Today's Law As Amended

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AB-6 Early childhood education: interagency coordination and quality improvement.(2019-2020)



SECTION 1.

 Section 8206.8 is added to the Education Code, to read:

8206.8.
 (a) In order to ensure a holistic implementation of early learning and care programs and universal preschool, the Superintendent, on or before January 1, 2021, shall do all of the following:
(1) Elevate the priority of programs that support early learning and care within the department and augment staffing within the Early Learning and Care Division in the department to provide leadership and support to contractors and the early learning and care community, to ensure that high-quality early learning and care programs are provided, and to ensure that the mixed delivery systems for early learning and care programs are supported.
(2) (A) Coordinate services with the State Department of Social Services, the State Department of Health Care Services, the State Department of Public Health, the State Department of Developmental Services, and other relevant entities within the California Health and Human Services Agency, and the California Children and Families Commission, to ensure that the social and health services provided by those departments are provided to children in early learning and care programs who are eligible for those services.
(B) Coordination of services pursuant to subparagraph (A) may prioritize the coordination of services that results in increased access to health assessments and followup diagnostic treatment services for low-income children.
(C) Coordination of services pursuant to subparagraph (A) may conform with family-centered, and community- and evidence-based systems of coordinated care for children.
(3) (A) Establish an interagency workgroup, composed of representatives from the entities described in subparagraph (A) of paragraph (2), to identify administrative changes for implementation by each respective state agency to improve the coordination of services provided to children in early learning and care programs.
(B) At least annually, the interagency workgroup shall report on its work to the Governor, Superintendent, and relevant budget and policy committees of the Legislature.
(C) The interagency workgroup shall coordinate with the Early Childhood Policy Council established pursuant to Section 8286 and with the executive director of the Early Childhood Policy Council. Two members of the Early Childhood Policy Council shall be designated to coordinate with the interagency workgroup.
(D) When identifying administrative changes pursuant to subparagraph (A), the interagency workgroup shall build on the work of the 2019 California Assembly Blue Ribbon Commission on Early Childhood Education Final Report, the strategic plan for the Preschool Development Grant, and the state’s master plan for early learning and care developed pursuant to Section 8207.
(b) (1) The Superintendent shall, on or before January 15, 2021, establish a quality improvement workgroup, building on the work of Quality Counts California, or a successor quality rating and improvement system identified by the Superintendent, and the Quality Rating and Improvement System local consortia, as defined in Section 8203.1. The quality improvement workgroup shall do both of the following:
(A) On or before July 1, 2021, review and propose revisions to the current quality rating and improvement system and program standards for consideration by the Superintendent.
(B) On or before January 1, 2022, develop and review strategies and criteria for consideration by the Superintendent on both of the following:
(i) Creating and implementing a standardized early childhood education curriculum, appropriate for use across the spectrum of early learning and care settings.
(ii) Increasing the alignment of curricula from, and professional development for, the California Infant/Toddler Curriculum Framework, the California Preschool Learning Foundations, and the California Preschool Curriculum Frameworks. Strategies and criteria developed pursuant to this clause shall promote alignment with, and enhance the goals and quality metrics set forth in, Section 8203 and the federal Title V Maternal and Child Health Services Block Grant program (Subchapter V (commencing with Section 701) of Chapter 7 of Title 42 of the United States Code), and shall do all of the following:
(I) Draw on evidence and expertise in the areas of curriculum development and implementation.
(II) Support the social and emotional development of all children in early learning and care settings.
(III) Ensure that all early learning and care programs help prepare children for entering the K–12 system.
(IV) Support and show understanding of the nuanced differences and needs within the mixed delivery systems for early learning and care programs.
(V) Support the full inclusion of children with disabilities.
(VI) Ensure that children who are dual language learners are adequately supported in their learning and development.
(2) The quality improvement workgroup shall be composed of the California Children and Families Commission, stakeholders from the early learning and care community, and other early learning and care experts and shall coordinate with county offices of education and other relevant local and state early learning and care stakeholders.
(3) The quality improvement workgroup shall consider input from parents, providers from different types of early learning and care settings, current Quality Counts California participants, the California Children and Families Commission, academic experts, representatives of the Legislature, department staff, and early learning and care advocates.
(4) At least annually, the quality improvement workgroup shall report on its work to the Superintendent, the California Children and Families Commission, and Quality Counts California leadership.
(c) It is the intent of the Legislature to do all of the following:
(1) Adequately finance the Early Learning and Care Division in order to augment staffing and fully support the programs under the jurisdiction of the Early Learning and Care Division, the interagency workgroup, the quality improvement workgroup, and to improve coordination across state agencies.
(2) Support the Early Learning and Care Division, the interagency workgroup, and the quality improvement workgroup in their efforts to promote alignment with elementary and secondary education staff and systems within the department by doing both of the following:
(A) Ensuring alignment of curriculum and curricular implementation strategies.
(B) Creating enhanced mechanisms for technical assistance and support for childcare providers and community-based organizations to better elevate the support and services of the department for early learning and care programs.
(3) Review the reports and work of the interagency workgroup and the quality improvement workgroup to best support efforts of program expansion, quality enhancement, and increased efficiency, in coordination with the department and relevant entities within the California Health and Human Services Agency.