, 2017 Print E-mail


Meeting Minutes of April 13, 2017

I.          Welcome and Introductions

Present: Sheri Graham-Whitt, Connie Sundberg, Sydney Fisher Larson, Lorey Keele, Megan Blanchard, Dian Pecora, Mike Wilson (9 am)

Staff: Mary Ann Hansen, Andrea Sousa

Consultant: Kim Puckett

Guests: Jackie Hamilton, Shannon Falk-Carlson, Jeanine Lancaster


Sydney Fisher Larson called the meeting to order at 8:35 am.


Lorey Keele and Megan Blanchard called a conflict of interest for Agenda Item XI. Discussion Item: Annual Program Evaluation Team Recommendations for Fiscal Year 2017/2017. Megan announced she has a conflict of interest for the following program:  Nurse Family Partnership; and Lorey announced she has a conflict of interest for the following program:  TOOTH Program.


II.         Public Comments and Announcements

  • Commissioner Fisher Larson said she participated in the “Pint for Nonprofits” fundraiser for First 5 Humboldt’s playgroups last night and said that she answered a lot of questions about First 5 Humboldt.
  • Jeanine Lancaster announced the Library is doing a Drag Queen Story Time on Saturday. Next month the Library will be doing a Teddy Bear Story Time.
  • Mary Ann shared flyers of two upcoming First 5 Humboldt events. The first event is on May 2nd at the Arcata Theater Lounge, which is a documentary screening and discussion about “Resilience – The Biology of Stress & the Science of Hope.”  The second event is on May 20th at the Sequoia Conference Center in Eureka and will feature Steve Graner, M.S., who will be providing the training “Putting the Neurosequential Model into Practice in the Classroom.” This training is co-sponsored by the 0-8 Mental  Health Collaborative, the California Early Childhood Mentor Program, and Changing Tides Family Services.



III.        Executive Director Report

  • Mary Ann welcomed our newest Commission member Lorey Keele.
  • The Program Evaluation Team met on 3/30 and formulated recommendations for the Commission, in alignment with the new Strategic Plan.
  • The Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ) Train the Trainer event is moving forward and invitations were sent out to key agencies. Participants are being charged $300 registration fee, which will cover materials, lunch, and the required fee to Brookes Publishing.  First 5 Humboldt plans to cover the $16,000 cost of the training (speaker fee, travel cost, meals, etc).
  • We were notified that our application for IMPACT Incentive Layer Funding was approved.  This $26,000 grant will allow us to increase the incentive stipends for participants.
  • We have received 74 registrations for the Steve Graner event so far, with 40 being from the early childhood education field. The ECCE Subcommittee is offering mini grants to early childhood educators to cover the cost for the Steve Graner event.
  • The Northcoast Grantmaking Partnership met with the ACES Community Steering Committee on 3/22. The Grantmaking Partnership approved funds to CCRP to collect local data on ACES-related indicators and mapping out a plan.
  • Mary Ann is hosting a visioning meeting in regards to the Mental Health Services Act. Participants will discuss common vision for young children’s mental health and well-being. The meeting will be facilitated by Heather Equinoss.
  • Mary Ann is meeting with Department of Health and Human Services staff to investigate possible MAA (MediCal Administrative Activities) billing of some First 5 funded program activities. Mary Ann shared that Susan Buckley was very helpful in providing the contact information.
  • Last night’s Pints for Nonprofits event was successful.  Donations will be used for purchasing musical instruments for First 5 Humboldt funded playgroups.
  • We are hosting two back-to-back public hearings on April 24th, which are required by statute.  One public hearing will be on the First 5 California Annual Report (from 3-4 pm) and one public hearing will be on First 5 Humboldt’s Strategic Plan (from 4-5 pm) in the First 5 Humboldt conference room. Commissioners are welcome to attend.
  • Mary Ann will be attending First 5 Association meetings and the First 5 California meeting in Sacramento at the end of April.


IV.        Approval of Minutes:

  1. A. Commission meeting minutes of March 23, 2017

ACTION: The Meeting Minutes of 3/23/17 were approved as written.



V.         Information Item: Subcommittee & Workgroup Reports

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


Fiscal: The Fiscal Committee met on April 5th and discussed strategies to equally fund Family Resource Centers, received a Program Evaluation Team recommendation for increasing funding for one playgroup, received information about a possible playgroup opportunity in Weitchpec, and received Measure S update.


