Policy Updates + News

Early Childhood Development Policy

Bright Beginnings supports local, state and national advocacy efforts – including as an active participant in a tri-county early childhood development advocacy network with Santa Cruz and San Benito Counties. As outlined in our strategic framework, policy change is an important part of the systems changes needed to better support all children and families. There are policy elements of most of our priority strategies. Our current focus includes supporting local and state-level actions in the following policy areas:

  • Expanding access to subsidized early care and education programs
  • Regulations affecting quality of early care and education
  • Regulations and policies supporting the early care and education workforce
  • Zoning, infrastructure, transport and housing policies
  • General plans and (re)development policies for cities
  • Expanding paid family leave, and workplace breastfeeding accommodations
  • Scaling up home visiting programs
  • Improving support for mental health
  • Funding for early childhood services

Monterey County Cannabis Tax Revenue Community Forums

The Monterey County Board of Supervisors want to hear from you about how potential cannabis tax revenue should be spent. Monterey County voters approved a tax on legal cannabis. These monies could be spent on local programs. Share your thoughts with your elected county officials about how the County could prioritize use of these funds.

» Take the survey

» Why Early Childhood Funding Matters to Monterey County (talking points)

» Outcome (Video)

2018 Monterey County Budget Workshop and Hearings

The Monterey County Board of Supervisors (BOS) held a Budget Workshop on Tuesday, April 10 followed by Budget Hearings on Monday, June 4 and Tuesday, June 5, 2018 starting at 9 a.m. The public is encouraged to attend in order to share ideas and concerns with the BOS. Meeting dates and times are subject to change. Click here to access BOS meeting agendas.

» Why Early Childhood Funding Matters to Monterey County (talking points)

MPUSD LCAP Community Engagement

The Monterey Peninsula Unified School District (MPUSD) needs valuable input to inform their 2018-19 Local Control Accountability Plan. This process is an important way to engage in MPUSD’s decision making process. Community members can provide input on a survey in English or Spanish and/or attend the upcoming Board of Education meeting on April 10 to provide input into the planning process. Following community engagement, a draft of the 2018-19 LCAP will be available in mid to late May, followed by a public hearing on June 12 and final adoption on June 26. Learn More

» Why Early Childhood Funding Matters to Monterey County (talking points)

City Opportunities – General Plans

General Plans map out the goals, policies and directions to help meet a city’s long-term vision. The State of California requires all cities and counties to have a general plan. Since these are a roadmap for the future, General Plans are an opportunity to ensure the inclusion of the early childhood development needs of residents, employees, and employers. Below are current local opportunities for advocacy.

Effective Advocacy Tip: Targeted Letter Writing

If you want to reach your elected officials, one effective way to have your voice heard is through letter writing. Here are some tips on how to write an effective letter:

  1. Be Clear: Stay brief, topic focused, and action-oriented.  Try to keep statements to one paragraph.
  2. Highlight Benefits: How will your legislator benefit by supporting your position?  Provide some details on why their support will not only help your organization, but their constituents as well.
  3. Include a Personal Story: When legislators talk about bills, they like to give examples of how a particular position will affect their constituency.  Personal stories illustrate how bill language translates into action.
  4. Provide a Strong Call to Action Statement: Include a final Call to Action urging your elected official  to intervene.
  5. Make it Easy for the Recipient: When you deliver messages en masse, printing a bunch of letters may be visually impactful, but make sure to include digital files for your full list. Deliver not just PDFs of your letters but a spreadsheet containing the constituents’ names and addresses that signed onto the letters so that the legislator’s staff can easily record the actions.

Adapted from the Salsa Labs Advocacy Action Toolkit.

Advocacy Network: Advocacy Day, January 31, 2017 Recap

On January 31, 2017, four representatives from Monterey County participated in Advocacy Day in Sacramento as champions for children. The representatives met with local state senators and assemblymembers and their staff to discuss ways to support families with young children during the 2017-2018 budget and legislative session.

Here are a few opportunities presented to the legislators:

  1. Fulfill the Child Care Promise in the budget by working to get $226 million promised during last year’s budget negotiations back into the budget for child care providers, families, and children.
  2. Work to raise the child care program eligibility standards, which are not keeping up with minimum wage increases.  Two parents now earning minimum wage in California will lose child care eligibility.
  3. Address child care provider reimbursement rates.  California is nearly a decade overdue in improving reimbursement rates to child care providers, undervaluing this important profession and eroding the supply of early care to families in our workforce.

To see the full list of action items for our state legislators click here: Supporting Families with Young Children: Opportunities during the 2017-2018 Legislative Session.

Advocacy with the Board of Supervisors

Every year, Bright Beginnings presents an update to the Board of Supervisors through the Monterey County Children’s Council’s Annual Report. This is an opportunity for Bright Beginnings and partners to share strengths and challenges that are having an impact on children and families with local leaders. At the presentation earlier this year, organizations and parents involved with Bright Beginnings spoke during public comment about the importance of focusing on the early years.

Click here to read more…