FHSA 2015 Annual Conference Spotlights & Updates

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Advocacy and Policy Updates

Partnership for Children Legislative Priorities

The 2015 Florida Legislative Priorities as agreed upon by Florida's Partnership for Children are provided below. FHSA is a member of the Partnership and suppots the priorities as listed.

  • School Readiness Funding - Increase school readiness funding to ensure children’s access to educational enrichment programs that support working families.
  • T.E.A.C.H - Increase in funding for T.E.A.C.H. scholarships for child care providers (funding has been level for 13 years). Amend early learning statute for School Readiness and VPK to include explicit standards for the health, safety and well-being of children.
  • Help Me Grow - Raise awareness of and support Help Me Grow.
  • Health and Safety Bill
    • Amend early learning statute for School Readiness and VPK to include explicit standards for the health, safety and well-being of children.
    • Improve the consistency of child care licensing and background checks for the child care workforce.
    • Pass health and safety bill that addresses licensing and Class I violations since (HB 7069 did not pass in final hour of last year’s session).
  • CCDBG - Address statutory changes that should/must be made to address changes resulting from the recent CCDBG reauthorization.
  • Early Learning Performance Pilot  - Strengthen early learning performance pilot standards
  • Other Priorities
    • Increase   VPK/school readiness payments to child care providers (at least to 2007-2008 funding of $238 per child in school year and $595 per child in the summer program).
    • Increase professional development efforts to child care providers to ensure positive outcomes for young children.
    • Improve VPK assessments and child outcomes by amending school readiness statute to establish benchmarks and education-based performance standards.
    • Increase Early Steps funding by $4 million.
    • Support reinstatement of the State Advisory Council on Early Education and Care.
    • Allow for yearly recertification of school readiness families instead of every six months.
    • Implement consistent quality standards and provider accreditation.
    • Increase home visits to vulnerable and at-risk populations.
    • Improve system developments and streamline forms that VPK and school readiness programs submit to ELCs use such as calendars and attendance logs.
    • Increase funding for afterschool programs to promote the well-being and safety of children.
    • Adopt statewide quality standards for afterschool programs.
    • Identify the child care workforce as a unified, professional field of practice (profession instead of an occupation)..
    • Educate child care providers on the importance of play-based and developmentally appropriate curriculum in early learning classrooms.