PFS: The Parent & Family Support Committee met on March 24th to receive information about the ASQ Train the Trainer event, discussed factors for a Family Resource Center funding plan, talked about a presentation for Arts Alive!, received information about next Fiscal Year’s funding for the HCOE partnership, and received updates about Measure S.


ECCE: The Early Childhood Care & Education Committee is scheduled to meet on Monday, April 17th.



VI.        Discussion Item: Playgroup Funding Equity Proposal

Commissioners received the Playgroup Funding Equity Proposal at the last meeting.  Both the Parent & Family Support Committee and the Fiscal Committee are in support of the Playgroup Funding Equity Proposal and recommend using Plan B to address equity of funding for playgroups.  The expected outcomes of the Playgroup Funding Equity Proposal will be increased community partner buy-in, clear responsibility for playgroup functioning, clear expectations and guidelines for continued funding, reduction in First 5 Humboldt staff time dedicated to managing playgroups and required documents, increased funding transparency, and increased parity.


Commissioners discussed Plan B of the Funding Matrix. Commissioners inquired about a Social Isolation incentive, playgroups connected with Family Resource Centers, and marketing strategies for playgroups. Commissioners discussed the equity piece of the proposal and ongoing First 5 Humboldt support for the playgroups. Mary Ann reiterated First 5 Humboldt’s commitment for playgroups. Playgroups still will receive support from First 5 Humboldt, but will have more ownership of their playgroups and will have more community-based involvement.


The Playgroup Funding Equity Proposal will be an Action Item at the next meeting.  If approved, playgroups will have a whole year to prepare for the new funding structure.  It was pointed out that most small playgroups will see an increase per Plan B of the funding matrix.  Playgroups connected with Family Resource Centers will most likely see a decrease in funding. Commissioners talked about other funding sources for playgroups, i.e. service clubs.


XI.        Discussion Item: Annual Program Evaluation Team Recommendations for Fiscal Year 2017/2018

Commissioners received the Program Evaluation Team’s recommendation for Fiscal Year 2017/2018 for all First 5 funded programs. Evaluator Kim Puckett shared that the Program Evaluation Team (PET) form was re-formatted this year and each form shows the program’s strengths and concerns, the 2017 recommendations, the follow-up to the prior year recommendations, and the data information. In past years, the data (surveys and counts data) was shown at the beginning of the document. New for this year is also the reporting on benchmarks for each program.  Commissioners said they liked the new format.


Mary Ann reminded Commissioners that a $200,000 reduction will need to occur in Fiscal Year 2018/19 and another $200,000 in Fiscal Year 2019/20, unless other funding sources can be identified. The PET considered program funding recommendations by the new Strategic Plan focus areas and objectives. Commissioners will identify funding priorities for future years during the July Retreat. The PET recommendations includes the language for all First 5 Humboldt funded programs in Fiscal Year (FY) 2017/18 to explore alternative funding options, given that First 5 Humboldt revenue is declining.


Commissioners decided to review the Library, Nurse Family Partnership, and KEET recommendations first, since staff from those agencies are present at today’s meeting.


KEET-TV: The Program Evaluation Team identified that the KEET’s Ready To Learn Program is no longer a fit with the new Strategic Plan.  PET recommendations include funding the program in the amount of $12,000 for FY 17/18 and eliminating funding in FY 18/19.


Jackie Hamilton said she feels blessed in having had the opportunity to serve children age 0-5 for the last 10 years and appreciates the partnership with First 5 Humboldt.



Library: Survey results show that all programs are well-liked. Activities are happening in virtually every area of the county and are reaching some very isolated populations. Recommendations include working with First 5 Humboldt staff to revisit the activities/Scope of Work of the Library Partnership in the first two months of FY 17/18 and to revise as needed/determined. PET recommendations include continuing funding in the amount of $75,000 for FY 17/18.


Jeanine Lancaster thanked the Commission for the ongoing support/partnership. The Library has a new Director who is open to new ideas and they will explore new funding options.  However, the Library is facing a budget shortfall, so this will most likely complicate efforts to raise money for First 5 Humboldt funded activities. Commissioners suggested approaching the Library Foundation and the Friends of the Library as possible funding sources.

