Two of these projects are:
1) Comprehensive Approaches to Raising Educational Standards (CARES) for the Early Learning Workforce
In 2000, First 5 California began a five-year matching fund pilot program with local First 5 County Commissions designed to address teacher education levels and high staff turnover. Forty-seven County Commissions joined the effort to support local programs through matching funds. The program provides education, professional development as well as incentives and support for the retention of family child care providers, center-based teachers and directors. The main goals of the initiative are to:
- Improve quality and retain those who work in early learning by rewarding professionals who have demonstrated a commitment to the field through levels of education, continued professional development and years of experience. The program provides incentives and compensation for staff to stay in the field and improve their education; and
- Place participants on career paths that will lead to further education and degree attainment as well as advancement on the Child Development Permit Matrix.
First 5 CARES emphasizes the need to provide training and support to all types of caregivers (FFN caregivers to teachers with advanced degrees) through five participation tracks. The five-year pilot phase of the project was successful with approximately $155.2 million total investment in the project from July 2000 – June 2005 ($33.3 million in First 5 California funds and the rest in matching funds from the counties). Based on evaluation findings from the pilot phase, continuation of the project was approved by the State Commission with an additional investment of up to $30 million for July 2005 through December 2009.
To find out more about First 5 CARES or check your eligibility for a stipend, please contact your local First 5 County Commission to see if they are participating:
2) The goal of the Family, Friend and Neighbor (FFN) Caregiver Support Project is to provide support, resources and information to individuals who provide care through the “informal,” unlicensed network of friends, families and relatives. This accounts for 25 percent of all the care given to young children in the state, and is especially common among low-income working families and ethnic minorities.
What is Family, Friend and Neighbor Care?
Family, friend and neighbor (FFN) caregivers are people who care for children, either in the child's home or the caregiver's home. These caregivers are usually not licensed by the State. Examples include:
- Care in a child's home by an adult outside the immediate family
- Care by relatives
- Family homes that care for children from only one family aside from their own
- Cooperative arrangements between parents for the care of their children where no payment is involved
The project aims to provide resources and training to these caregivers so that the children in their care will thrive – and arrive at their fifth birthday ready for school.
Here you will find more information regarding First 5 California's $10 million Family, Friend and Neighbor (FFN) Caregiver Support Project designed to improve the quality of care provided by informal caregivers by giving information, support and education:
The primary activity that First 5 California funded through the Family, Friend and Neighbor Caregiver Support Project is the development and production of a unique television series developed through KCEd™ in partnership with KCET, the West Coast flagship station of the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS). "A Place of Our Own" / "Los Niños en Su Casa" is a talk show in both English and Spanish designed to reach parents, grandparents, friends, babysitters – anyone who frequently takes care of young children by providing early learning teaching strategies and child development information.
During its first year, the program reached 3.7 million viewers statewide and more than a million households. "Los Niños en Su Casa" won a Los Angeles area Emmy in the category of "Best Informational/Public Affairs Series." It is the first Spanish-language series to win in the public affairs category.
The series consists of broadcast, Web sites and outreach/training components throughout California. Production began in June 2004; creating a total of 240 programs (120 in each language) in the first season with another 130 (65 in each language) scheduled for the second season. "A Place of Our Own" and "Los Niños en Su Casa" are broadcast on PBS stations statewide. Check your local listings for times. You may also visit www.aplaceofourown.org or www.losninosensucasa.org.
KCET also developed three different workshops for childcare providers during its first year: "Language and Literacy through a Print-Rich Environment," "Conflict Resolution" and "Play & Creativity." Around 200 bilingual workshops were held from January to June of 2005 with over 1,750 caregivers participating. These caregivers reach approximately 8,500 children. Participants of the workshops leave with a "Caregiver Activity Kit" containing a children's book, a video of two episodes from either series, activity cards and tip sheet magnets. This year, KCET is targeting parents and informal caregivers and adding four more workshops: "Preventing Childhood Obesity," "Supporting Children with Special Needs," "Storytelling" and "Using Media to Teach." Contact your local PBS station to see when these workshops will be available in your community.
If you are a First 5 grantee or prospective provider, please check the links below for information about past, current and future programs for which you may be eligible.
- For information on the CARES Training & Technical Assistance Project.
- For information on the Child Development Permit and CARES Training & Technical Assistance Project with the Child Development Training Consortium at the Yosemite College District, click here.
This First 5 California funded project supports the professional development of 7,000 early learning teachers and providers that work in California. It does this by paying for the permit application and fingerprint (Live Scan) processing fees required to obtain a Child Development Permit and by increasing the number of trained Professional Growth Advisors throughout the State. It also provides training and technical assistance to CARES programs and their partners.
- For information on Accreditation of Child Care Centers and Family Child Care Homes by the California Department of Education and the California Association for the Education of Young Children, click here.