Nurse Family Partnership (NFP): Commissioner Blanchard recused herself and left the room during the discussion of the NFP program recommendation.


The program is one of the few programs for pregnant and parenting teens.  It has shown positive outcomes for children. Parent Participant survey comments are positive. Playgroup attendance of NFP parents/children is very low. A decrease in referrals to the NFP Program has occurred in 2016. PET recommendations for FY 17/18 include continuing funding the NFP Program at $66,805. Recommendations include exploring ways to get First 5 Humboldt information on playgroups, library programs, family strengthening, and healthy social/emotional development to NFP staff to share with clients; and to explore and report on ways to increase referrals.


Shannon Falk-Carlson shared that NFP is working on several campaigns to increase referrals, and the number of referrals have slightly increased during the last two months.  She said they had some barriers in receiving NFP surveys back from their clients and are exploring ways to increase education to clients about surveys. Kim Puckett said that NFP is exploring ideas of integrating a behavioral specialist into the program.  Shannon shared that this a long-term goal; they are experiencing licensure problems, but are looking at potentially partnering with some community agencies. Commissioner Pecora mentioned that Humboldt County was one of the first rural counties to implement the Nurse Family Partnership Program, which is a federally funded program.  The Humboldt County NFP Program now also serves Del Norte and Siskiyou county.



The following PET Recommendations were reviewed in alphabetical order:


Arcata Play Center: The Arcata Play Center is very popular and has had an increase in the number of attendees.  Parents’ comments on surveys are very positive. This site stays open consistently throughout the year, leaders are enthusiastic, and the site supervisor is supportive of the program and the staff. The site had a low volunteer involvement in 2016. PET recommendations include continuing funding the Arcata Play Center at $14,000 for FY 17/18 and exploring ways to engage new volunteers.



Betty Kwan Chinn Day Center: The Center is committed to serve the homeless population and the new family-focused transitional housing center is designed with women and children in mind.  Unfortunately, very few 0-5 families appear to be taking part in First 5 Humboldt funded activities. In addition, the Center did not serve any pregnant/parenting teens last year. A number of benchmarks have not been met and indicators related to protective factors have gotten worse. The PET recommendation is to discontinue funding for Fiscal Year 2017/18.

Mary Ann shared that the Program Coordinator and the Center Coordinator have left the Center. Mary Ann has been in contact with the new Center Coordinator and discussed the PET recommendations with her, and the possibility of forming a playgroup.  She encouraged the Center Coordinator to attend today’s Commission meeting. The Center Coordinator did get in touch with Mary Ann prior to today’s meeting and said that they are exploring doing a Saturday playgroup for children 0-5 and their families.  Commissioners discussed ways to serve homeless children and their families through other venues.



Blue Lake Community Resource Center: Kim announced this is the first year PET was independently reviewing the playgroups located at Family Resource Centers. Given the fact that in prior years data for the Resource Centers and the Playgroups were combined and in 2016 data for each was separate, comparison data for prior years is not available for survey questions and for counts.


The Community Resource Center (CRC) Coordinator is well-known and well-liked in the community. She strives to make sure the programs and services provided are high-quality. A diverse group of community members participate in CRC activities. The CRC has a strong relationship with the City of Blue Lake and the Parks & Recreation Department. There were no program concerns noted for this year.  PET recommendations include continuing funding at $16,000 for Fiscal Year 2017/18.



Blue Lake Playgroup: The Playgroup leader and the CRC Coordinator work exceptionally well together and include other support staff, as well as parents, in the planning and decision making for the playgroup.  Lots of positive comments on surveys from parents were received about the playgroup leader. There were no program concerns noted for this year.  PET recommendations include continuing funding at $19,000 for Fiscal Year 2017/18.



Discovery Museum: The Discovery Museum has hired a new Executive Director who is very responsive and involved.  The new Director is taking actions to addressing concerns voiced by parents and has had a positive effect on staff. The new Director is present for part of playgroup time and greets families. The new Director also is a Special Education Teacher. Based on survey responses from parents, fewer parents and caregivers seem to connect with other families and staff at the Discovery Museum than at other programs.  PET recommendations include continuing funding at $18,000 in FY 17/18, with $6,722 set aside for outreach services and $11,278 set aside for playgroup activities. Recommendations also include continuing to work on ways to better connect families to each other and to work on ways to help staff better connect with families.



Fortuna Playgroup: The Fortuna Playgroup is a new playgroup that started activities at the Eel River Multigenerational Center in late November 2016.  Multigenerational Center staff is very supportive of the playgroup and the Coordinator is dedicated to making the space welcoming for all members of the community.  The Fortuna Playgroup has a bilingual leader in place and serves both Spanish speaking and English speaking children and families.  Attendance is increasing, even with little to no publicity.  The space might become too small for the number of attendees, and additional support is needed to attend to the growing number of families attending.  PET recommendations include funding in the amount of $5,000 for Fiscal Year 2017/18 and continuing providing technical assistance.



FUN Play Center: The playgroup leader is passionate about her work and has developed strong skills connecting with families.  She recently began taking child development classes at CR. This site is receiving ongoing technical assistance from a First 5 Humboldt Specialist. The families have been pleased with the new toys, which were purchased with one-time funding from First 5 Humboldt.  The site continues to serve juice to children on a regular basis and the snacks are limited to the food that is supplied by the Food Bank. Staff turn-over is still high. Getting the appropriate number of surveys completed continues to be an issue.


PET recommendations include funding in the amount of $10,000 for FY 17/18 and working with staff to help ensure snacks/drink choices are as nutritionally sound as possible. Recommendations also include working with the Play Center staff regarding surveys and provide assistance as needed.



Health Access Worker/Healthy Kids Humboldt: The bilingual staff is creative and persistent in finding solutions to many challenges they are faced with.  Staff conducts effective outreach in a variety of settings where families gather throughout the county.  It is anticipated for a First 5 Humboldt Specialist to provide Reflective Practice supervision. Staff is finding that after the presidential election many immigrant families are afraid that they will lose their health care and food benefits, or that the use of public assistance programs will affect their immigration status. First 5 Humboldt staff is providing resources to the Health Access Worker.  MediCal Administrative Activities (MAA) billing is not occurring for this program and First 5 Humboldt staff will look into possible billing solutions.


PET recommendations include continuing funding in the amount of $48,900 and to meet with the St. Joseph Hospital Community Benefit Director to discuss integrating the Health Access Worker/Healthy Kids Humboldt into Paso a Paso.




HCOE Partnership: The Specialists are highly skilled and work well with families and providers.  Playgroup staff and families have very positive comments about both Specialists. Both Specialists have training and certification in Early Childhood Mental Health and continue providing leadership in that area.  The 2016 fall Participant Survey for playgroups shows statistically significant positive differences for responses to questions related to Protective Factors for parents that have spoken with Specialists at playgroup.  The workload of at least one of the Specialists continues to be quite heavy, creating an unsustainable situation.


Funding for the 0-8 Mental Health Collaborative Training Coordinator is not going to be available through HCOE next Fiscal Year, which will have a negative impact on the workload of the Specialists.  PET recommendations include funding in the amount of $223,157 for Fiscal Year 2017/18, discontinue funding the HCOE Nutrition support for FY 17/18 and re-directing these funds for the .5 FTE Training Coordinator position.  PET recommendations also include working with HCOE to re-direct MAA funds associated with the Specialists’ work to First 5 Humboldt.



Loleta Playgroup: The Loleta Playgroup is a new bilingual playgroup through the Loleta Community Resource Center.  Playgroup attendance is high and both the Community Resource Center coordinator and the Playgroup leader are bilingual. The playgroup leader is proactive with professional development. The playgroup leader is a Special Education Teacher, has great connection with the Resource Center, the School, and the Church. Families from other towns in the Eel River Valley travel to Loleta to attend this playgroup.  Due to high attendance, there is a concern about outgrowing the current space. This group may need to consider an additional day or a larger space. Staff has had some challenges in educating the Spanish speaking families about the benefits of playgroup.


PET recommendations include funding in the amount of $10,000 for Fiscal Year 2017/18, and continuing outreach to Spanish speaking and Native American families.



Additional PET recommendations will be reviewed at the next meeting. All PET recommendations will be an Action Item at the next meeting.


The meeting was adjourned at 11 am.






Next Meeting:

Thursday, May11, 2017

8:30 am to 11 am

First 5 Humboldt Conference Room

525 Second Street, Room 203, Eureka


Chair:  Connie Sundberg



Future Meetings:

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